This article is about a town in Italy. For a town in France, see Solférino. For the battle, see Battle of Solferino. For the French ironclad, see French ironclad Solférino (1861).
Comune di Solferino

Coat of arms

Location of Solferino in Italy

Coordinates: 45°22′N 10°33′E / 45.367°N 10.550°E / 45.367; 10.550Coordinates: 45°22′N 10°33′E / 45.367°N 10.550°E / 45.367; 10.550
Country Italy
Region Lombardy
Province / Metropolitan city Mantua (MN)
Frazioni Barche
  Mayor Maria Orazia Mascagna
  Total 13 km2 (5 sq mi)
Population (2008)[1]
  Total 2,608
  Density 200/km2 (520/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 46040
Dialing code 0376

Solferino is a small town and comune in the province of Mantua, Lombardy, northern Italy, approximately 10 kilometres (6 mi) south of Lake Garda.

It is best known as being close to the site of the Battle of Solferino on 24 June 1859, part of the Second Italian War of Independence. The battle ended with Italo-French capture of the Rocca, the fortress then in Austrian hands.

The wounded in the battle were witnessed by the Swiss businessman Jean-Henri Dunant, who had traveled to Italy to meet French emperor Napoléon III with the intention of discussing difficulties in conducting business in Algeria, at that time occupied by France.

Horrified by the suffering of wounded soldiers left on the battlefield, Dunant completely abandoned the original intent of his trip and for several days he devoted himself to helping with the treatment and care for the wounded. He succeeded in organizing an overwhelming level of relief assistance by motivating the local villagers to aid without discrimination.

Back in his home in Geneva, he set about a process that led to the Geneva Conventions and the establishment of the International Committee of the Red Cross by writing a book entitled A Memory of Solferino which he published with his own money in 1862 and thus initiated the process.

From 23 to 28 June 2009, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the battle, a series of events gathering thousands of Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement volunteers from all around the world took place in Solferino, under the name of Solferino 2009 Celebrations.

Twin towns

Solferino is twinned with:


  1. All demographics and other statistics: Istituto Nazionale di Statistica (Istat).
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