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Moglia Land Reclamation

The quantum leap of the extremely slow but progressive mechanization was also given by large-scale reclamation and irrigation works started after the Unification of Italy. In Moglia di Sermide you will find the suggestive Water pumping plant of La Gonzaghese (1907), and the Water pumping plant, 1922-26.

Moglia of Sermide: Waterworks The Gonzaghese photographed in 1906.

The quantum leap of the extremely slow but progressive mechanization, also due to the introduction of new cultivated species (corn, tomato, tobacco, potato) from the sixteenth century, besides the use of chemical fertilizers started in the late 1800s, was also given by large scale reclamation and irrigation works started after the Unification of Italy. The first reclamation consorts were formed. In this area, the whole land reclamation was carried out between 1889 and 1907, bringing significant improvements to the productivity of the area and to changes in crop rotations. Reclamation not only provided more cultivable surfaces but made the environment healthier and less severely subjected to malaria devastation. In the first half of the twentieth century, the agricultural system of Mantua, as a result of the opening of the national market, began to orient itself towards dairy cattle breeding, spreading permanent meadowlands and temporary grass for cereals. The landscape began to change in the crop structure and later on in the land structure, but continued to stand on the core of the traditional farm/livestock company. From the Second World War onwards, however, we assisted to the de-structuring of companies. The introduction and massive use of chemistry in agriculture and the ever-increasing mechanization of agricultural techniques led to the break of the land-production relationship and the consequent "collapse" of the historical agricultural landscape, which is today increasingly trivial and poor in its naturalistic value. An important moment of the architecture that characterizes the territory of Oltrepò is the one related to the structure of land reclamation works that, precisely in this area, plays a primary role in landscape design. In Moglia di Sermide you will find the suggestive Water pumping plant of La Gonzaghese (1907), former consortium of Bonifica Agro Mantovano Reggiano (today Consortium of Bonifica Terre dei Gonzaga in Destra Po) and the Water pumping plant, 1922-26 former Revere Consortium of Land reclamation (today Consorzio di Bonifica Terre dei Gonzaga in Destra Po).

Mantova-Reggiano waterworks - steam engine room. (Photography by Gabriele Basilico, 1998)

Waterworks La Gonzaghese, interior. (Photography by Gabriele Basilico, 1998)

Moglia of Sermide (MN) Hydropower Plant, Field - Ex Revere Conservation Consortium Photo 1924 - 1926.