One of the most iconic neighborhoods of Lecco, it is also known for being the neighborhood of Alessandro Manzoni’s “Promessi Sposi”.
Acquate is a district of the city of Lecco, located in the northern part of the city.
The first certain information comes in 1232, when a church and a town already existed. It was a small mountain village and also an independent municipality. With the division of Lombardy into provinces, under Austrian rule, then under the Napoleonic domination, Acquate became a fraction of Lecco. The municipality survived until 1923, when it was definitively suppressed and Acquate became what it is today, a district of the city of Lecco.
Its ancient nucleus is still today among the best preserved in Lecco. Rising in a panoramic position next to the Caldone stream, it had an economy that was predominantly agricultural. In the early decades of the 1900s, many large industries also arose in the vast agricultural area at the foot of the village. The most important was the S.A.E. Reconverted has been replaced by significant housing settlements. His church is the oldest in the Lecco area. Founded in 1232 and expanded on three occasions. Inside we can admire the oil painting painted by Giovan Andrea De Magistris, a painter from Bergamo of the Lotto school. Saints George, Catherine and Egidio (as well as S. Ambrogio) representing the Nativity are represented. The first three are the Saints to whom the church is entitled. In 1908, the fiftieth anniversary of the apparitions of Lourdes, a cave was built in imitation of that of Lourdes. In August 1928, a young Acquatese was cured of a serious illness during a pilgrimage to Lourdes. This fact determined the idea of building a sanctuary near the cave. The sanctuary was finished and inaugurated in September 1934.
The district, together with Pescarenico, is one of the most characteristic of the city. Precisely for this reason Manzoni decided to set his most famous novel. Even today, the success of Acquate and its fame is based precisely on the history of the writer. Many places, such as the Church of Don Abbondio, the house of Lucia and the ascent of the Bravi, described in the novel can be recognized thanks to the signs placed by the municipality. The neighborhood, in a small tangle of very characteristic streets, have been named with the names of the characters, such as Renzo street or Menico street. The neighborhood is also considered the birthplace of the two protagonists, precisely Lucia and Renzo.
But Acquate is not just The Betrothed, in fact it is a place of distant traditions but still very much felt, like the Scigalott d’or, literally the “golden cicada”. This festival is deeply felt by the inhabitants of Acquate. It takes place in September every two years, precisely in odd years. The name derives from a historical event. In June 1859 Giuseppe Garibaldi was in Lecco to raise the spirits and urge the inhabitants for the unification. The acquaters went down towards Lecco in a large procession and paraded through the streets of the village before reaching the city. As their pace was accompanied by a shrill and repeated noise given by the tin instruments that were struck, the inhabitants of Acquate were nicknamed “Scigalott de quà”.
Among the significant buildings of the district are the eighteenth century Tartari Palace, then Locatelli and today Fiocchi from the splendid Italian garden. Pozzi House, quadrilateral eighteenth century building, with loggias. The ancient house of the Airoldi nobles who became the Hospital of the Virgin in 1594, dedicated to the care and hospitalization of the elderly. Of great environmental value is the garden of Villa Orio, then Anghileri, with the annexed church of S. Anna built in 1563 by Airoldi.
Acquate is therefore to be discovered … and to live!