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Città di Parabiago
From top, clockwise: Villa Ida Lampugnani-Gajo, ornamental tower in a lombard court, a roggia with the "Madonna di Dio il Sà" church in the background, via San Michele with the church of San Michele in the background.
From top, clockwise: Villa Ida Lampugnani-Gajo, ornamental tower in a lombard court, a roggia with the "Madonna di Dio il Sà" church in the background, via San Michele with the church of San Michele in the background.
Coat of arms of Parabiago
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): The City of Footwear
Parabiago is located in Italy
Location of Parabiago in Italy
Coordinates: 45°33′N 08°57′E / 45.550°N 8.950°E / 45.550; 8.950Coordinates: 45°33′N 08°57′E / 45.550°N 8.950°E / 45.550; 8.950
Country Italy
Region Lombardy
 • Mayor Franco Borghi (PdL)
 • Total 14.16 km2 (5.47 sq mi)
Elevation 184 m (604 ft)
Population (31 December 2007)
 • Total 27,298
 • Density 1,900/km2 (5,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Parabiaghesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 20015
Dialing code 0331 (Busto Arsizio Code)
Patron saint St. Gervasius and Protasius
Saint day 19 June
Website Official website
St. Gervasius and Protasius Church

Parabiago is a town located in the north-western part of the City of Milan, Italy.

The Maggi-Corvini Villa

The town is crossed by the road to Sempione (S.S.33) and Milan  – Gallarate Railway; nearby flow the Olona river and the Canale Villoresi.

Its demonym in Italian is parabiaghese in the masculine and feminine singular and parabiaghesi in the plural. In the local Insubric dialect it is parabiaghës or parabiagœs in the masculine singular, parabiaghësa or parabiagœsa in the feminine singular, and parabiaghës or parabiagœs in the plural for both genders.


Ancient history and Middle Ages[edit]

Parabiago has ancient origins: starting from the first celtic-insubrian settlement (4th century B.C.), it developed during the Roman Empire rule, as documented by various archaeological discoveries of little objects, as the famous Parabiago Patera, a wonderful silver plate probably used to cover an ashes urn.

In the Early Middle Ages, Parabiago was the centre of a parish (pieve) and of an autonomous county, named Comitatus Parabiagi and sometimes Burgaria, governed by the Sanbonifacio family, of frank descent, coming from Verona; in the 7th century, its importance took the lombard Queen Theodelinda, to give permission for a little artificial stream, named Riale or Röngia, which took water from the Olona river and travelled through the village: that stream lasted until the 1928, when it was definitively stilted up.

Coat of Arms of the House of Visconti

During the Late Middle Ages, the town was the set of some lombardian events. The Truce of Parabiago (28 – 29 August 1257) led to the Pace di Sant'Ambrogio (Saint Ambrose's Peace), so called because it was signed in the homonymous Basilica in Milan). It put an end to the risk of a civil war between nobles and people in the Commune of Milan.
On 21 February 1339, occurred the Battle of Parabiago between Lodrisio Visconti, with his army named Compagnia di San Giorgio (Saint George's Company), and Luchino Visconti with his nephew Azzone, for the dominion over the Duchy of Milan; the battle was won by the Milanese regular army; according to tradition, this happened thanks to the miraculous apparition of Saint Ambrose. During this time, the Crivelli family inherited from the Sanbonifacio family the County of Parabiago, perhaps still corresponding with the Burgaria County.

In the following centuries Parabiago had a slow decline; it suffered two pillages, in 1449 by Francesco Sforza and in 1527 by Bourbons of Spain, as well as two epidemics (1529 and 1540).

Modern Age[edit]

The Castelli Palace, called la Torre (the Tower)

During Spanish rule in Duchy of Milan, the Marquis Camillo Castelli bought the Fief of Parabiago for 8800 lire (26 September 1658); the family extinguished in 1783, with the death of Cardinal Giuseppe Castelli.

Parabiago developed in the 18th century, during the Austrian rule. In this century was born an important international artist, Giuseppe Maggiolini, well known as Maestro d'Intarsio (carver master); in fact he was a great furniture-maker and the first neoclassical cabinet-maker in Europe. In the same period was established the Cavalleri College, a famous school for Milanese noble youths, founded by Father Claudio Cavalleri and his brother Filippo. Between 18th and 19th centuries, the parabiaghese doctor Giuseppe Giannini wrote medical essays beside practising medicine.

Between the 19th and 20th centuries the Industrial Revolution reached Parabiago. The most active industrialists were Felice Gajo, who established the Unione Manifatture di Parabiago (United Manufacturing of Parabiago) (textiles), and Paolo Castelnuovo, who founded in 1899 the first shoe factory in the town. Since then, Parabiago is known as the Città della Calzatura (Shoes City).

The Town Hall

20th century[edit]

In the 1960s Parabiago like other cities and towns in Northern Italy experienced an economic boom followed by a demographic one. Industrialization caught on, the little traditional shoemakers established middle and big shoe factories; chemical and mechanical industries were born, and attracted immigration from Southern Italy. On 27 November 27 1985 the town took the title of City.

In the early 1990s the majority of the Town Council, formed by D.C. (Christian Democracy), P.S.I. (Italian Socialist Party) and P.R.I. (Italian Republican Party), was forced to resign by the Tangentopoli scandal about the new urbanistic plan, and some important local politicians were arrested.


In the district there's one stop of Metro Line S5, even if there's a project of the construction of another stop near the border with Nerviano Bourough. One Regional Railway station operated by Trenord is present in the city. Some Movibus (local bus lines) link the town with other boroughs.

International relations[edit]

Parabiago is twinned with:

Further reading[edit]

  • Marco Ceriani, Storia di Parabiago, vicende e sviluppi dalle origini ad oggi, (History of Parabiago), Unione Tipografica di Milano, 1948
  • Egidio Gianazza, Uomini e cose di Parabiago (Men and things from Parabiago), Comune di Parabiago, 1990
  • Raul Dal Santo, Matteo Dolci, Ipotesi di definizione del paesaggio dell’altomilanese in epoca imperiale romana (Hypothesis about the Alto Milanese country during Roman Empire), Comune di Parabiago, 2006 [2]


  1. ^ (in Italian) Parabiago-Samobor
  2. ^ (in Italian) [1]