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Via Macchina Fissa 107 Borgo Virgilio
46034 Mantova, Italy
The… what? The story behind the name
Maybe we need to say what “La Macchina Fissa” means. Many people want to know, but nobody can guess the meaning. La Macchina Fissa means “the Fixed Machine or Immobile Motor, so don’t worry if you know a bit of Italian but can’t make sense of it. Italians can’t either. It was built in the late 18th or early 19th century and was the old pump house used for pumping water from the Mincio river into the canals that irrigated the surrounding fields. This area south of Mantova was once upon a time only swamps and murky water, but after centuries of landworks beginning in Roman times but really serious after the Renaissance, namely levy construction and canal digging, they have become very flat, arable low fields. The only problem was (and continues to be) that it doesn’t rain much in the summer growing season.
Originally operated by mules, in the 19th century a new steam engine (or probably two, guessing from marble slabs and architectural clues left in the house) was added so the mules could rest and people could constantly add coal or wood to the fires instead of feeding beasts and cleaning up their poo. In 1929 the new pumps and beautiful water holding station of Bagnolo San Vito was completed, and by 1930 La Macchina Fissa was no longer in use. There were once five families living here and the house was divided in an ad-hoc way into separate apartments. Even today guests find it easy to get lost in the maze of 20 rooms, stairs, and lofts.
Take a trip down memory lane… – Dove siamo stati
Mailing Address – Indirizzo Postale
Via Virgiliana 65 Borgo Virgilio, 46034 Mantova, Italy
Sede legale Associazione
Via Provanone, 8585, Crevalcore, 40014 Bologna, Italy