The name of Par is of Celtic origin that was first turned into Latin and, as the centuries flew by, it became Parre and that, for some scholars, means luogo alto or high area, while for others it is campo grande or large field. After the chance discovery of 1883 and the digs between 1983 and 1994, it became thought of as “a symbolic site of the alpine world” and the hypothesis seemed to have been consolidated that Parre is Parra the ‘oppidum Orobiorum’ recalled by Plinio in his Naturalis Historia, with reference to a Passo di Catone. In fact, on the fluvial terrace over Ponte Nossa there was, until the end of the Bronze Age, an inhabited settlement that continued to be so until the late Roman period. The Villa de Parre rural inhabited area was mentioned in a document of 928.
Once the necessary emancipation had been completed at the end of the 12th century, the municipality was instituted and governed by two consuls. After having been subjected to the consequences of the civil war and the alternation of the various rules, the upper Valle Seriana, of which Parre has always been a part, sent its representatives to Venice to declare the valley’s to His Serene Highness and to request help and protection. The domination of the Republic of Venice, characterised by the conservation of the institutions already in operation, ended in 1797 with the arrival of the French troops. Neither the subsequent Austrian domination nor the events of the Risorgimento have ever upset the people of Parre much, as they have always shown a “generally quiet public spirit”.
For centuries, Parre was an area of farmers and shepherds, who took the flocks to Oltrepò Pavese and Piedmont in the winter and roamed the Valtellina and Poschiave valleys with them in the summer, after which they supplied wool to Gandino and various other wool mills of the valley. The village has retained its division into two distinct residential areas intact, lower Parre (Par sota in the Bergamascan dialect) and upper Parre (Par sura) and has expanded, to take in almost all the hamlets such as Agher, Costa Erta, Campella and Valzella, which were once embroiled in agriculture. Picturesque traces of this distant past still remain in the form of old houses with strong stone walls, attractive balconies, windows, pillars and arches, like the Cominelli House in lower Parre, home of the Barons Belleboni, who became the Princes Von Paar in Austria; or those next to the Arch of St. Cristoforo or in Via Tiraboschi.
But the most relevant artistic treasures are kept in the churches – the parish dedicated to S. Pietro and the small church of St. Rocco, Enchanting due to their environment and the view are the 16th – 18th century Orotorio SS. Trinità on Mount Cusen and that of the 17th century S. Antonio on Mount Alino.