With a population of 2,042, the Municipality of Ponte Nossa in the Province of Bergamo is situated on the right bank of the River Serio in the Val Seriana, about 27 kilometres from the ‘capital’ of the Orobics. The first documents that attest to the existence of the village dates back to 1071 and mentions the Da Nossa family, which settled here in that period. Among the family’s descendents were the jurist Beltramino Da Nossa, on whom were bestowed many honours. It is therefore presumed that the name of the village derives from these noble inhabitants. To tell the truth, there are no other writings worthy of note that recount the story of the village, which followed the historic happenings of the rest of the valley.
But according to other sources the name comes from the fact that there was a bridge over the Nossa stream that ended its run by flowing into the Serio in the village. The valley through which the water flowed was called the Nossana and was rich in deposits of zinc extracted from numerous mines now in disuse. Exploiting the energy of the Nossa’s water produced many hammers for metal work, some of which were still in operation until a few years ago and it is possible to visit the Museum of the Magli.
In more recent times, major textile and mining companies have given the village a typically industrial flavour. Unfortunately, the two most significant and long established factories have ceased operations. The Annunciazione di Maria Parish Church was built in 1462 and re-structured in the early 20th century. It is a place of pilgrimage and an object of popular veneration due to the miracle of the crying Madonna, which is said to have taken place on 2 June 1511 and was documented by a notary act at the time. The Madonna is shown with St. John in a polyptych, reproducing crucifixion of Christ and is well kept.
In April, people cut down a fir tree in the woods of the area after which it is decorated and paraded through the streets of the village, where it is blessed on the church square; after having been carried to the summit of Pizzo Guazza, on 1 May it is planted at the side of the Madonna’s statue. On the evening of 1 June, the fir is then cut down and burned, while in the valley the village prepares for the Appearance of the Madonna of the Tears celebration, which takes place on 2 June and includes singing and dancing accompanied by a firework display.
The municipality is divided into these areas: Campolungo, Ponte or San Bernardino, Capra Bassa, Capra Alta, Oltre Serio (Spiazzi, Scalvina) and Prealpina Inferiore.