Mount Medolano or of the Boat

Mount Medolano, profile

The hill Monte Medolano is the first Morainic formation which stretches out across the Plain of Medole. 

Despite its limited height, Monte Medolano has always represented a relevant strategic point for the control of the whole area called “Plain of Medole”, which, in the early 20 th century, was still a land of heath crossed by rows of mulberry trees. Its geomorphological structure made it the natural scene of important war events. 

On october 9 th 1706, during the War of the Spanish Succession, in this area of flatland surrounding the hill, Prince Filippo d’Assia Cassel’s Spanish army fought against the French army led by Count Medavy, who prevailed over his enemy. 

On August 5 th 1796, at dawn, in the course of the Napoleonic invasion, a clash broke out between the French and the Austrian armies near Monte Medolano, where Austrian General Wurmser had taken up his position. General Verdier, in command of the Napoleonic cavalry, directed his attack towards the hill and took hold of it within a few hours. 

In this battle Bonaparte experimented with the tactics of the“manoeuvre sur les derrières” (strategic envelopment or encirclement), which was to become the decisive key to Napoleon’s future successes. 

63 years later, on the morning of 24 th June 1859, Marshal of France Mac-Mahon, at the head of II Army Corps, moved from Castiglione delle Stiviere towards Cavriana and ran into the Austrian army close to Ca’ Morino. Marshal Mac-Mahon immediately advanced towards Monte Medolano; from there he observed and directed the whole operation. 

These events are commemorated in a plaque on the wall of the manor house of the nearby “Corte della Barcaccia” (Court of the Boat). 


This place represents the foundation of our historical memory: by courtesy of Mrs Emilia Perteghella and the contribution of the volunteers of Associazione Storica Medolese (Historical Association in Medole) tourists can now visit it in the respectful memory of those events that 150 years ago shocked Italy but, at the same time, made its making as a nation possible.