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Legnàn  (Lombard)
Comune di Legnano
Basilica Church of San Magno.
Coat of arms of Legnano
Coat of arms
Legnano within the Province of Milan
Legnano within the Province of Milan
Location of Legnano
Legnano is located in Italy
Location of Legnano in Italy
Legnano is located in Lombardy
Legnano (Lombardy)
Coordinates: 45°36′N 08°55′E / 45.600°N 8.917°E / 45.600; 8.917Coordinates: 45°36′N 08°55′E / 45.600°N 8.917°E / 45.600; 8.917
Metropolitan cityMilan (MI)
 • MayorGianbattista Fratus
 • Total17.68 km2 (6.83 sq mi)
199 m (653 ft)
 • Total60,177
 • Density3,400/km2 (8,800/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0331
Patron saintSt. Magnus
Saint dayNovember 5
WebsiteOfficial website

Legnano (Italian pronunciation: [leɲˈɲaːno];[3] Legnanese: Legnàn [leˈɲãː] or Lignàn[a]) is an Italian town and comune in the north-westernmost part of the Metropolitan City of Milan, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from central Milan.[5] With 60,259, it is the thirteenth-most populous township in Lombardy. Legnano is located in the Alto Milanese [it] and is crossed by the Olona river.[6]

The history of Legnano and its municipal area has been traced back to the 1st millennium BC via archaeological evidence.[7] The town was established in 1261.[8]

Because of the historic victory of the Lombard League over Frederick Barbarossa at Legnano, it is the only town other than Rome named in the Italian national anthem.[9] Every year the people of Legnano commemorate the battle.

Geography and Climate[edit]

Moorland near the Malpensa Farmhouse [it], for which the Milan Malpensa Airport was named, in autumn.

The comune of Legnano has an area of 12.72 square kilometers (4.91 sq mi), has an elevation of 192–227 meters (630–745 ft) above sea level,[10] and is seismically classified [it] in Zone 4 (Irrelevant seismology).[11] The town is located within the Olona valley [it], south of the Varesine Prealps [it]. The valley soil is mainly composed of sand, gravel, and clay.[12] A thin layer of humus also used to coat the valley, rendering it a moorland useless to agriculture.[13]

The Olona river, which cuts Legnano into two near-equally sized portions, has a number of deviations both natural, like the Olonella [it], and artificial. The latter of these are the diversionary channels and levees that encase much of the river as it flows through Legnano, especially around the former Cantoni [it] and Dell'Acqua [it] cotton mills. These were built because the Olona was prone to damaging floods,[14][15] but consequently made the Olona one of the most polluted rivers in Italy. The pollution of the river is gradually lessening, however,[16][17] while the last damaging flood occurred in 13 September 1995.[18]


According to the climatic classification of Italian comunes [it], Legnano is in Zone E with a rating of 2451 GR/G.[19] Due to its location in the upper Po Valley, Legnano has a Continental climate with cold winters characterized by many days of snowfall and fog. Summers are hot humid, and moderately wet; temperatures can exceed 30 °C (86 °F) and humidity 80%. That humidity persists for the entire year because of precipitation brought on by cyclones originating in the Mediterranean or in the Russian north.[20] That precipitation itself remains in the Po Valley because of its poor ventilation.[21]

Data from the Milan Malpensa meteorological station [it] indicates that, based on the more than thirty years (1961–1990) of reference accumulated by the World Meteorological Organization, that the average temperature of the Milan area the coldest month, January, is −4 °C (25 °F) and the that of the hottest month, July, is 28 °C (82 °F). Rainfall averages at 1,000-millimetre (39 in) and has peaks in spring and autumn, countered by a relative drop during the winter.[22][23]


Roman finds, dating to the 1st century AD, discovered in Legnano in 1925–26

The toponymy of the name "Legnano" is uncertain, as the early settlement was known by several names, but it is obvious that Legnano's name is older than that of the surrounding municipalities. "Legnano" could have originated as a predial adjective, formed from the name of the most prominent landowner in the area. In Legnano's case, this landowner's name could have been Lemennius or Limenius, to which was adjoined the suffix -anum. This would confirm the complete Latinization of the Legnano area; in other places where Celtic influence was still substantial, the suffix -acum would have been used. Thus, Lemoniano , Leminiano or Lemegniano , later to become Limnianum and finally Legnanum.[24][25]

Another theory advances that one of the names that Legnano was known by in the Middle Ages, Ledegnanum, derives from the name for the region, Latinanium. Therefore, any suppositions linking the name of the city to the Celtic toponym Lemonianum ("place of the sacred grove") or the predial adjective Laenianum, referring to a potential landowner named Laenius are false.[24]


The most ancient evidence of settlement in Legnano dates to the Remedello culture (21st–19th centuries BC). Later it was a Celtic center, conquered by the Romans in the 1st century BC.

Middle Ages[edit]

Castle of Legnano. On the left, the River Olona.

In the Middle Ages, Legnano was the location of the battle in which Emperor Frederick I was defeated by the Lombard League (1176).


From 1820 to 1915, with the introduction of numerous textile and mechanical companies, the town grew from an agricultural to an industrial center. Most of the textile industries closed in the 1960s: today the services sector is the most thriving one.

Main sights[edit]

  • Basilica of San Magno (early 16th century) – The church was designed by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo or one of his followers. The interior, on the Greek cross plan, contains an altar by Bernardino Luini which it is said to have been begun by Bramante or, more likely, by Amadeo or Antonio da Lonate.
  • Church of Sant'Ambrogio, known from 1389. It was rebuilt in the 17th century.
  • Castle of Legnano, enlarged by the Torriani in 13th century re-using a former convent. Later it was owned by the Lampugnani family.
  • The monument to the "Warrior of Legnano" (1900), often mistakenly attributed to Alberto da Giussano, in the Piazza Monumento.
  • "Palazzo Leone da Perego"- It is a XIII century building located in the centre of the town. It was rebuilt in 1898.


The town is served by Legnano railway station.


Club Sport Founded League
A.C. Legnano Football 1913 Eccellenza
Legnano Basket Knights Basketball 1966 Serie A2
Frogs Legnano American Football 1977 Serie A
Baseball Softball Club Legnano Baseball and Softball 1950 Serie A1 (softball); Serie C1 (baseball)


Together with Rome, Legnano is the only other city mentioned in the Italian national anthem by Goffredo Mameli.

"Legnano" is a brand of lightweight racing bicycles, named for the city in which they were produced. Notably, celebrated racers Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi rode Legnano bicycles.

The fashion house Dolce & Gabbana was founded[26] and has its administrative offices in Legnano.[27]

Twin towns[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Legnàn has a better documented origin, but Lignàn was more widely used. This form of Legnano's name disappeared in the 20th century, however, and now the only former name is used in the Leganese dialect [it].[4]
  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ Canepari 2009.
  4. ^ D'Ilario et al. 1984, p. 19.
  5. ^ "Legnano". promocomune.it (in Italian). Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Lista principali città della Regione Lombardia". comuni-italiani.it (in Italian). Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  7. ^ Di Maio 1998, p. 85.
  8. ^ Vv.Aa. 2015, p. 22.
  9. ^ "Fratelli d'Italia". quirinale.it (in Italian). President of Italy. Archived from the original on 3 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  10. ^ "Legnano: clima e dati geografici". comuni-italiani.it (in Italian). Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  11. ^ "Gli effetti dell'introduzione di una nuova mappa di pericolosità sulla valutazione del rischio sismico in Italia" (PDF). earth-prints.org (in Italian). Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Cenni di botanica nel percorso dei fontanili". parcodelrugareto.it (in Italian). Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  13. ^ Agnoletto 1992, p. 99.
  14. ^ Macchione & Gavinelli 1998, pp. 26, 49.
  15. ^ D'Ilario et al. 1984, pp. 188–95.
  16. ^ "L'Olona, fiume dell'EXPO, adesso può tornare a vivere". consorziofiumeolona.org (in Italian). Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  17. ^ "Piano di governo del territorio 2010" (CFM). legnano.mi.it (in Italian). City of Legnano. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  18. ^ Rotondo, Roberto (29 July 2014). "Maltempo, Varese sott'acqua - Esonda l'Olona". Milano Corriere (in Italian). Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  19. ^ "Classificazione climatica Lombardia, dati Confedilizia". confedilizia.it (in Italian). Archived from the original on 25 January 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  20. ^ "Il clima della Lombardia". centrometeoitaliano.it (in Italian). Centro Meteo Italiano. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  21. ^ "Atlante Eolico dell'Italia" (in Italian). University of Genoa. November 2002. Archived from the original on 15 March 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  22. ^ "Milano-Malpensa". eurometeo.com (in Italian). Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  23. ^ "Tabelle e grafici climatici". meteoam.it (in Italian). Italian Ministry of Defense. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  24. ^ a b Dizionario 2006, p. 410.
  25. ^ D'Ilario et al. 1984, pp. 17–18.
  26. ^ "Dolce & Gabbana" (in Italian). Dizionario di Economia e Finanza – Enciclopedia italiana. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  27. ^ "Dolce&Gabbana – Offices". Dolcegabbana.com. Retrieved 26 March 2013.


External links[edit]