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viewtown hall 
corso Alessandria, 62

phone number
+39 0131 8641


Tortona is a commercial and industrial town and the residence of the Bishop. It is situated in the lower Scrivia valley, at the edge of the Alessandria plain, at the extreme end of the hilly area of the Ligurian Apennine region.
There is a wide-ranging heritage that embraces art and history and Tortona is the birthplace of artists of international renown as well.

Known in ancient times as Derthona, the city was probably the oldest colony under Roman rule in the westernmost section of the Po valley, on the road leading from Genua (Genoa) to Placentia (Piacenza). The city was founded about 123 BC - 118 BC at the junction of great roads: the ‘via Postumia’ and the ‘via Aemilia Scauri’, which merged to become the ‘via Julia Augusta’. Under the Romans and especially during the Imperial Age Tortona enjoyed a period of great prosperity, being an important military station, a flourishing colony and a rich walled town. The Roman settlement of ancient Derthona has left innumerable traces on the urban fabric of the town.
Later conquered by the Longobards, it became a dukedom until the arrival of the Franks, whose queen was crowned here in 899. Until the 9th century, the city was under the rule of its bishop; in 1090 it became a free commune with the name of Terdona. In 1133 the diocese was separated from the archbishopric of Milan to the new archdiocese of Genoa.
The town reached its highest point when it clashed with Pavia over commercial affairs in the 12th century and was then besieged and sacked by Barbarossa. After two months of hard siege, the inhabitants of Tortona were forced to surrender; it was the 18th April 1155. The town was seriously damaged, especially the external walls and the tower. After some internal fights, the town came under the influence of Milan; rebuilt by the Milanese, it was once again taken by the Emperor in 1162.

During the middle Ages, Tortona was a faithful ally of the Guelphs and for this reason it was destroyed several times. Tortona extended its territories, stimulated commerce and coined its own money.
From 1260 to 1347 the city was alternatively under the dominion or protectorate of a series of different Italian noble families and adventurers. Weakened by internal quarrels, the town acknowledged in 1262 the lordship of the Pallavicinis, then that of the Marquis of Monferrato. In 1347 Tortona was invaded by Luchino Visconti’s troops and decisively incorporated into the territories of the Duchy of Milan, under which it remained until 1735, sharing the fate of the Milanese State.
During the Spanish war of succession, Tortona remained with Austria until 1743, when with the treaty of Vienna it became one of the Savoy states and until Carlo Emanuele III managed to add it to Sardinia Kingdom. It was then subjected to various attacks and occupations. In 1773 Vittorio Amedeo III turned it into a mighty fortress, which was occupied by the French and then by the Austro-Russian, until it turned to France in 1801, when Napoleon ordered its destruction and the demolition of the castle made build by the Visconti dynasty. After the battle of Marengo Tortona lost all strategic importance.
In 1804 Tortona fell under the Savoy rule once again and started to enjoy a new period of economical growth, and demographic increase.

Tortona is a town of great traditions, proud of a heritage that stretches back 2,000 years; it still retains testimonies of its long and noble history and some interesting relics have survived from the ancient Julia Derthona; among them: part of the old boundary walls, the bell tower (that became the symbol of the town  and it's located in the ‘Castle zone’), the Roman graveyard area (in the Fitteria zone), the sepulchre of Maiorano, the Emperor killed in Tortona in 461 BC (situated in the courtyard of the church of San Matteo).

In the historical centre of the town you can still see some medieval buildings, such as Palazzo Guidobono, a 15th century stately home, now seat of exhibitions and of the Archaeology Museum and the cloister of the convent of the Annunziata.

The best way to explore Tortona’s fascinating history is on foot and the most important stops on a tour of the town are:
- the ‘Duomo’ (Cathedral, mid-16th century), whose interior has works by Camillo Procaccini, Aurelio Luini and others. It also houses the relics of St. Martianus, patron of Tortona, and the tombs of many important religious figures, with the remains of the composer Lorenzo Perosi and his brother Cardinal Carlo Perosi.
- ‘Palazzo Vescovile’, (Bishops' Palace, 1584), with a noteworthy Renaissance portal. It houses an important triptych of Madonna with Child and Saints by Macrino d'Alba (1499) and the ‘Codex purpureus sarzanensis’, dating from the sixth-seventh centuries.
- a Madonna with Child by Barnaba of Modena can be admired in the church of San Matteo;
- 'Santuario della Madonna della Guardia' with its imposing golden statue of the Madonna with Child on the bell tower is a not-to be missed visit.
- Important archaeological sites with Roman graves (1st century BC – 1st century A.D.) and Palazzo Guidobono with the collection of Di Negro Carpani, which hosts archaeological finds of great importance. Pride of place is given to the sarcophagus of Publio Elio Sabino, dating back to the 4th century;
- Medieval buildings;
- Roman walls along the slopes of the ‘castle’ and in via alle Fonti (street);

With its fascinating architecture, excellent food & wine, cultural attractions and activities, Tortona is the ideal place for a weekend break or a short stay holiday. The scenic beauty of the surrounding area is matched by the long history of the Region, stretching back to the times when the Romans made this area one of the outposts of their Empire.

> hamlets: Mombisaggio-Torre Calderai, Passalacqua, Rivalta Scrivia, Torre Garofoli, Vho, Castellar Ponzano, Bettole di Tortona.
> patronal day: San Marziano - 6th March
> twinned with: Privas (France) - Weilburg (Germany) - Zevenaar (Holland)

geographical zone: it is located in the Po basin, between the right bank of the Scrivia river and the hilly area of the Ligurian-Piedmontese Apennine region.

altitude m.  min. 91 m. above sea level and max. 290 m. above sea level

seat of: Diocese – Law Court – Magistrate’s Court – Carabinieri Post – Revenue Guard Corps - Inland Revenue Office – Registry Office – Department of Traffic Police – Fire Brigade – Delegation of ADI. – Post and telegraph Office

road connections
- s.s. (State road) n. 10 Padana Inferiore (Torino-Tortona-Casteggio-Piacenza-Mantova-Monselice)
- s.s. n. 35 dei Giovi (Genova-Tortona-Casteggio-Milano-Como)
- s.s. n. 211 della Lomellina (Pozzolo Formigaro-Tortona-Mortara-Novara)
- autostrada dei Fiori (Motorway A 7) (Genova-Serravalle Scrivia-Milano)
- autostrada dei Vini (Motorway A 21) (Torino-Piacenza-Brescia)
- autostrada dei Trafori (Motorway A 26) (Genova Voltri-Ovada-Sempione)

railway connections
- Milano – Genova  /  Torino - Piacenza – Brescia  /  Torino - Piacenza – Bologna