On the banks of the Po…

The origin of the name Polesine is not very clear. There are two suggestions that have long been put forward by local historians. The first hypothesis is that the name comes from the “Polesini” or the piles of sand that the Po leaves behind after each flooding or inundation… According to the second one, the name is made up of two words – “Po-Leso” (Po-Damaged). In other words, repeatedly destroyed by the river…

The only sure thing is that both the Cavallino Bianco and the Antica Corte Pallavicina Relais, like all of our activities, were established and are located extremely close to the Mighty River.

Being close to the river allows us to have a climate like nowhere else in the world, particularly well suited to the curing of our salumi and to the cultivation of our vegetables and our vineyards. The other side of the coin is that we have to live with the floods that, with increasing frequency, in recent years come to keep us company.

But the relationship that the Spigaroli family has always had with the River Po has never been confrontational. Ever since the time when Granddad “Vigion” operated the ferry that linked the Parmense and the Lombardy sides we have always held it in high regard. Only someone who has lived in these damp, rich lands can really understand what it means to be “Someone from the Lowlands”.


Even during those terrible times of the disastrous floods of October 2000 no-one ever lost their temper or ever despaired. Everyone knew that in the end our “Great Friend the River” would go back to its riverbed and life would return to normal.

Even though in the back of our minds we thought that Polesine could have been destroyed, along the banks of the Po, as in the days of Don Camillo and Peppone, no-one ever believed it would happen. As Baldassarre Molossi once wrote: “rather than let the water pass, the people of the Lowlands would have drunk it all. And for big drinkers of Lambrusco that was really too much ….”

Three generations of the Spigaroli family have lived in this place that was once referred to as a “Depressed Area”. Now this term is just a memory. The fourth generation is on the launch pad. The story continues…

Massimo and Luciano Spigaroli sons of Marcello and Enrica, grand maestros of life and work.