1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Adige

ADIGE (Ger. Etsch, anc. Athesis), a considerable river in North Italy. The true source of the Adige is in some small lakes on the summit of the Reschen Scheideck Pass (4902 ft.), and it is swollen by several other streams, near Glurns, where the roads over the Ofen and the Stelvio Passes fall in. It thence flows east to Meran, and then south-east to Botzen, where it receives the Eisak (6 ft.), and becomes navigable. It then turns south-west, and, after receiving the Noce (right) and the Avisio (left), leaves Tirol, and enters Lombardy, 13 m. south of Rovereto. After traversing North Italy, in a direction first southerly and then easterly, it falls into the Adriatic at Porto Fossone, a few miles north of the mouth of the Po. The most considerable towns on its banks (south of Botzen) are Trent and Rovereto, in Tirol, and Verona and Legnago, in Italy. It is a very rapid river, and subject to sudden swellings and overflowings, which cause great damage to the surrounding country. It is navigable from the heart of Tirol to the sea. In Lombardy it has a breadth of 200 yds., and a depth of 10 to 16 ft., but the strength of the current renders its navigation very difficult, and lessens its value as a means of transit between Germany and Italy. The Adige has a course of about 220 m., and, after the Po, is the most important river in Italy. In Roman times it flowed, in its lower course, much farther north than at present, along the base of the Euganean hills, and entered the sea at Brondolo. In A.D. 587 the river broke its banks, and the main stream took its present course, but new streams opened repeatedly to the south, until now the Adige and the Po form conjointly one delta.  (W. A. B. C.)