Cornello dei Tasso, in Valle Brembana, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, one of the places in Bergamo where the medieval urban and architectural structure has been better preserved.
This enchanting village can be reached only on foot through a stretch of the ancient Via Mercatorum, the road that until the seventeenth century connected Bergamo with Valtellina and linked its name to that of the Tasso family.
This ancient family is best known for being the birthplace of the Tasso family from which descended Torquato Tasso, author of Jerusalem Delivered, but few know that right here was the origin of one of the first European multinational companies, that of the postal service between the Habsburg Empire and the other states of Europe. At one time it was at the center of the commerce that took place with Valtellina and was the site of an important market. At the end of the sixteenth century its fortune began to decline following the construction, in 1592, of the new road, the Priula, which ran along the bottom of the valley, quite far from Cornello. The village in such way remained rather isolated and went gradually losing the important function of agreement between the middle and the high Valle Brembana that it had carried out until that moment. The secular isolation has favored the conservation of the original urban fabric that is characterized by the overlapping of four different building plans.
In the lower part, a series of constructions are aligned with horizontal development, overhanging the Brembo river and highlighting the original fortification characteristic of the village. On the upper floor runs the monumental portico under which the Via Mercatorum passed. Supported by stone arches, covered by a ceiling in wooden beams and paved in cobblestones, it has a length of over one hundred meters and is the most valuable element of the whole village. Under the arcade, open towards the valley the accesses to the buildings of the inferior plan and they lean out towards mountain the stores and the stables that in the period of greater development they were the commercial heart of the country.
The third floor was dedicated to dwelling houses and alternates rather simple buildings with buildings of some architectural interest. At the top stands the church that represents the ideal connection between the buildings of the floors below.
Separated from the urban context is the ancient palace Tasso that stands on a spur of rock on the southern side of the village with obvious function of guarding the valley. The village is dominated from above by the characteristic Romanesque church of Saints Cornelio and Cipriano whose bell tower with mullioned windows is one of the few examples of Romanesque style in the Brembana Valley.
The building, considerably transformed over the centuries compared to the original structure that dates back to the twelfth century, represents one of the most interesting elements of the village. A vast cycle of frescoes dating back to the fifteenth-sixteenth century covers the interior walls of the building.
The area lends itself to being visited for the variety of historical references, the wealth of artistic and cultural documentation and the beauty of the environment.
Trail type: dirt, cobblestone
Water: there is a fountain inside the village