The territory of the Piana Rotaliana
The Piana Rotaliana is the largest plain in Trentino, a triangle with a base along the Adige river and apex at the Rocchetta pass, bounded by Monte Fausior (1550 m) to the south and by Monte Monticello (1857 m) to the north.
The area with a late ancient word was called Medium, Mezium, Mez, which means “plain” thus identifying the main centers: Mezzocorona and Mezzolombardo, which over the centuries changed their name several times. The first referred to “that part of the flat land placed under the crown (the crack in the rock where the Castle of San Gottardo is located), for the second to the” plain area near the church of San Pietro Apostolo “(Medium Sancti Petri). The political order of the Piana Rotaliana during the 12th-13th century determined the formation of a border at the Noce stream between the Tyrolean jurisdiction of Mezzocorona and the princely bishopric of Mezzolombardo, therefore the part of the plain (medium) subject to the count of Tyrol took the names of Cronmetz, Deutschmetz, German Mezo, Neumetz, that of the Prince Bishop of Trento was defined as “Lombard” medieval term for “Italian” and known as Medium sancti Petri, Mezo Lombard, Welschmetz, Altmetz. If Campo Rotaliano is remembered in 577 A.D. in the History of the Lombards by Paolo Diacono (Book III, Chapter IX), the adjective “Rotaliano” has known many interpretative proposals over time, one of which would interpret it as “plain of water”, allowing it to be connected to the presence of the Noce stream and of the Adige river, but also of stretches of water and marshes.
The land that makes up the Piana Rotaliana was formed thanks to the repeated alluvial contributions of the Noce stream which, until the rectification of 1852, flowed into the Adige river at the town of San Michele all’Adige. The arable land is shallow and ranges from 30 to 90 centimeters, it presents alternating layers of siliceous sands (lèa) and silts, in layers with pebbles of calcareous, volcanic or other types of rocks. The smooth stones of the stream guarantee perfect drainage of the soil, which dries quickly after the rains, avoiding dangerous stagnation.
The crown of mountains around the Piana Rotaliana plays the dual role of protecting it from the cold winds that blow from the north and absorbing solar radiation during the day, returning the heat at night, creating an ideal microclimate for the cultivation of the Teroldego vine.