Paia is a municipality of 1,761 people in the Province of Bergamo on the eastern side of Val Gandino, a turn-off from the Val Seriana, borders Leffe to the west and is about 25 kilometres from the capital.
The village has a rich and ancient history: in fact, it seems the area was inhabited during the Roman era, when many slaves were brought here to work in the nearby iron ore mines. Once they had served their time, they were allowed to stay and cultivate the land. So the name comes from the Latin Pilia or Pèa in dialect.
The art of working with wool has taken place in the village since medieval times, so that, to describe the kind of fabric produced here, which was much prized, the name Peina was coined. There are ruins from medieval times in Peia Alta, including an ancient citadel which is now demolished and originally built for defensive purposes. The village remained under the administration of nearby Gandino until 1542, when all the small areas were united to make up Peia. The odd thing about those small zones is that they were given the names of the people who lived in them: Cà Bertocchi, Cà Zenucchi, Cà Rottigni and Cà Bosio.
There are a number of churches spread across the municipality: the main one is, undoubtedly, the Parish Church of San Antonio da Padova, which goes back to the 15th century, and was enlarged three centuries later. The church has an octagonal choir stall as well as works by Cavagna, Francesca Zucco and P. Loverini. The balustrade of 1771 and the 1775 urn of San Antonio were created by sculptor Giuseppe Manni of Gazzaniga. Among the other sacred buildings worth mentioning are the Chapel of Santa Elisabetta, which stands outside the residential area on the path leading to Val Cavallina and Malga Lunga, the Madonna delle Grazie Sanctuary and the San Rocco church.