Technology and Engineering
  • ISSN: 2333-2581
  • Modern Environmental Science and Engineering

The Carpi Orto Agrario in Mantua: From Private Garden to Experimental Agricultural Nursery to Urbanised Area

Laura Giacomini

DASTU, Polytechnic of Milan, Italy

Abstract: The study investigates the most modern phases (18th-20th centuries) of the history of an urban green space of about three hectares located in the south of Mantua just inside Porta Pusterla: the Lanzoni garden, which later became the Orto Agrario Carpi. The focus is on its transformation from a private “pleasure garden and vegetable garden” — a combination of the pleasurable and useful, with a small Italian garden and three large formal gardens with fruit trees, vines and vegetables — into a space of public utility annexed to an educational institute: the experimental agricultural estate of the Scuola Agraria Carpi and Istituto Tecnico Pitentino, founded in 1867-1868. It was a market garden where it was intended to test crops to be planted “in the province to improve horticulture and be useful to the country”. In the 1870s and 1880s it was equipped with all the necessary infrastructure to make it a veritable “small agricultural estate”, while also experimenting with breeding poultry and cattle. This cultivated green area that showed good resilience to changes until the 1920s, when it began to be urbanized, a process that ended in about the years 1960-1970. In spite of this, as late as 1952 a land lot of some 2,000 square meters was rented to a market gardener and cultivated.

Key words: history, Mantua, urban private garden, urban experimental agricultural nursery, 20th century urbanization

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