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Torton-a  (Piedmontese)
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Location of Tortona
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Location of Tortona in Italy
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Tortona (Piedmont)
Coordinates: 44°53′39″N08°51′56″E / 44.89417°N 8.86556°E / 44.89417; 8.86556
Country Italy
Region Piedmont
Province Alessandria (AL)
Frazioni Torre Garofoli, Rivalta Scrivia, Vho, Mombisaggio, Castellar Ponzano, Bettole di Tortona, Torre Calderai
  MayorGianluca Bardone (Centre-Left)
  Total98.87 km2 (38.17 sq mi)
122 m (400 ft)
 (2018-01-01) [2]
  Density280/km2 (720/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Tortonesi
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code 0131
Patron saintSt. Marcian of Tortona
Saint day6 March
Website Official website

Tortona (Italian:  [torˈtoːna] ; Piedmontese : Torton-a [tʊrˈtʊŋa] , locally  [tʊrˈtɔŋa] ) is a comune of Piemonte, in the Province of Alessandria, Italy. Tortona is sited on the right bank of the Scrivia between the plain of Marengo and the foothills of the Ligurian Apennines.

Piedmontese language Romance language spoken mainly in Italy

Piedmontese is a Romance language spoken by some 700,000 people mostly in Piedmont, northwestern region of Italy. It is geographically and linguistically included in the Gallo-Italic languages group of Northern Italy. It is part of the wider western group of Romance languages, which also includes French, Occitan, and Catalan. It is spoken in Piedmont, Liguria and Lombardy.

<i>Comune</i> third-level administrative divisions of the Italian Republic

The comune is a basic administrative division in Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality.

Province of Alessandria Province of Italy

The Province of Alessandria is an Italian province, with a population of some 425,000, which forms the southeastern part of the region of Piedmont. The provincial capital is the city of Alessandria.



Tortona Cathedral (postcard from c. 1890) DuomoDiTortona.jpg
Tortona Cathedral (postcard from c. 1890)
Piazza Duomo, with the cathedral and on the right the bishops' palace 26 ott 2008 009.jpg
Piazza Duomo, with the cathedral and on the right the bishops' palace

Known in ancient times as Dertona, the city was probably the oldest colony under Roman rule in the westernmost section of the Valley of the Po, on the road leading from Genua (Genoa) to Placentia (Piacenza). The city was founded c. 123118 BC at the junction of the great roads; the Via Postumia and the Via Aemilia Scauri which merged to become the Via Julia Augusta. The site made Dertona an important military station under the Romans. Strabo speaks of it as one of the most considerable towns in this part of Italy, and from Pliny wrote that it was a Roman colony. Velleius mentions it among those founded under the Republic, it appears to have been recolonised under Augustus, from whence we find it bearing in inscriptions the title of Julia Dertona. [3] The assassin of Caesar, Brutus, encamped at Dertona on his march in pursuit of Mark Antony, after the Battle of Mutina, [4] and it was one of the places where a body of troops was usually stationed during the later ages of the empire. [5]

Genoa Comune in Liguria, Italy

Genoa is the capital of the Italian region of Liguria and the sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived within the city's administrative limits. As of the 2011 Italian census, the Province of Genoa, which in 2015 became the Metropolitan City of Genoa, counted 855,834 resident persons. Over 1.5 million people live in the wider metropolitan area stretching along the Italian Riviera.

Via Postumia

The Via Postumia was an ancient Roman road of northern Italy constructed in 148 BC by the consul Spurius Postumius Albinus Magnus. It ran from the coast at Genua through the mountains to Dertona, Placentia and Cremona, just east of the point where it crossed the Po River. From Cremona the road ran eastward to Bedriacum, the current town of Calvatone, where it forked, one branch running to the right to Mantua, the other to the left to Verona, crossing the Adige river on the Ponte Pietra, the only bridge on the Adige river at that time, and then traversing the Venetian plain, crossing the Piave River at Maserada sul Piave until finally reaching Aquileia, an important military frontier town founded by Rome in 181 BC. The Roman conquest of Liguria depended upon this road, and several of the more important towns owed their origin largely to it. Cremona was its central point, the distance being reckoned from it both eastwards and westwards.

<i>Via Aemilia Scauri</i>

The Via Aemilia Scauri was an ancient Roman road built by the consul Marcus Aemilius Scaurus during his term as Censor in 109 BC.

A bishopric was founded at Tortona early, but its first bishops are purely legendary, like Saint Marcianus of Tortona, called the first bishop of Piedmont and a disciple of Barnabas, the companion of Paul. Until the 9th century, the city was under the rule of its bishop; in 1090 it became a free commune with the name of Terdona. In 1133 the diocese was separated from the archbishopric of Milan to the new archdiocese of Genoa (CE "Lombardy").

Barnabas one of the earliest Christian disciples

Barnabas, born Joseph, was according to tradition an early Christian, one of the prominent Christian disciples in Jerusalem. According to Acts 4:36, Barnabas was a Cypriot Jew. Named an apostle in Acts 14:14, he and Paul the Apostle undertook missionary journeys together and defended Gentile converts against the Judaizers. They traveled together making more converts, and participated in the Council of Jerusalem. Barnabas and Paul successfully evangelized among the "God-fearing" Gentiles who attended synagogues in various Hellenized cities of Anatolia.

Medieval commune

Medieval communes in the European Middle Ages had sworn allegiances of mutual defense among the citizens of a town or city. These took many forms and varied widely in organization and makeup.

In 1155 Frederick Barbarossa besieged, captured and leveled Tortona to the ground, leaving not one stone upon another. [6]

The Siege of Tortona in 1155 was the first major military engagement resulting from Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa's ambition to enforce Imperial hegemony in Italy.

During the Middle Ages, Tortona was a faithful ally of the Guelphs and was destroyed several times. From 1260 to 1347 the city was dominated by a series of different Italian noble families and adventurers like Facino Cane, who in the unsettled affairs of Lombardy had assembled a string of lordships and great wealth which he bequeathed to his wife, Beatrice, and arranged with his friends that a marriage should be effected between her and Filippo Maria Visconti. According to Machiavelli [7] "By this union Filippo became powerful, and reacquired Milan and the whole of Lombardy. By way of being grateful for these numerous favors, as princes commonly are, he accused Beatrice of adultery and caused her to be put to death". [8] In this way, in 1347, Tortona was decisively incorporated into the territories of the Duchy of Milan, under which remained until 1735. Then following the vicissitudes of the War of the Polish Succession, the city was occupied by the King of Sardinia, and "count of Tortona" was added to the titles of the House of Savoy.

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Facino Cane Italian condottiero

Facino Cane da Casale, born Bonifacio Cane, was an Italian condottiero.

Filippo Maria Visconti Duke of Milan

Filippo Maria Visconti was the duke of Milan from 1412 to 1447.

Colli Tortonesi

Tortona is the capital of an area known as Colli Tortonesi, which stretches from the town to the border with Liguria. The area is known for the variety and of its products and for the intensive wine production, including Barbera, Dolcetto, Moscato and Timorasso, the autochthonous wine of the region which traces its origin back to the 14th century. Truffles are another important fruit of this land and the Colli Tortonesi is the only place in Piedmont to have three varieties of truffle: White truffle, Black Truffle and scorzone.

Main sights


People born in Tortona, or with close links to the town, include:

Twin towns

See also

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  1. "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. Smith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Dertona". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray; Vell. Pat., Historiae, i. 15; Plin., H.N., iii. 5. s. 7.
  4. Cic. ad Fam. xi. 1. 0
  5. Not. Dign. ii. p. 121.
  6. Norwich, John Julius. Byzantium: The Decline and Fall (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996) p. 108
  7. History of Florence, ch. 7

PD-icon.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  Smith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Dertona". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography . London: John Murray.


PD-icon.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton.