Colzate

Colzate has a population of 1,620 and is in the Province of Bergamo to the right of the River Serio, about 21 kilometres from the Orobic capital. The name originated from the collegiate lands, meaning they were associate or confederate. It seems that a meeting of the Major Council of the Confederation of Honio – a meeting of the villages of the mid-Seriana Valley took place in the area of Uni in the 12th century.

The first document that mentions the village (in vicis colligiate) dates back to 928. That term still exists today in the local dialect, where the name of the village is pronounced Colgiat. But it appears that the zone was inhabited in the times of the Roman Empire, to the point that prisoners sentenced to hard labour in the stone mines near Val del Riso stayed here. After having taken part in political destiny of the rest of the valley, in 1818 it absorbed Bondo and Barbata (Colzate) and in 1920 the parish was made autonomous.

The area offers numerous itineraries: visitors can start an easy and relaxing walk along the pedestrian/cycle track that was recently constructed as it winds along the banks of the River Serio; or they can take on excursions as far as Mount Cavlera. Anyone who does go for a walk in this area cannot miss the Sanctuary of San Patrizio above village in a position of absolute dominance. Built in 1570, the sanctuary has a square layout and Roman-style columns. Inside there are numerous frescoes and paintings, among them a pictorial cycle by Cavagna. The parish church dates back to 1000 and was dedicated to San Maurizio to protect it against the fears associated with that year. It was enlarged a number of times and underwent a major restoration in 1968. It hosts works by Andrea Fantoni, including the pained Madonna with Christ her lap, and a statue of the Virgin.

Among the events held in Colzate are the area’s palio: for about one month from the beginning of June the five areas – Bucaneve, Stella Alpina, Viola, Ciciamino and Margherita – challenge each other in games for children and adults. The palio ends with a day in Bondo at which the last races take place and a barbecue is organised for those who take part.