Situated on the Eghezzone hill, along the right bank of the Adda river, Lodi was originally linked to the destruction of the Roman Laus Pompeia. Founded in 1158 by Federico I of Swabea, known as Barbarossa (red beard), it developed also thanks to his nephew Federico It was initially a. ghibelline municipality, in 1167 it joined the Lombard League and in 1176 took part in the battle of Legnano. From 1251, the dominions of the Vistarini, Torriani, Visconti, Fissiraga and Vignati succeeded each other, until, in the XV century, the town was absorbed by the Dukedom of Milan, after the suffering the effects of its wars with the nearby Venetian Republic. Some important historical events took place in Lodi during the Renaissance: in 1413, the anti-pope Giovanni and emperor Sigismund convened here the Council of Constance and, in 1454, the Italian regional states signed the peace treaty of the same name, which guaranteed forty years of political stability. In the subsequent ages, Lodi came under Spanish, Austrian and French domination. On 10th May 1796, Napoleon vanquished the Austrians during the celebrated battle of the Lodi bridge. This paved the way for the conquest of Milan.
The town and its monuments
The Cathedral, situated in Piazza della Vittoria, is among the largest in Lombardy. It was begun in 1160 in Romanesque style, and was completed in the XVI century. It was completely restored between 1958 and 1965. We should mention the entrance arch of the XII century with its marble column-bearing lions, the majestic portal and the renaissance windows. The Sanctuary of our Crowned Lady is without any doubt one of the masterpieces of Lombard Renaissance: the temple, with its central plan, appears outwardly as an octagonal drum surrounded by a balustrade with small columns and pinnacles. From 1514, the church was a true art studio and was frescoed by the Piazza family, to which the town of Lodi dedicated an exhibition in 1989. The Church of San Francesco, in Gothic-Romanesque style, has an unfinished façade of the pediment of the sloping roof in the central compartment. While the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena is in baroque style, the San Lorenzo church is in Lombard- Romanesque style, and was subsequently rearranged.
The geographical area
The Lodigiano is the territory of the Po Valley. It is very rich in water courses and is, in fact, delimited by the rivers Adda, Addetta, Lambro and Po. Travellers passing through here will see a succession of fields, artificial canals, poplar groves and roads, drawn according to precise geometry, in which the human settlements are situated. The important towns include: Casalpusterlengo, with the Sanctuary of the Madonna of the Capuchins from the XVI century and Cotogno. The latter town has some buildings of significant artistic interest, erected parallel to the economic and agricultural development, such as the parish church of San Biagio, the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin by Caravaggio, and the church of the Graces, a XVII century work to which a classic cloister and the Trivulzio and Lamberti palazzos were added a century later.