(Redirected from Cerlongo)

Goito (Upper Mantovano: Gùit) is a comune of 10,005 inhabitants in the Province of Mantua in Lombardy. Goito is 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of Mantua on the road leading to Brescia and lake Garda, and straddles the old east–west Via Postumia between Cremona and Verona. The town is on the right bank of the Mincio River at a key crossing. The birthplace of Sordello, Goito is part of the historic region known as Alto Mantovano (Upper Mantuan) and was once the site of a fortress of note.

Comune di Goito
Fight between Austrians and Piedmontese over the Mincio bridge in Goito on 8 April 1848 In the time Of Virgil ,Goito was called Andes
Fight between Austrians and Piedmontese over the Mincio bridge in Goito on 8 April 1848 In the time Of Virgil ,Goito was called Andes
Coat of arms of Goito
Location of Goito
Goito is located in Italy
Location of Goito in Italy
Goito is located in Lombardy
Goito (Lombardy)
Coordinates: 45°15′N 10°40′E / 45.250°N 10.667°E / 45.250; 10.667
ProvinceMantua (MN)
FrazioniCerlongo, Solarolo, Marsiletti, Torre, Sacca, Calliero, Vasto, Massimbona, Belvedere, Ca'Vecchia Gobbi, Maglia, Sagrada 1, Borgo Diciotto, Ca' Vagliani, Cascina Palazzetto, Catapane, Aquilone, Terra Nera, Isola, Tezze Vasto, Ronziolo, Barattere, Villabona, Baronina, Loghino, Corte Bellacqua di Sotto, Corte Grandi, Corte Quaresima Vecchia, Sagrada II, Valle Buratto, Cascina Bondi, Corte Bellacqua di Sopra, San Lorenzo, Corte Merlesco, Corte Resenasco.[1]
 • MayorPietro Chiaventi
 • Total79.22 km2 (30.59 sq mi)
33 m (108 ft)
 (31 August 2017[3])[4]
 • Total10,289
 • Density130/km2 (340/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0376
Patron saintSt. Peter and Paul
Saint dayJune 29
WebsiteOfficial website


The term "Goito" is generally taken to indicate an area of Gothic settlement and is a common toponym in Italy (such as in Godega). In 1902 Italian legal scholar Nino Tamassia published a legal document from 1045 (brought to his attention by the scholar F.C. Carreri) showing that at least some of the inhabitants of Goito claimed to live "according to Gothic law" ("qui professimus legem vivere Gothorum") even as late as the XI century.[5] Local histories by Federico Amedei, Livio Calafassi and Giovanni Tassoni have all agreed on the Gothic origin of the toponym.

Historian Pietro Pelati has instead made the case for an etymology from "Guttus", a Latin term for a water vase, arguing the term often indicated a settlement by a river.[6]



In pre-Roman antiquity, the area of present-day Goito stood on a crossing at the Mincio at a halfway point between the Celtic Cenomani towns of Brescia and Verona and the Etruscan and Boii settlement of Mantua. The Cenomani soon became Roman clients, but goodwill between them and the expanding Roman Republic did not last. Eventually, allied with the Insubres and Boi they took part in a series of revolts between 200 BCE and 197 BCE orchestrated and aided by a Carthaginian general named Hamilcar (modern historians argue Hamilcar's role was ultimately "minimal").[7] The Cenomani and Insubres was defeated at an unspecified crossing of the river Mincio in 197 BCE by the Roman consul Gaius Cornelius Cethegus (it is possible that in the course of the battle the Cenomani betrayed the Insubres). Roman rule of the upper Mantuan began as a result.[8]

Goito was perhaps founded as a Roman waystation in the early 2nd century BCE when the Romans built a major road known as the Via Postumia to connect their colonies at Genoa, Piacenza and Cremona in Aemilia et Liguria to the newly conquered territories in the Eastern Po Valley. The middle section of the Postumia started in Cremona and ran eastwards to Bedriacum (then the major crossing on the river Oglio) crossing the Mincio at Goito (though nearby crossings existed at Valeggio and Mantua) before continuing eastwards to the former Cenomani town of Verona and to the capital of the new Roman province of Venetia at Aquileja.

Sections of the ancient Via Postumia have always remained visible in Goito: on the right bank of the Mincio at Corte Merlesca and at Torre di Goito, and on the left bank at Massimbona. These sections of the road are locally known as "la Levada", the raised earth-bank or the raised road.[9] Further evidence of Roman-era settlement in the area is supplied by Roman remains found in the late XIXth century at localitá Castelvetere o Castelvetro indicating some kind of settlement (now in the collections of the Museo Civico at Mantua) and 21 Roman burials excavated in 1939 about 1.5 km south-east of the main town. In the tombs, a number of brooches or fibulae and a carved cameo jewel were retrieved, as well as pendants and elements of a glass-bead necklace.[10] No Roman-era bridge has however been found anywhere on the Mincio, so it is likely the river was crossed by ferry or ford. Local historians have taken the toponym Corte Guá (farmstead at the ford) to indicate an old ford on the Mincio.[11]

Early Middle AgesEdit

After the fall of Rome, the territory of Goito emerges as a significant barbarian settlement. Excavations undertaken in 1968 and then again between 1990 and 1993 have unearthed two Late Antique and Early Medieval burial grounds in the territory of the comune. The burial grounds, situated on the road between Goito and Castellucchio at the locality known as "Sacca di Goito", contain at least 240 burials. Two small cross pendants, a number of short swords and daggers, pendants and other objects have been retrieved. Some of the graves at Sacca di Goito likely belonged to Ostrogoths (in so far as fibulae and mirrors found in the graves can be ascribed to the Chernyakhov culture) while the larger number of early medieval graves in the same burial ground are burials of Lombards or of the Lombard period.[12][13]

High Middle AgesEdit

Documents from XI century Goito show the population claimed to live according to multiple forms of personal law: Latin Law, Lombard Law and Gothic Law.[14] Historian Carreri claimed the first mention of the town occurs in a small donation by a priest of "Latin law" Martin, son of Leo, to the monastery of Saint Genesius at Brescello from 1031. Two similar small donations are made to the Church of Saint Mary, a dependency of the monastery, by Manfred, "of Alemannian law", in 1042 and 1044. A more substantial donation by Matilda of Tuscany, who held comital power over the county of Mantua, records the town in 1099. Matilda donates 4 farmsteads in nearby Rivalta sul Mincio and 4 in Goito to the monastery of Saint Genesius.[15]

The eighteenth-century historian Ippolito Donesmondi had found and published a document showing rights over a chapel in the castle in Goito were donated in 1123 by the Bishop of Mantua to the abbey of San Benedetto Polirone, a wealthy monastery patronized by Matilda of Tuscany. This donation shows that Goito was already a fortified place in 1123.[16] Goito's connections with Matilda of Tuscany have led some local historians (including Carreri) to suppose that the 1080 battle of Volta Mantovana between pro-Imperial and pro-Papal forces actually took place in Goito rather than in nearby Volta, but their interpretation would rest on a completely different understanding of the accepted text of the Chronicon of Bernold of Constance (i.e. swapping "apud Guithum" for the accepted "apud Voltam").

The castle of Goito became more significant in the following years. In 1237 Frederick II received a delegation from Mantua at Goito and pardoned the Mantuans for their insubordination against the Holy Roman Empire. In 1250 the castle of Goito was chosen for a pro-Imperial diet by Conrad IV of Germany.

At some point in the late XIIth century, the celebrated troubadour Sordello was born in a knightly family in Goito, as testified by his almost contemporary anonymous Occitan biographer.[17] Early modern Mantuan historians such as Bartolomeo Sacchi "il Platina" and Scipione Agnelli Maffei state he was of the Mantuan line of the Visconti family (a claim not accepted by modern historians) and the literary historian Giovanni Mario Crescimbeni even stated that Sordello, after his famous exile in Provence, returned and acquired the title of "de Goito" when he become lord of Goito.[18] This claim is unsubstantiated and not accepted by modern historians: the elderly Sordello returned to Italy only as a member of Charles of Anjou's entourage in 1265. He was imprisoned at Novara for unknown reasons the following year, and in 1269 received the lordship of various lands and castles in Abruzzo.[19]

According to historians the Bonacolsi family - de facto rulers of Mantua in the late XIII century - purchase a house to collect tolls at the bridge-head in Goito in the late XIII century.[20] In 1318 the Bonacolsi's sworn enemy and the new ruler of Mantua, Gian Francesco Gonzaga granted Goito a tax exemption, and in 1353 Charles IV of Bohemia donated the down of Goito to the house of Gonzaga and the Marquisate of Mantua, confirming the town's status as a key fortress for the regime of the Gonzagas, one of the more significant signorie in the late-medieval Po Valley.[21]

The RenaissanceEdit

In the 15th century, the town of Goito was embroiled in the wars opposing the Visconti of Milan to the rising Gonzaga of Mantua and the Republic of Venice. In 1453 Carlo Gonzaga, a claimant to the Gonzaga estates in Mantua sought to take control of the area with Venetian support. Carlo Gonzaga's troops were however defeated in battle at the farmstead of Villabona (a frazione of Goito) on 14 June 1453 by the forces of the marquis of Mantova Ludovico III Gonzaga.[22] Ludovico Gonzaga, delighted by his victory, went on to build a residence in Goito (in which the painter Andrea Mantegna worked in 1463–64), restored the fortifications and built the Naviglio di Goito canal, and died here by plague in 1478. Goito maintained its prosperity under the later dukes of Mantua Guglielmo and Vincenzo I Gonzaga, becoming a wealthy market town on the road between Mantua and Venetian-held Verona.

The War of the Mantuan SuccessionEdit

On 22 November 1629, during the war of the Mantuan succession Goito was surrendered by its Mantuan commander to Imperial forces then besieging Mantua.[23] The capture of Goito was a key episode in the Imperial siege of Mantua, and its fall threatened communication and supply routes between the beleaguered city and its Venetian allies in Verona, Peschiera, and Valeggio sul Mincio. An attempt to lift the siege of Mantua failed on 29 May 1630 when French and Venetian troops were comprehensively defeated just outside Goito at the Battle of Villabuona in today's frazione of Villabona. The treaty of Cherasco restored Goito and the duchy of Mantua to Charles Gonzaga, duke of Mantua. In the wake of the war, the ensuing plague, and the general decline in Mantua's economic and political fortunes spelt the beginning of the town's decline. Goito was struck by an earthquake on 5 July 1693, and the castle was damaged.

The Eighteenth CenturyEdit

In the Autumn of 1701, during the War of the Spanish succession Goito was surrounded and besieged by Imperial troops only to be relieved by French troops allied with the Duke of Mantua Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga in the spring of 1702. The town was again besieged unsuccessfully on Friday 19 May 1702 by another Imperial army.[24] The French garrison at Goito was eventually driven out of the town on 19 August 1706 by Imperial forces under the command of the prince of Hesse.[25] In the report of the battle the prince of Hesse specifies that Goito had "a large ditch, a thick wall, 4 bastions and a ravelin" and that he besieged it with 1,800 foot soldiers and 1,000 horse. After bombardment with a battery of eight guns was ineffective the prince had given orders to scale the walls, but the commander surrendered the night before the attack commenced, and was allowed to withdraw with his 200-strong garrison to Cremona. The taking of Goito was a key event in the lead up to the French victory at the battle of Castiglione, where the Imperial forces were defeated by a large French army that had reached too late to relieve Goito. Notwithstanding the defeat, Imperial forces went on to conquer Lombardy for Austria, entering Milan in triumph on 26 September 1706, ending a century and a half of Spanish rule in Lombardy.

Duke Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga's alliance with France and his betrayal of his Imperial suzerain during the course of the war was punished by an Imperial edict terminating his lordship over the Duchy of Mantua. The Duke died in exile in Padua before the news reached him, and so the Duchy and the town of Goito came to be incorporated into the domains of the Austrian Hapsburgs. Spanish Lombardy too became an Austrian domain, though it was administered separately from the former duchy of Mantua. The Austrian gains in Lombardy and Mantua were confirmed by the Treaty of Utrecht.

During the war of the Polish succession an allied Franco-Piedmontese army successfully invaded Austrian Lombardy and entered the Austrian duchy of Mantua. Imperial troops led by Count Königsegg had left a garrison of 100 men under Lieutenant Carrillo at Goito to either prevent the allies from crossing the Mincio or to slow down their advance. But fearing that the allied army had already crossed further upstream, Carillo quit Goito on 16 June 1735 without offering resistance, though he destroyed either partially or completely the bridge on the Mincio. Goito was then immediately occupied by 400 men under the Comte de Ségur.[26] The main Austrian army and the Piedmontese-French allies then faced off against one another on the opposite banks of the Mincio, but count Königsegg, fearing that his position was no longer defensible decided to retreat from Lombardy altogether. In the armistice negotiations in October 1735, the French requested and were allowed to retain a garrison in Goito and free passage to resupply it. The French garrison was removed only when peace was officially concluded.[27]

In 1745, during the War of the Austrian Succession the Austrian administration, seeking to simplify matters of governance and finance united the territories of the former Duchy of Mantua, including Goito, with Austrian Lombardy and the territories of the former Duchy of Milan. Goito has been a comune of Lombardy ever since. Taxes to fund the war then being fought in Western Lombardy, Piedmont and Liguria and across Germany were raised, and soldiers from the Mantuan countryside were recruited to Austrian regiments to fight.[28] As shown by the historian Corrado Vivanti, after the wars, peasants and townsmen in declining Goito benefited only very partially from the judicial, administrative and revenue reforms associated with Maria Theresa of Austria and Joseph II of Austria's enlightened absolutism and the reformism of Lombard intellectuals, which contributed instead to consolidate large-scale landholding. The region experienced agrarian disturbances in 1761.[29]

Napoleonic WarsEdit

In 1796, during the course of operations leading to the Battle of Borghetto Goito was taken by French revolutionary troops and incorporated into the Cisalpine Republic. It was eventually recaptured by the Austrian colonel of Serbian descent Sebastian Prodanovich on 11 April 1799.[30] On 25–26 December 1800 French troops moving to recapture the town clashed again with the Austrians at the bridge of Goito in the course of events connected with the Battle of Pozzolo. In the initial engagements undertaken by the French right-flank, general Dupont and the Division Watrin defeated an 8,000 strong Austrian force led by General D'Aspre' and seized the bridge on the Mincio and the town.[31] The course of the battle involving the French right flank then shifted to nearby Monzambano. Following French victories in the Italian Campaign Goito and Lombardy became part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy. On 8 February 1814, during the War of the Sixth Coalition, 34,000 French and Italian troops, led by Eugène de Beauharnais, and a similar number of Austrians, under Field Marshal Heinrich von Bellegarde, battled for control of the bridge on the Mincio the town of Goito and a number of surrounding localities and rural frazioni in a sprawling, indecisive, and bloody engagement known as the Battle of the Mincio River.

Risorgimento 1815-1861Edit

After the Napoleonic wars, Goito and the Mantuan territories were returned to the Austrian crown and eventually incorporated into the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia. The Piedmontese army won the opening engagement of the First Italian War of Independence at the bridge over the river Mincio by Goito on 8 the April 1848 - the first-ever military engagement of the Bersaglieri light infantry. In a short battle, the newly established light infantry unit commanded by Alessandro La Marmora successfully captured the bridge on the Mincio river and forced the small detachment of Austrian defenders to withdraw to the fortifications of the Austrian Qaudrilatero. Following Radetzsky's counter-offensive later in May and the defeat of Tuscan and Neapolitan volunteers at the Battle of Curtatone and Montanara the Austrian and Piedmontese armies clashed again on 30 May 1848 at the large-scale Battle of Goito, just outside the town: Radetzky was defeated and the Piedmontese army allowed to resume its offensive.

With the final defeat of the Piedmontese army at Custoza and the end of the war, Goito, however, returned to Austrian rule. As part of the Risorgimento nationalist movement locals in Goito continued to conspire against Austrian rule nonetheless, risking arrest and execution. The most notable case to occur in Mantua province was the January 1852 arrest and execution of the members of the underground nationalist circle founded by the Mantuan clergyman Enrico Tazzoli, a former student of Goito grammar school. Tazzoli and his followers eventually came to be known and celebrated as the Belfiore martyrs and became integral to the developing pantheon of Italian nationalism. Don Giuseppe Ottonelli, a Goito native and well-established local figure (the parish priest of San Silvestro church) was tried and sentenced to death in the same case, but escaped execution, as his sentence was commuted by Radetzky and he was later pardoned.[32]

Goito as the border crossing between Italy and Austria 1861-1866Edit

Goito became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1859 (from 1861 known as the Kingdom of Italy), after the Second Italian War of Independence and was annexed to the newly constituted province of Brescia. 3/5ths of the territory of the former Mantua province (including Mantua) remained in Austrian-held territory. As a result of the partition of the erstwhile Mantua province between Italy and Austria the town of Goito came to be, briefly, between 1861 and 1866 an international border crossing between the kingdom of Italy on the right bank of the Mincio and Austria-Hungary on the left bank. Because according to the treaty of Zurich the border between Italian Lombardy on the one side and Austrian Mantua on the other was to follow the exact course of the river, the municipal territory of the town came to be divided into two, and houses on the river's left bank (for a total of 1.050 inhabitants) came to be part of Austria, separated by the bridge and river from the main, Italian-held town, where two-thirds of the population then lived. Crossing the border for locals for mass and for the weekly market could be difficult, though Goitesi were technically exempt from having to use a passport to do so. Italian police reports show a local schoolteacher sought to elude border patrols in order to meet every night with an Austrian police inspector in Austrian-held Villa Giraffa. The Austrian authorities on the other hand complained Goito parish priest Don Giuseppe Rondelli and his deputy Pietro Fortuna (a political refugee from Austrian-held Venetia) incited Italian nationalism and decided to try to prevent left-bank locals from crossing over the river to listen to the nationalist sermons at mass.[33] Austrian suspicions were not without reason. Father Rondelli of Goito wrote and published in 1860 a book titled Sulle sventure di Mantova, Verona, Venezia lotto il gioco dell'Austria (On the misfortunes of Mantua, Verona and Venice under Austrian yoke) lamenting that one-third of his flock remained "under Austrian tyranny" and complaining of the "persecution suffered at every crossing of the bridge for being of one true colour, that of a true Italian"[34] The international border crossing at Goito ceased to exist when Italy annexed Venetia following the Third war of Italian Independence.

Goito in Liberal Italy 1866-1919Edit

Political and social life in Goito and in the Upper Mantuan was influenced by the agrarian struggles that culminated in the 1883 and 1885 tenant and farm-labourer strikes known as "Le Boje". These strikes started in the Lower Mantuan municipality of Gonzaga and interested a number of adjoining villages, and are widely recognized as Italy's first mass labour strike.[35] No specific instance of peasant revolt is recorded in Goito, but labourers and tenants had formed in the late XIX century two cooperative associations to negotiate better wages from local landlords, such as one in Goito in 1873 ("La Cooperativa") and one in Cerlongo in 1893.[36] These would later be dissolved during the Fascist period.

Fascism in Goito 1919-1943Edit

During the Bienno Rosso Goito and the Upper Mantuan experienced considerable political and social unrest as left-wing activists and agricultural labourers sought to wrestle local political power from middle-class townspeople, rural notables and landlords gathered in the Confederazione Nazionale Agraria, and then, from 3 May 1921, in a local sezione of the new Partito Nazionale Fascista (then simply known as the "Fascio").[37] Local Goito agricultural entrepreneur and major landholder Giuseppe "Pino" Moschini emerged as the most significant organizer of Fascist squadrismo in Goito and nearby localities. Moschini's activism was key in crushing peasant agitation, putting an end to widespread rent-strikes and curtailing developing leftist political activism in the region. Ruthless violence (such as a three-day raid against Valeggio sul Mincio) also ensured that Moschini - popularly known as the local "Ras" - soon became one of the most prominent Fascist leaders in rural Mantua, and between 1922 and 1927 he "single-handedly controlled economic policy and all labour movement in the entire province"[38] Moschini also took part, according to his obituary, in notorious Fascist expeditions against leftists in Parma, Cremona, Bolzano, Milano and Ferrara, leaving the description of some of the raids in his editorials, later collected by posthumous admirers in a 1934 volume. The official daily of the Mantuan federation of the National Fascist Party La Voce di Mantova at one point described him as a "the young-faced, red-bearded leader (...) who has chosen over considerable wealth this hard life of battle, revealing uncommon organizational capacity. Rough-tempered, with the character of a former officer of the Alpini, he is invariably forgiven his tremendous ragings by his subordinates who know the extent of his goodness and are deeply attached to him".[39]

Party struggles internal to the Fascist Party and a rivalry with more "moderate" Fascist leaders such as the mayor of Mantua ensured Moschini's role diminished with time. His support for Corporatism and his dislike for those he considered opportunistic fascists of no true conviction led Moschini to vehemently criticize some of Italy's leading industrialists such as Agnelli and Olivetti, even challenging Adriano Olivetti to a duel.[40] Marginalized at a national level by his own radicalism Moschini was removed from the Secretariat of the Provincial Section of the Fascist party in a 1927 reorganization of the local party led by Fascist leader Augusto Turati.[41] Moschini nonetheless remained locally influential, founding the Mantuan legion of volunteer Blackshirts (the XXIII MVSN Legion "Mincio") and organizing the erection of the monument to the Bersagliere in town, for which Benito Mussolini contributed personally the sum of 1,000 Lira.[42] He died in 1934 in a car-crash and was buried in the family villa in Goito. Local authorities named the newly established kindergarten of Goito in his honor and organized a yearly bike race between Mantua and Milan (the "trofeo Moschini").[43]

The Second World War and the ResistanceEdit

During the Second World War, in the wake of the armistice of the 8th of September and the subsequent German occupation of Northern Italy and creation of the fascist puppet-state known as the Italian Social Republic in nearby Salò a few locals from villages and towns across the provinces of Mantua and Verona joined local partisan formations to fight the Germans, while others signed up to local collaborationist units. Goito, a rural market town, appears to have only been significant for the Germans as an entrepôt for trucks carrying supplies to the Gothic line. Nevertheless, the skies above Goito saw some air combat as the Allied airforces sought to disrupt German supply lines and truck-stands between Verona and the Gothic line and as Allied planes flew to bomb industrial centres in German-occupied northern Italy.

On 2 April 1945 in air combat over Goito National Republican Air Force pilot and prominent Bologna fascist leader Aristide Sarti's Messerschmitt Bf109 was shot down by a USAF P-47 Thunderbolt from the 346th Fighter Squadron piloted by Lt. Richard Sulzbach, and crashed in a pond in the rural frazione of Corte Baronina. Sarti either died in the crash or drowned in the pond.[44] The dogfight in which Sarti was shot down had begun when National Republican Air Force Bf109s from the 2nd gruppo caccia "Gigi Tre Osei" attacked a group of 57th Bombardment Wing B-25s and their P-47th escorts from the 346th and 347th fighter squadrons returning from a bombing run. The engagement turned out to be one of the most catastrophic air battles ever undertaken by the National Republican Air Force; 14 Bf109s belonging to the 2nd gruppo caccia were shot down and six Fascist pilots were killed. On the other hand, the Fascist airmen scored no kills.[45]

On 11 April 1945, for just over two hours, USAF planes aiming to destroy German fuel cisterns hidden in and around the countryside town bombed Goito, damaging a number of homes. No one was killed in the air raid: some inhabitants attributed this to the Madonna della Salute, and a thanksgiving Mass was recited.[46] Military historians have specified the town was never the objective of the raid, which targeted instead a large and partially hidden German fuel depot. In a first wave, 7 Flying Fortresses from the 483d bomber group, escorted by 36 Mustangs from the 52nd Fighter Group attacked the depot, but seem to have done little damage. A Luftwaffe Arado 234 was however damaged by the escorts and later crash-landed in Switzerland. The second wave of 24 Liberators from the 464th and 465th bomber group hit parts of the fuel depot, and a later third wave of 36 Liberators from the 454th, 455th and 456th bomber group reportedly destroyed 12 structures at the Goito fuel depot.[47] German casualties at the fuel depot are not known.

The most prominent resistance unit operating locally in the upper Mantuan countryside was the Brigata Italia based in and around nearby Villafranca di Verona, which was responsible for operations in and around Goito. On 25 April 1945 Barbieri Gino, a resistance fighter of the brigade that had been captured was executed with no trial by retreating German soldiers in the town of Goito itself, and his corpse was left unburied on the wayside.[48] Retreating German units were supposed to burn at least part of the town to the ground, but the act was not carried out - reportedly due to the actions of a friendly German officer - and the town was liberated by the Allies the following morning, on 26 April 1945.

Goito in the First RepublicEdit

After the war Goito, like other northern Italian localities, benefited from the Italian economic miracle and rising standards of living. New consumer goods, educational institutions and amenities transformed life in the small town. A Cinema for instance was opened in the "Sala Verde" in 1948.

Politically, after the war the population of Goito - primarily composed of agricultural labourers - organized in the Federbraccianti trade union began supporting the Italian Communist Party, transforming the small town into a left-wing stronghold. The national strike of agricultural labourers of 1949 was especially significant in Goito, and in the course of the labour unrest, some farmhouses were blown up with sticks of dynamite. 14 leftist activists, including the secretary of the Camera del Lavoro Angelo Vincenzi, were arrested for criminal conspiracy, illegal possession of firearms and criminal damage. In 1952 the charges against Vincenzi and six others were dismissed for lack of evidence, while seven others received jail sentences.[49]

At municipal elections in 1949, the Communist trade unionist Gina Magnoni was elected mayor of Goito - the first woman to ever win a mayoral election in Mantua province. Local Communist leader Narciso Vaccari then won municipal elections in 1951 and 1956. The authorities of the newly democratic Republic of Italy were still often unsympathetic to labour unrest and political activism. On 27 July 1954 for instance the Prefect of Mantua suspended Vaccari from his mayor functions for three months after he had held political speeches and had incited working farm-labourers to join 15 June 1954 national farmhand's strike.[50] In 1959, to Vaccari's delight, the local team of Goito won the Italian championship of Tamburello, a ball game primarily played in Lombardy and Piedmont.

The hold of the Communist party declined in the following years. In local elections in 1960, the Communist Party suffered electoral defeat, and the town elected a mayor from the Italian Catholic Christian-Democrat party, dott. Aldo Pampuri. The town's Christian Democrats narrowly won municipal elections again on 22 November 1964, when Sereno Guindolini obtained the highest number of preferences. A Christian Democratic majority in the municipal council was again returned by the municipal elections of 7 June 1970. Elections in 1975 and 1980 and the lack of a clear win for either Christian Democrats or Communists consecrated instead as mayor the Partito Socialista Italiano candidate Rinaldo Rabbi (a former Christian Democrat ward councillor), first in alliance with the Communists, then with their Christian Democrat rivals. Mayor Rabbi was a controversial figure in local politics, and was widely believed to administer the municipality from an out-of-town pizzeria and ballroom named "Mocambo".[51] Rabbi was eventually dropped from the Socialist Party mayoral candidacy following internal party disagreements but remained active and influential in local politics as an alderman. In 1985 a fragile local alliance headed by Christian Democrat Cesarino Marchioro run the municipality until political disagreement scuttled the municipal government in 1987. On 28 May 1989, new elections were held to provide the beleaguered town with a functioning municipal government. Communist leader Giancarlo Pajetta is supposed to have given one of his last political speeches during this municipal election.[52] The Communist bid for power was unsuccessful, and the Socialist Ilario Chiaventi, brother of Communist President of the Province of Mantua and future MP Massimo Chiaventi, was eventually sworn in as mayor, with Cesarino Marchioro as deputy mayor.

Goito found itself at the heart of a national political scandal when in Autumn 1989 former mayor Rinaldo Rabbi - then an alderman - was arrested and charged with arms trafficking. Rabbi had been selling homemade submachine guns, manufactured by a local Goito gunsmith, to criminals in the Mantova and Verona area, and allegedly even to the Mafia. When another local politician, social-democratic former deputy mayor (from '75 to '80) and planning committee chairperson (from '85 to'88) Arnaldo Vincenzi was arrested and sentenced to one year and ten months for the crimes of extortion and abuse of public office, national daily Corriere della Sera asked if Goito deserved "the prize for being the most turbulent municipality in the region".[53] Former mayor Rabbi was later arrested and imprisoned in the Canton Mombello Brescia jail on charges of paedophilia, and later released to house arrest.[54]

Goito in the Second RepublicEdit

In the early 1990s Operation clean hands or "Mani Pulite" brought an end to the extant political system in Italy, and all extant Italian parties either disappeared or were founded anew. With established parties by and large discredited Enzo Cartapati, a former Communist leader was elected mayor of Goito in 1991 for the newly established social democratic Democratic Party of the Left. In 1994 he was re-elected mayor for the Democrats of the Left. In the late 1990s the political scene in northern Italy was transformed by the emergence of a new kind of regionalist and populist political force, the Lega Lombarda, which attracted considerable support in Mantua province and in Goito. In 1998 the former Christian Democrat Pietro Marcazzan led a coalition of new centre-right forces centred on the Lega to victory and became the first centre-right mayor of Goito. Marcazzan's tenure was successful and he was reconfirmed mayor in 2002. In 2007, as Marcazzan left to pursue national-level politics, Anita Marchetti ran for mayoral office supported by Lega and Forza Italia and won the municipal election. Marchetti made the national news when she insisted admissions at the municipal kindergarten would from then onwards be reserved exclusively for "the children of Christian parents".[55] Marcazzan eventually returned to challenge Marchetti and was elected mayor for the third time in 2012. In 2017 the son of the late Socialist mayor Ilario Chiaventi, Pietro Chiaventi, was elected mayor at the head of a non-political, civic list promising to "turn a new page" for Goito.[56]

From the early 2000s, a substantial number of immigrants have settled in Goito and found work in the town's local industries. Some have acquired Italian citizenship in the process. As of 1 January 2020, 1.249 foreign citizens resided in Goito, amounting to 12.4% of the entire population of the commune. This number does not include foreign-born citizens who acquired citizenship after settling in Italy. By far the largest group of immigrants to Goito has come from the Indian State of the Punjab, and as of 2020 536 Indian citizens resided in Goito.[57] Most Indian immigrants to Goito are Sikh and are employed in the local dairy industry as either entrepreneurs or labouring farm-hands, and worship at a local gurdwara in Rivalta sul Mincio. In 2015 an amritdhari Sikh resident of Goito was fined for carrying a kirpan. The fine on the carrying of the kirpan was later upheld by Italy's higher appeal court, the Corte di Cassazione.[58] The Court's sentence has been interpreted by some as an infringement on the religious liberties of Sikhs and widely reported in international media as a ban on the kirpan.[59] In India, MP Gurjeet Singh Aulja met with Italian diplomats to discuss the affair and was assured no generalized ban on kirpans is operative.[60]

Notable sitesEdit

Religious edifices of noteEdit

  • Church of Saint Peter the Apostle
  • Church of Massimbona
  • Church of St. Mary Virgin and Martyr at Solarolo

Military edifices of noteEdit

Civic landmarksEdit

Twin townsEdit

Goito is twinned with:


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  3. ^ Data from Istat
  4. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  5. ^ Archivio giuridico Filippo Serafini (in Italian). Direzione dell'archivio giuridico. 1902.
  6. ^ "Itinerari Goitesi".
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  17. ^ See Grimaldi, M. "Sordello da Goito" in Dizionario Biografico deli Italiani, Vol. 93 (2018)
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  27. ^ See Anonymous La Storia dell'Anno 1735 divisa in Quattro Libri Amsterdam: Franceso Pitteri, 57-58 and Rapin de Thoyras, Continuation of the History of England from the Revolution to the Present Time London: Knapton, 1756 Vol.20 295
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  34. ^ Vignoli, M. "I patriot dell'alto Mantovano nel periodo di aggregazione alla provinca di Brescia" in Camerlenghi, E. Malavasi, M.A. & Mazzola, I. Op.Cit. 315
  35. ^ The fullest reconstruction is in Zangheri, R. Storia del Socialismo Italiano: volume secondo Dalla Prime Lotte in Valle Padana ai Fasci Siciliani , Torino: Giulio Einaudi, 1997, 89-97, 104-121
  36. ^ "Associazione Combattenti e Reduci".
  37. ^ For the opening of a "Fascio" in Goito see Vaini, M. Le origini del Fascismo a Mantova (1914-1922) Torino: Editori Riuniti, 1961, 158-159 n.87
  38. ^ Especially significant Cavazzoli, L. "Il Partito Nazionale Fascista a Mantova" in Beltri, M. Il Fascismo in Lombardia: politica, economia e societá, F. Angeli, 1989, 107-163. For further details see also Franzinelli, M. Squadristi: Protagonisti e Tecniche della Violenza Fascista Mondadori: Milano, 2003
  39. ^ "Figure del Fascismo" La Voce di Mantova 1 December 1922
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  41. ^ Bertolotti, M. "La Voce dei Ceti Medi alla corte dei Ras locali" accessed online at https://www.odg.mi.it/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/newtabloid-4-2014.pdf
  42. ^ "Il monumento al Bersagliere a Goito" Corriere della Sera 20 August 1926, "Il monumento al Bersagliere a Goito inaugurato dal Maresciallo Cadorna" Corriere della Sera 21 September 1926
  43. ^ "La Morte del Console Moschini: il cordoglio del Duce" Corriere della Sera 25 August 1934 and "Posata a Goito la prima pietra dell'asilo dedicato a G. Moschini" Corriere della Sera 20 March 1935
  44. ^ Bocca, G. "Quel Kamikaze stava coi nazisti" republic 02/03/1999 available online at https://ricerca.repubblica.it/repubblica/archivio/repubblica/1999/02/03/quel-kamikaze-stava-coi-nazisti.html
  45. ^ Bernstein, J.p-47 Thunderbolt Units of the Twelfth Air Force Oxford: Osprey, 2012, 157
  46. ^ Gatti, Fernanda Un giorno che non si dimentica accessed online at https://www.comune.goito.mn.it/it-it/vivere-il-comune/storia
  47. ^ Mahoney, K. Fifteenth Air Force against the Axis: combat missions over Europe during World War 2 Plymouth: Scarecrow Press, 2015, 385-6
  48. ^ Benfatti, C. La resistenza della province Mantovana 1943-1945 Mantova: Sommetti, 2005
  49. ^ "Il processo di Mantova control gli attentatori di Goito" Corriere dell'Informazione 24 Luglio 1952
  50. ^ "Il sindaco di Goito sospeso dalle sue funzioni" Corriere della Sera 28 Luglio 1954
  51. ^ "Quell'ex sindaco trafficante di armi" in Republica 20/09/1989 accessed online at https://ricerca.repubblica.it/repubblica/archivio/repubblica/1989/09/20/quell-ex-sindaco-trafficante-di-armi.html
  52. ^ "Chiuse a Goito le storiche pedi del Partito Communista e della CGIL" in La Voce di Mantova accessed online https://vocedimantova.it/provincia/chiuse-a-goito-le-storiche-sedi-del-partito-comunista-e-della-cgil/
  53. ^ "Operazione pulizia della Goito dei veleni" Corriere della Sera, 2 November 1989
  54. ^ "Pedofilia: Rabbi agli arresti domiciliari" in Gazzetta di Mantova 15 September 2005
  55. ^ "Accettiamo solo bimbi figli di Cristiani a Goito é scontro sull'asilo comunale" Repubblica24/02/2010 accessed online at https://ricerca.repubblica.it/repubblica/archivio/repubblica/2010/02/24/accettiamo-solo-bimbi-figli-di-cristiani-goito.html?ref=search
  56. ^ Elezioni comunali 2017, onda giovane a Goito con Chiaventi: «Adesso si volta pagina» Gazzetta di Mantova, 13/06/2017
  57. ^ "Cittadini Stranieri 2020 - Goito (MN)".
  58. ^ "La Cassazione: I migranti devono rispettare i nostri valori, resta la condanna al sikh di Goito". 15 May 2017.
  59. ^ "Italian court upholds ban on Sikhs carrying knives". BBC News. 15 May 2017.
  60. ^ "'Kirpan ban not for the community' | Chandigarh News - Times of India". The Times of India.


  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Goito". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 191.