Ranica has about 6,000 inhabitants and is on the right bank of the River Serio, about five kilometres from Bergamo. At the foot of the hill of the same name, it is the second village one encounters when leaving the provincial capital and many think of it as the first in the Valle Seriana.
In medieval times, Ranica experienced an intense life, as confirmed by the remains of the fortified belt of a castle, which was destroyed by the Guelph in 1362. The ruins are in the castle’s lane, where it is possible to find 14th century portals and walls. Other buildings of that period are in Viandasso, where there is a tower. Villa Beretta and the Patta farmhouse in the same area are of the Renaissance era. Villa Camozzi is a must and was built in the 19th century to become known as the “lounge of the Bergamascan Renaissance”, because cultural and political meetings were held in it at the time. More recently, an important industrial complex has been established: it was in 1870 that Gioacchino Zopfi opened his manufacturing company. To understand the importance of this development to the village, consider that the company’s logo of a toothed wheel also appears in the municipality’s coat of arms. But the factory passed into history due to the first labourers’ revolts of 1919. The first steps towards achieving rights at work were also taken by this company after its workers had been on strike for months, helped by their own initiatives including collections among the local authorities. The company was forced to meet their requests for better working conditions.
Many different walking itineraries in the Ranica hills start from the village, all of them suited to everyone, with easy paths for both pedestrians and mountain bikers. Some of them pass behind farmhouses used as holiday farms, where visitors can stop and enjoy the delights of the food and wine of the area.