Friendship since: 1974
Population: approx. 4.800
Location: The municipality is located about 21 kilometres southeast of Padua on the Bacchiglione, not far from the lagoon city of Venice. It is the only place in Italy that is one meter below sea level.
Mayor: Roberto Franco
Social Media: @commune-di-pontelongo
Establishing the friendship
Friendly encounters have been taking place between Bietigheim-Bissingen and Pontelongo since 1974.
The Kolpings Family Bietigheim-Bissingen was founded on July 19, 1953. At the end of the 1960s and beginning of the 1970s, first contacts with Italian guest workers were made through colleagues, through the St. Laurentius parish and through soccer. The Kolpings Family has a recreational soccer team. During a celebration in 1974, the idea of playing a soccer game in Pontelongo came up. At Pentecost the time had come. A short time later the return visit took place.
The other exchange visits then traditionally always took place over Pentecost. The families visit each other alternately every year, one year in Pontelongo, the next year in Bietigheim-Bissingen, a tradition that is still upheld today.
Pontelongo (earlier spelling Ponte lungo = long bridge) is documented for the first time in a document from 1150. The place then belonged to Benedictine monks, whose buildings are still partially preserved between Pontelongo and the neighbouring Corezzola.
The Benedictine foundation of Pontelongo was also Austro-Hungarian for a time in the 17th century, but the Venetian rulers who exerted their influence here for a long time and who most likely shaped the development were decisive. One encounters Venetian culture and art everywhere: in the town hall, where there are ceiling paintings or the delicate frescoes in Pompeii style on the walls, on the buildings with columns and artistically designed balconies or on the larger than life sculptures, the streets and squares decorate.
The community, 21 kilometres south of Padua, does not have much industry. Founded around the year 1000 AD, it has always been mostly agricultural. This has only changed a bit in the past few decades when a sugar factory set up shop here. Then came other industrial companies.
Villa Foscarini Erizzo - The town hall was built in the Venetian style
Church of St. Andrea with the bell tower (Campanile)
Downstream of the Bacchiglione one can visit the fishing town of Chioggia and the beach in Sottomarina.
A trip to the cities of Padua and Venice is worthwhile. The well-known health resorts with their thermal baths in the region around Abano Terme are not far either.
Culture, Sports and leisure opportunities
Pontelongo offers various cultural events. Events such as exhibitions, rock concerts, car fairs, the boat festival, church processions, grocer's market and sporting events take place on the "Piazza del Popolo" every weekend in May.
There are numerous sports clubs in Pontelongo, such as soccer, basketball and volleyball. There is also a bowling green and a beach volleyball court.