Mortara, Lombardy

Città di Mortara

Piazza dei Martiri della Libertà

Location of Mortara in Italy

Coordinates: 45°15′N 8°45′E / 45.250°N 8.750°E / 45.250; 8.750Coordinates: 45°15′N 8°45′E / 45.250°N 8.750°E / 45.250; 8.750
Country Italy
Region Lombardy
Province / Metropolitan city Pavia (PV)
Frazioni Casoni di Sant'Albino, Casoni dei Peri, Cattanea, Guallina, Madonna Del Campo, Medaglia, Molino Faenza
  Mayor Roberto Robecchi (since May 29, 2007)
  Total 52 km2 (20 sq mi)
Elevation 108 m (354 ft)
Population (December 31, 2007)
  Total 15,325
  Density 290/km2 (760/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Mortaresi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 27036
Dialing code 0384
Patron saint San Lorenzo Martire, Santa Veneranda
Saint day August 10
Website Official website

Mortara is a town and comune in the region of Lombardy, Italy. It lies between the Agogna and Terdoppio rivers, in the historical district known as Lomellina, a rice-growing agricultural center. It received the honorary title of city with a royal decree in 1706.


The town has Roman origins proved by several archaeological discoveries and its first name was Pulchra Silva. After the bloody battle during which Charlemagne defeated the Longobard King Desiderius in 773, its name changed. In the Orlando Furioso (second canto) it can be read:

Quivi cader de’ Longobardi tanti,
e tanta fu quivi la strage loro,
che ‘l loco de la pugna gli abitanti
Mortara dapoi sempre nominoro.

Ludovico Ariosto, I cinque canti - canto II, 88[1]

It prospered as a hunting place of pastimes thanks to Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who decreed unsuccessfully to change its name into Beldiporto (1384). It was transformed by Charles V into a fortress called «The Star» and in 1658 was besieged by the French-Piedmontese Army led by Francesco d'Este. It was restituted to Spain and remained a Spanish possession until 1706, when it was annexed to the Savoy Kingdom. In the same year it became the capital of the Province of Lomellina. On March 21, 1849 it was the site of a bloody Austro-Piedmontese battle just before the defeat of Novara.

Mortara is now an agricultural center of national importance for its rice production, but it is also an interesting and tasty gastronomical destination thanks to the goose sausages and products.

Main sights


  1. The prose translation sounds as follows: "Here so many Longobards died and the slaughter of them was so great here that, from then on, the inhabitants gave the place of the battle the name of Mortara".
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