Corbetta, Lombardy

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Città di Corbetta
Coat of arms of Corbetta
Coat of arms
Corbetta is located in Italy
Location of Corbetta in Italy
Coordinates: 45°28′N 8°55′E / 45.467°N 8.917°E / 45.467; 8.917Coordinates: 45°28′N 8°55′E / 45.467°N 8.917°E / 45.467; 8.917
Country Italy
Region Lombardy
Province Province of Milan (MI)
Frazioni Battuello, Castellazzo de' Stampi, Cerello, Soriano; locality: Pobbia, Isola Bellaria, Preloreto
 • Mayor Antonio Balzarotti
 • Total 18 km2 (7 sq mi)
Elevation 140 m (460 ft)
Population (31 December 2004)
 • Total 15,520
 • Density 860/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
Demonym Corbettesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 20011
Dialing code 02
Patron saint San Vittore
Saint day 8 May
Website Official website

Corbetta is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Milan in the Italian region Lombardy.

Corbetta is also home of the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Miracles where according to town legend, a miracle occurred in 1555, when Jesus emerged from a painting of the Infant and healed a local deaf child. The church became a destination for pilgrimages. Pope Paul the 4th called the Virgin of Corbetta the Madonna of Miracles.

Its population of 17,365 people (M 8,585; F 8,780) call themselves "corbettesi." [1]


Physical geography[edit]

The city of Corbetta has a planned layout, which is typical of the towns of the Po Valley, with forested areas and cultivations occupying roughly three-quarters of the municipality's territory. In terms of elevation, the settlement is very flat; the lowest point is 127 metres (417 ft) above sea level and the highest point is 147 metres (482 ft), a difference of only 20 metres (66 ft).

A noteworthy aspect of the town is that it is filled with many small streams, helping to shape the typical landscape of Corbetta; these rivers are now in the Parco Agricolo Sud Milano (Natural Preservation South of Milan).

Because of its proximity to the Naviglio Grande, Corbetta is a member of the Polo dei Navigli (i.e. the cultural area surrounding the aforementioned canal) instituted by the Province of Milan.

Corbetta received the honorary title of city with a presidential decree on February 5, 1988.


Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average High (°C) 5.4 8.1 13.0 17.6 21.8 26.3 29.2 27.6 23.9 17.4 10.6 6.4 17.3
Average Low (°C) 0.8 2.7 6.1 9.6 13.3 17.1 19.9 19.0 16.2 11.2 6.0 1.6 10.3
Precipitation (mm) 79 73 77 47 34 20 7 35 76 83 127 109 2007
Hours of Sunshine (avg) 2.9 3.7 4.6 5.6 6.9 7.1 8.1 7.3 5.2 4.1 2.4 2.3 5
Prevailing Wind (dir.-knots) NW 2.3 SE 2.4 SE 2.6 SE 2.8 SW 2.7 SW 2.6 SW 2.5 SE 2.4 E 2.3 E 2.3 SE 2.3 NW 2.2 2.4

Corbetta exhibits the usual climate of Italy's Northern plains: cold winters and warm summers, with rainfall being most common in autumn and spring. The municipality is in Climatic zone E.

Political geography[edit]

Corbetta's territory borders Magenta to the West, Robecco sul Naviglio to the Southwest, Cassinetta di Lugagnano and Albairate to the South, Cisliano to the Southeast, Vittuone to the East, and Santo Stefano Ticino and Arluno to the North.

Inside the borders, there are four frazioni (administrative subdivisions): Soriano, Castellazzo de' Stampi, Cerello and Battuello (the last two united in a unique frazione formally called Cerello-Battuello).

Milan, the largest nearby metropolis, is roughly 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Corbetta, but for the dispensation of services, the most important center could be considered the bordering settlement of Magenta.


Pre-Roman and Roman Period[edit]

It is quite certain, looking at glass crockery found in the old castle's well, that the first houses in Corbetta were built between the 7th and 6th centuries BC, when a small community of Celto-Ligurian tribes inhabited the area. In the 4th century BC, Gaulo-Celtic tribes called Insubers arrived. In the 2nd century BC, a Roman colony was established with the goal of defending Milan and the territories to the east of the Ticino River from the incursions of Gauls and Burgunds. In fitting with the defensive purpose of the settlement, city walls were constructed that surrounded a third of the local castle. Archeological sites are visible near the local church, including: a Roman altar dedicated to Jupiter and Mani (Sacred Matrons - divinities who were protectors of the family). Archaeologists also found coins displaying the heads of Julius Caesar, Claudius and Trajan. The city's proximity to Milan, which subsequently became an imperial see, favored the development of Curia Picta (i.e. the Roman name for Corbetta), which indicates that there probably was a tribunal located in the settlement (since curia means "tribunal").

Medieval Period[edit]

Henry the Lion submits himself to Frederick I, Barbarossa, 1181.

As a result of fall of the Roman Empire and, more particularly, the siege of Milan led by Uraia, grandson of Vitige, head of the Goths in 539 AD, Corbetta received exiles coming from the much larger besieged city. It was at this time that the spread of Christianity reached Northern Italy and, thus, Corbetta; this is attested through the discovery (in 1971) of a pre-Christian Basilica under the church of Saint Vittore. In 569, the arrival of the Lombards brought the first formal legal documents that expressly cite the presence of the village. During the 9th century, the village and the castle of Corbetta passed under the lordship of the Archbishop of Milan. In 1037, hostilities between the Archbishop of Milan Ariberto d'Intimiano and the Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II the Salic began. This was significant for Corbetta, because the Holy Roman Emperor, seeing the difficulty of laying siege to Milan, with its multitude of defenders, instead, occupied Corbetta and its castle with his troops. A legend exists that while sleeping in the castle of Corbetta, Conrad received a vision from Saint Ambrosius, the patron of Milan, who told him to leave Lombardy.

A century after the occupation by Conrad in 1154, another Emperor came to Corbetta: the famous Frederick I, Barbarossa who burned the village during his fight with the united municipalities of Northern Italy. Similar fates befell the nearby towns of Rosate, Abbiategrasso, and Magenta and, also, a great part of the Milanese region. In a document of the 1162 - the famous actum in loco Corbetta, Frederico imperatore regnante - with which said Passavino (called Burro), ancestor of the Borri family, professed to live in law, Curia Picta comes for the first time officially indicated with the name of Corbetta, even if in it brands of the same year, with which Pope Alexander III confirmation to the archbishop Umberto da Pirovano and to its church all rights and possessions, does not make mention of the place and the castle, than he supposed himself already had been lost in favour of the Empire. Is no notice that in the centuries Corbetta is called Curbitum from the historian (as said Wippone in his Gesta Chuonradi II imperatoris, Capitulum XXXVI - De miraculo, quod accidit in die pentecostes) and Corio-Picta from others like Landolfo Seniore, or Curia Pincta Sancti Ambrosii or also Castrum Sancti Ambrosii. Other hypothesis were formulated in our times, inclining to explain the name of the city with the two terms gaul-Celtic of cur (ring) and betda (forest): a fortification encircled from a ditch. The population of corbetta fought in the rows of from Milan army in 1239 against Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor that, defeated to Rosate, the Po flows newly with its troops on Corbetta, exceeding then and catching up later on the Tuscany.

The period of the Viscount[edit]

Galeazzo I Visconti

Following the rising in Milan in 1270, Corbetta became part of the Visconti's dominion, which was almost a return to being under the lordship of an archbishop, as Ottone Visconti was elected archbishop in 1262, effectively making him lord of Milan.

In 1275 Scarsio of Lanfranco from the Borri family, the general captain of Milanese noble exiles, was awarded many estates in the borough of Corbetta for services rendered to Otto and Matteo I Visconti. In July 1289 the representatives of the Republic of Milan and the Marquis Guglielmo of Monferrato convened in Corbetta with the aim of creating an alliance, which would be anti-viscount in function. In 1292 Matteo I Visconti resumed power in Milan, and Corbetta gathered an army to head to Novara with the aim of conquering it. With the success of the son of the Visconti, Galeazzo was established as the mayor of Novara. Here in 1299, supporters of Monferrato conspired to conquer the city: Galeazzo Visconti escaped and took shelter in the castle of Corbetta.

At the end of the 13th century famous painter Simone da Corbetta created frescoes in the church and cloister of Saint Maria dei Serviti in Milan, now conserved in the Pinacoteca di Brera. In 4 January 1363 Magenta and Corbetta were conquered by a British company hired by the Marquis of Monferrato. In 1376 Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Eral of Virtù, was sent by his father Galeazzo II against the army of the Monferrato in an ill-fated campaign that forced the Visconti to withdraw to Corbetta where he was besieged.

Gian Galeazzo became the first Duke of Milan in 1385 by removing Corbetta from the jurisdiction of the Burgaria, placing it under the Podestà of Milan's together with Cisliano, Sedriano, Bareggio, San Vito, Bestazzo and San Pietro di Bestazzo. This political grouping threatened to collapse due to the terrible governing by his son Giovanni Maria. He was killed by his opponents on the threshold of the church of San Gottardo in Milan on the 16 May 1412. In the 14th century 4 counties combined to form two: Seprio-Burgaria and Martesana-Barzana, under the government of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor becoming simply Seprio and Martesana.

Sforza's government[edit]

Ludovico Sforza, called the Moor

With the climb to the power of Francesco I Sforza, Corbetta changed the lordship and was faithful also to the new princes. Foreign politics of Ludovico the Moor were not happy how much that inner one: in 1499 the French troops of Louis XII invaded the milanese territory and the Corbetta's one, finding weak resistance in the hired Swiss mercenaries paid from the Moor for the defense of the duky of Milan. For this the Sforza was sheltered at first in Germany from where, a year after in the February 1500, with the aid of the imperial ones, succeeded to resume the government of the duky one being held it but for single two months: when the French defeated the troops from Milan to Novara sent him prisoner in France where he died. Louis XII returned landlord of Milan but for short time. In 1513 the commander of Swiss troops, Matteo Schiner, bishop of Sion and cardinal, hired from Massimiliano Sforza, first son of Ludovico Sforza, reconquered the duky one he yielded it to the Sforza family. Two years after, Francis I of France resumed Milan, passing the government from Charles of Bourbon to Odetto of Foix, Earl of Lautrec. For the last time Milan was given back for merit of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and of Pope Lion X to one other son of the Moor, Francesco II, that dead in 19 November 1535. At this day the territories of the milanese duky passed definitively under the imperial dominion.

The Spanish dominion[edit]

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor annexet Milan to the Spanish dominions inaugurating one of the more ominous periods for the city of Milan. Although the Spanish were bad governors and very bad administrators, to check the deleterious influence of new the dominators gave to the greater impulse two great archbishops, Carlo and Federico Borromeo. In the 17 April 1555 laughed them the famous event of the first miracle (cfr. The Archiepiscopal Sanctuary of the Vergine Blessed soul of the Miracles). In 22 November 1577 Carlo Borromeo, in occasion of its visit, consecrated solemn greater the new bells of the church and trained the cresima in front of the church. Four years after, in 1581, on the 17 June, is remembered another visit of the cardinal. In 1582 the population of Corbetta revolted herself to the dominion of the Spanish, attacking them in their quarters and plundering also the church that was consecrated after the disasters, on 29 July of the same year. In 1631 the German military services, of return from the siege of Mantua, vented own greed with the pillage of the country and in 1650 the castle, already partially ruined from the supported onslaughts, came nearly entire dismantled and the little remainders used built some palaces in the nearplace. To this period laughed them the construction of some historical buildings in Garibaldi's Lane, defined "Quartieri Spagnoli" o "degli Umiliati" as they turned out of property of the company of the Humiliated friars of Brera.

From the Austrian period to the conquest of Napoleon[edit]

Maria Theresia of Austria

The first period of the Austrian domination under Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor (1711) and Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor was not much happier of the precedence and not even more Pacific. For the expansionistic sights of Philip V of Spain and his allied Charles Emmanuel III of Savoy, the duky of Milan came occupied newly from the Spanish but, with the peace of Vienna (1736), the state of Milan returned to Austria of Maria Theresia. In this period, Corbetta is embellished of its great baroques villas and finds again the lost splendour. But in 15 May 1796, General Napoleon Bonaparte entered Milan, winning the Austrians, succeeding itself to the government of the I^ and the II^ Cisalpina Republic, the Italian Republic and at last of the Reign of Italy in which Milan has a new period of political and civil prominence. To Corbetta it comes suppressed the Chapter of the church and it comes erected the parochial church.

From the Battle of Magenta to Italian Unity[edit]

On 3 June 1859, to the eve of the battle of Magenta, the Massari Villa to Corbetta come one of the headquarters of the Austrian Feldmareshall Ferencz Gyulaj, rear then to Abbiategrasso on 5 June after that the French soldiers (46,883 men) with a small group of Piedmontese bersaglieres (634 men) had defeated the second "armata" of Austrians (55,792 men) allowing to Vittorio Emanuele II and Napoleone III to enter triumphant to Milan at 8 June of the same year. The 2° the division of Austro-Hungarian cavalry of 7° Corpo d'Armata at the orders of Feldmareshall Lieutenant von Lilia, comprising the brigades von Weigl and von Dondorf, was quartered in the garden and the stables of the Castle, while in the fraction of Cerello the regiment of cavalry of reservoir of Eral Alexander von Mensdorff and to Castellazzo de' Stamps the brigade earl Palffy: all these forces did not come engaged in way directed in the military operations. The popular memory narrates that in the evening, on ending of the battle of Magenta, numerous skidded Austro-Hungarian soldiers in route towards Corbetta came caught up from " zuav frances cont the face from demòni" (trans "french zouaves with a deamons faces") puts into effect them in the public square (actuallyu Piazza del Popolo) and passed for the crews or captive facts there.

From the end of the 19th century[edit]

In 1866 a body of the National Guard was garrisoned in the Castle: 150 men divided in four squads under the command of captain Dario Chierichetti. Between 1885 and 1889 in various countries of from Milan numerous agrarian strikes were recorded. With the peasants reduced to hunger from the "pendizzi" (debits but also "appendici" in contracts of rent) and from low wages, also exasperated because of ill-fated vintage years and unexpected deaths of silk worms, often the only source of maintenance for their families came down in public square against the landowners. In particular in 1889, after Casorezzo, the labourers of Ossona moved, Arluno, Santo Stefano Ticino, Vittuone, Sedriano, Bareggio etc. On Sunday, 19 May 1889, in front of the Town hall of Corbetta (then situated in Via Cavour), the police officers shot on the crowd killing one person, injuring at least seven and arresting twenty-one. In 1891 the new church was inaugurated, but the collapse of the bell tower at the costt of nine lives (2 June 1902) delayed the completion until to 1908. During the "Great War", 158 soldiers from Corbetta died.

In 1921 the municipality had 7,689 inhabitants. The country's urban planning changed radically due to industrialization, with workers migrating to those towns where industries sprang up. In Corbetta, many workers still found employment in agriculture.

In August 1944 on orders of German captain Theodor Saevecke, responsible for the Massacre of Loreto square in Milan, eight civilians including the local partisan Pierino Beretta were killed as reprisal for partisan attacks on German troops. The municipality of Corbetta has today dedicated a public square in the center and a monument to Beretta.

After the end of World War II Corbetta experienced a state of well-being like all Italian cities because of the economic boom and of the consequent introduction of new technologies. Corbetta's importance increased, and it became one of the greater naturalistic and cultural centers of the Province of Milan, especially in the 1980s. In 1981 Corbetta was twinned with the French municipality of Corbas, in the lionese. On 5 February 1988 Corbetta was designated a city by the president of the Italian Republic Francesco Cossiga. In 2002 Corbetta was twinned again, this time with Târgovişte, a Rumanian city of 90.000 inhabitants. Today Corbetta is consolidating more and more like cultural and naturalistic pole, and in order to render these prerogatives in 2007 still more realistic it has taken to the way the plan "ecosustainability", than the scope is proposed to render the common note ecosostenibile to low environmental impact them.


In the latest census of 2001, Corbetta had 13,735 inhabitants, subdivided into 6,664 males and 7,071 females. Throughout its known history, the city has usually exhibited moderate growth. A peak in population growth occurred from 1881 to 1911, during which time the local industrialization brought in new citizens and new workplaces. There was a period of stasis in population growth during the two World Wars. A resumption in growth occurred with an economic boom (from 1951 to 1971). The two most recent censuses have each recorded a small increase of approximately 500 residents. From 2001 until the present, the population has grown to 15,500, with the construction of new residential complexes in the city and its frazioni.

Foreign citizens in Corbetta[edit]

Corbetta receives in its territory a small community of Romanians that are dislocated in several zones of the country, with some classified constructions given exclusively to those who to all the effects are city of European Union. This community has been the root cause of the twinning with the city of Târgoviște.


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