Arcene (BG), Lombardy

arcene coatofarms Situated about 35 km northeast of Milan and 14 km southwest of Bergamo, belonging to a special geological area called Gera d'Adda, with the typical climate of the Lombard plain, rich in waters also in the underground. Arcene, Treviglio and other communes in this area will be included in the soon to be established Geradadda natural park.


  • Altitude: 152 m a.s.l
  • Population: about 4,000 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 24040
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 035
  • Patron Saint: St. Michele Arcangelo, celebrated on 5 april
  • GPS Coordinates: 45°35'N - 9°37'E

History - Antiquity

The name may derive from the Etruscan Arcena, meaning ditch, and first appears in a donation to the monastery of Nonantola in 753 AD. However in the territory traces of human settlements have been found of prehistoric man, and later of Celtic, Roman and Languebard settlements.

In Roman times the "castrum de Arcene" rose at the junction of two roads, one connecting Milano to Aquileia and the other between Laude Pompeia and Rhaetia, as shown by ruins west of the town.

History - the Middle Ages

Almost abandoned in the age of invasions following the fall of the Roman empire, Arcene rose again under the Lombards, and the name appears for one Pietro da Arcene, priest in the Basilica of Sa Vincenzo, Bergamo, and a Regimondo da Arcene who was a consul in the Commune of Bergamo.

Feudal lords of the place were the Da Mozzo and Dalla Bretta, and at the time of the Free Communes (13th-15th century) Arcene was ruled by the Capitani of Arcene acting as kinds of governors for the city of Bergamo and later for the Visconti. In 1428 Arcene came under Venetian rule, and a census of 1574 counted 378 souls.

History - Modern Times

In later centuries, after the disastrous plague of 1630 (described in Manzoni's novel "The Betrothed") the economy started to rise again, and Arcene included also Pognano and Lurano. In the 19th century the Austrians introduced improvements in agriculture, including the breeding of the silkworm and the establishment of small weaving mills.

After a massive emigration in the late 19th and early 20th century, a railway line that connected Arcene to Lodi and Bergamo brought about a change towards industry and the tertiary sector.

What to see

  • The Parish church of San Michele Arcangelo, with a fine organ made in 1865 by brothers Carlo and Francesco Perolini.

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Provinces of Lombardy
Lombardia region
Surnames in the Provinces of Lombardy