The history of Dovarese Island is difficult to reconstruct because of the few documents available, but in these a particularly riotous population often emerges, scarcely inclined to respect the authorities. A combative populace that made necessary the construction of the prisons we find in the inner courtyard of the town hall.

Probably rebuilt at the same time as the square and related structures, the prisons also housed numerous brigands who often passed through the village from the river trade landing. Dovarese Island’s small land area and frequent flooding made the population more devoted to trade and crafts rather than agriculture. The river landing was of paramount importance for these trade exchanges for the whole area since going upstream beyond Dovarese Island, the current made navigation not very easy. Small merchant boats with landings at Cavallatico brought trade, especially in seeds, but they were also vehicles for miscreants who were often accompanied to prisons by customs control forces. The convicts left evidence by carving into the plaster of the vault of one of the low keel boats used for river navigation.

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