Adige (river)

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The Adige is a river rising in the county of South Tyrol and flowing into the Adriatic Sea just north of the Po delta. In it's upper reaches, within the region called "Alto-Adige," the river has cut deep valleys, the first of which is the Val Venosta, running east and west; below Meran, the river runs in a generally southerly direction past Bolzano and into the prince-bishopric of Trient; and, after issuing into the Venetian Plain, it turns eastward again toward the Adriatic. The total length is 250 mi., of which 43 per cent is upon the plain. The total area within the Adige basin is 5,580 sq.m, one-fourth on the plain.

Until it debouches from the mountains just north of Verona, where it enters the republic of Venice, the Adige is flanked by narrow plains, which in some cases give way entirely to precipitous gorges. The principle tributaries are the Passirio, at Meran; the Isarco, at Bolzano; and the Noce and Avisio, above Trient. The Isarco, extending northeast from Bolzano, provides the upper part of the ancient trans-Alpine route from Italy to Germany via the Brenner Pass. Above Brixen, a lateral valley extends eastward through which flows the Rienza, tributary of the Isarco.

The Adige is in maximum volume in June and July, because of the melting snows of the Alps, and this source also accounts for the water's low temperature. Floods are common. The river is of little value for navigation or fishing purposes, but in the mountain section there are many waterwheels contributing to manufactures.