The village of Caprino Bergamasco has a very ancient history. In Roman times it was a renowned center and was considered the capital of the San Martino Valley.
It was built on the important road linking the cities of Bergamo and Como. This guaranteed for years the splendor of the village which developed considerably thanks to trade. The first document attesting to the existence of the village dates back to 962. King Berengar II maps the lands present in his domain, including Caprino. At the height of the Middle Ages, Cavrì found itself at the center of clashes between the opposing factions of the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. A series of fortifications are still visible today.
Among the many clashes it should be remembered that in which Ambrogio Visconti, a relative of Bernabò, was killed. This led to the terrible repression of his father, Bernabò Visconti, who came personally devastating and plundering the territory. After four days of struggle, the last rebels who took refuge in the Monastery of Pontida surrendered after obtaining the promise of having saved their lives. Bernabò instead immediately ordered the 52 rebels to be beheaded together with two monks who were to host them. It destroyed the facades, the apse, the bell tower of the church and the monastery of the monastery. Several relics and furnishings were predated and transferred to the chapel of the castle of Pavia.
Caprino becomes an important center after the Peace of Ferrara in 1433. The territory, long disputed between Milan and Venice, is definitively assigned to the Serenissima with the border marked by the river Adda. From that moment the village became the center of the San Martino Valley. Here lies the Veneto Commissioner who administers justice. For over 400 years Caprino and the whole San Martino Valley enjoys a long period of peace and prosperity. This tranquility interrupted by some famines and pestilences such as that of 1630 narrated by Alessandro Manzoni in his Promessi Sposi. In the following centuries Caprino Bergamasco incorporated the neighboring municipalities of Celana, Formorone, Perlupario, Opreno and Sant’Antonio d’Adda, assuming the current territorial conformation.
Places to visit
It is a small country, but historically interesting. Among the places worth visiting we find the church of San Biagio, built in the XVIII century on the model of the church of San Fedele in Milan. Along the main street of the historic center you can see several noble palaces. Above all we mention the Sozzi palace dated 1700 and the tower of 1260. Finally, the Museum of Natural Sciences Don Bernardino Gavazzeni. Finally visit Celana and its parish church with an altarpiece by Lorenzo Lotto.
The Celana College, founded in 1566, was the oldest Catholic school in Italy. Wanted by San Carlo Borromeo for the study of grammar, it includes famous students like Angelo Roncalli, whom everyone knows as Pope John XXIII. Famous professors have given prestige to the Institute and prestige to the country, attracting students not only from Bergamo but also from Brianza and other Italian regions. For their studies, they use valuable collections of books from the Mandatory Library, enhanced for them by Latin and Italian classics. In 2013 he closed his story with him.
Period of development
Between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Caprino Bergamasco reached the period of maximum development. In this period the town has a remarkable architectural development because it was chosen as a holiday resort for nobles and bourgeois. These build prestigious palaces with large gardens of delight and decor. Antonio Ghislanzoni also spent his last years in Caprino. He brings a wave of innovation and for a few years Caprino also has a newspaper, La Posta of Caprino. Caffè Pagani is the good living room where musicians like Giacomo Puccini, writers, like Neera and other personalities of culture and politics, met again. The Caprino Market was also very important. To it flowed from all over the area for the market of silkworm cocoons. It is no coincidence that an important textile mill was built in Filatoio, the second in the entire province of Bergamo, that of the Conti Sozzi.
The Municipal Library is located on the ground floor of the Municipal palace already Mallegori palace (Sec. XVIII). In the nineteenth century it was the residence of the painter Countess Teresa Mallegori (1806-1862), a fervent Mazzinian. The Palace is also home to the Mandamentale library, one of Caprino’s jewels. More than six thousand volumes mostly coming from the legacy that the priest Carlo Rosa di Carenno made to the municipalities of the San Martino valley in 1810. He established that the same books should be kept in Caprino. In addition to the liturgical texts of history and art, the classics of Italian literature and precious works such as the Venetian edition of the French Encyclopedia were added over time. Today the volumes are preserved with great dignity on the original wooden shelves and available to anyone who intends to consult them.
Luigi Torri Museum Collection (1904-1996)
The Luigi Torri Museum Collection is also housed in the rooms of the noble floor of the eighteenth-century municipal building of Caprino Bergamasco. A modern installation, designed to welcome and valorise the extraordinary collection of Ol Tôrr di Sass with dignity and with a scientific method. Thus Luigi Torri was affectionately called in town, for his passion to collect fossils and minerals. His Caprino home became a sort of museum with thousands of mineral and fossil finds. Soon, a destination for scholars from all over the world, including Ardito Desio and the rector of the State University of Milan, prof. Caio Mario Cattabeni.