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Mincio a Peschiera.jpg
The Mincio at Peschiera del Garda.
Physical characteristics
 • locationPinzolo, Italy (Sarca), Peschiera del Garda, Italy (Mincio)
 • elevation770 m (2,530 ft) (Sarca); 65 m (213 ft) (Mincio)
 • coordinates
45°04′16″N 10°58′55″E / 45.07111°N 10.98194°E / 45.07111; 10.98194Coordinates: 45°04′16″N 10°58′55″E / 45.07111°N 10.98194°E / 45.07111; 10.98194
Length194 km (121 mi) (total); 78 km (48 mi) (Sarca) 41 km (25 mi) (Lake Garda); 75 km (47 mi) (Mincio)
Basin size2,859 km2 (1,104 sq mi)
 • average60 m3/s (2,100 cu ft/s)
Basin features
ProgressionPoAdriatic Sea

The Mincio (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmintʃo]; Latin: Mincius, Ancient Greek: Minchios, Μίγχιος, Lombard[disambiguation needed]: Mens, Venetian: Menzo) is a river in the Lombardy region of northern Italy.

The bridge in Peschiera del Garda where Lake Garda discharges into the Mincio, denoting the beginning of the river.

The river is the main outlet of Lake Garda. It is a part of the Sarca-Mincio river system which also includes the river Sarca and the Lake Garda. The river starts from the south-eastern tip of the lake at the town of Peschiera del Garda and then flows from there for about 65 kilometres (40 mi) past Mantua and into the river Po. From Lake Garda until it reaches Pozzolo, it forms the boundary between Veneto and Lombardy.

According to the Greco-Roman mythology, the River Mincius was the child of the Lake Benacus.[1]

In the Etruscan period, the Mincio probably joined with the river Tartaro and flowed into the sea Adriatic Sea into the pit Filistina,[2] in Roman Republic it was made to flow into the Po with three branches from Mantua by Quintus Curius Hostilius, subsequently reunited in a single embanked in 1198 on a project by Alberto Pitentino and regulated its course with several dams (Ponte dei Mulini, Mantua) and the Governolo) dam to make it navigable,[3][4] to prevent Mantua from being flooded by the flooding of the Po and to improve air quality.[5][6]

At Mantua the Mincio was widened in the late 12th century, forming a series of three (originally four) lakes that skirt the edges of the old city. The original settlement here, dating from about 2000 BC, was on an island in the Mincio.

The former lower part of the course of the Mincio flowed into the Adriatic Sea near Adria until the breach at Cucca in 589, roughly following the course of the river that is currently known by the name of Canal Bianco; it had been a waterway from the sea to the lake until then.

In 452 CE, Attila the Hun received an embassy sent by the Western Roman Emperor Valentinian III near this river. The Roman delegation was led by Pope Leo I. After this meeting, Attila withdrew from Italy.[7]

The last act of Verdi's opera Rigoletto is set just outside Mantua, at an inn on the banks of the Mincio.


  1. ^ Virgil, Aeneid, 10.163
  2. ^ Cardinali, Francesco (1823). Dei Canali Navigabili del Padre Don Paolo Frisi p.269 in Nuova raccolta d'autori italiani che trattano del moto dell'acque, Volume 6, 1823, curato da Francesco Cardinali. Biblioteca Pubblica di New York. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  3. ^ Bertazzoli, Gabriele (1609). Discorso del Sig Gabriele Bertazzolo ... Mantova, 1609. University of Michigan. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  4. ^ Cardinali, Francesco (1825). Introduzione preliminare storica alla trattazione dei canali navigabili pp.14-15 in Nuova raccolta d'autori italiani che trattano del moto dell'acque... Volume 4, 1825, curato da Francesco Cardinali. Harvard University. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  5. ^ Della sistemazione dei laghi di Mantova per liberare la città dalle inondazioni e per migliorarne l'aria e la navigazione Elia Lombardini, pp. 415-437 in Giornale dell'I.R. Istituto Lombardo di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti e Biblioteca Italiana Tomo V, Milano, 1853. Oxford University. 1833. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  6. ^ LA VERA DESCRITIONE DI TUTTA LA LOMBARDIA... 1652. I.G.M. Istituto Geografico Militare. Archived from the original on 15 December 2014.
  7. ^ Kelly, Christopher (2009). The End of Empire: Attila the Hun and the Fall of Rome. New York: W. W. Norton. p. 262. ISBN 978-0-393-06196-3.
  • (in Italian) Rubis Zemella: La mia Polesella perduta, printed by his own (1992) and reprinted by A.V.I.S. di Polesella (1998).

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