City of Gallarate

Church of Santa Maria Assunta.

Coat of arms

Location of Gallarate in Italy

Coordinates: 45°40′N 8°48′E / 45.667°N 8.800°E / 45.667; 8.800
Country Italy
Region Lombardy
Province / Metropolitan city Varese (VA)
  Mayor Andrea Cassani
  Total 20 km2 (8 sq mi)
Elevation 238 m (781 ft)
Population (30 November 2014)
  Total 52,857
  Density 2,600/km2 (6,800/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Gallaratesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 21013
Dialing code 0331
Patron saint St. Cristopher
Saint day 25 July
Website Official website
Church of San Pietro.

Gallarate [ɡallaˈraːte] (Lombard: Galaraa) is a city and comune of Alto Milanese of Lombardy, northern Italy, in the Province of Varese. It has a population of some 53,000. Its name comes from the Latin language, in fact a lot of cities around it have the same root "rate", such as Casorate Sempione, Samarate...

It is the junction of railways to Varese, Laveno and Arona (for the Simplon). Some 10 kilometres (6 miles) to the west are the electric works of Vizzola, where 23,000 hp are derived from the river Ticino. Its territory is crossed by the river Arnetta, and belongs to the Ticino River Natural Park.

The city in the first part of 19th century had a strong textile industry.


Founded by the Gauls and later conquered by the Romans, Gallarate was mentioned as an important vicus or village in documents dating back to the Roman conquest of what was then called Gallia Cisalpina. After the Carolingian conquet of northern-central Italy, a castle was erected upon the remains of the original Roman fortifications located beside the still existing Basilica of Santa Maria. The castle has disappeared, but its ancient location is identified through the city’s topography and by the street name Via Postcastello.

After the obliteration of Castelseprio by Ottone Visconti in 1287, Gallarate became the capital of the vast Seprio county. During these years, Gallarate saw a period of prosperity and economic growth that would last for the rest of Visconti’s control, until the beginning of French rule two centuries later (1498). Documents in the National Archives refer to Gallarate as an important centre of commercial exchange between both Italian and foreign markets, particularly for cotton, drapes, flax and textiles. Distinguished families such as the Rosnati, Reina, Masera, Palazzi, Macchi, Curioni, Mari and the Guenzati represented the nobility and the merchant classes. This period was also noted as a time of great civic improvement and the beginning of Gallarate as a center of industrial activity.

In the late 15th century, the city fell under foreign dominations, initially under the Spanish and then under the French (and then again Spanish and their Austrian successors), a condition which lasted until the 19th century. In between this political instability, Gallarate became a private fief of some of the competing nobles Italian families such as the Bentivoglio, Pallavicino, Caracciolo, Altemps, Visconti, Castelbarco.

Gallarate became a part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1859, and received the honorary title of city with a royal decree on December 19, 1860.

By the latter half of the 19th century modern industry had begun to take over many areas of Italy. In a few decades, Gallarate became an important industrial city. This period was also marked by heavy social tensions brought about by the rapid political and economic changes wrought by Gallarate’s own industrial revolution. Nowadays, Gallarate’s industrial structure no longer includes these giant industrial powerhouses of the past. Their existence, however, is still marked out by the presence of the high chimneys, which are still visible along Gallarate’s skyline. Many of the old Liberty-style buildings, where thousands of Gallaratesi worked during the past century-and-a-half, have been turned into new modern multi-level shopping centers and plazas.

Main sights


In the 19th and 20th centuries Gallarate was an important centre for textile industry. Now it is a local hub for transport and high-tech industries.


The Sistema Bibliotecario Consortile Antonio Panizzi has its main offices in Gallarate.[1] The system operates the Biblioteca Civica " Luigi Majno " in Gallarate.[2] Gallarate is also the seat of the Aloysianum, a former Jesuit college, which is now a Jesuit cultural centre with an important library. Carlo Maria Martini spent there the very last years of his life. A couple of years ago the local government built a modern art museum called Maga, that hosted Missoni exhibition in honour of the deceased Ottavio Missoni. Now a lot of students use the museum as a study place.


Gallarate railway station, opened in 1860, is the junction of the railway lines Domodossola–Milan, Luino–Milan and Porto Ceresio–Milan. The station is a stop for several long-running trains (EuroCity from Milan to Geneva and Basle), of regional trains from Milan to Domodossola, and of line S5 of Milan suburban railway service, and line S30 of Ticino railway network.

Gallarate is close to the Milan–Malpensa international airport.

Notable people


  1. "Contatti." Sistema Bibliotecario Consortile Antonio Panizzi. Retrieved on 18 January 2011. "Piazza S. Lorenzo, 5 21013 Gallarate (VA)."
  2. "Gallarate." Sistema Bibliotecario Consortile Antonio Panizzi. Retrieved on 19 January 2011. "Piazza S. Lorenzo, 5 - 21013 Gallarate (VA)"

External links

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