Camerata Cornello • • Visit Bergamo

Camerata Cornello

Description

Visiting Cornello dei Tasso, in the district of Camerata Cornello, is like making a journey to the Middle Age. This hamlet, named one of the most beautiful in Italy, stands on a spur overlooking the Brembo River. You can reach it in only two ways: walking or using the mule tracks, the old dirt roads. The village’s isolation also represented its biggest fortune, as it allowed it to keep intact the entire ancient urban layout.
However, there’s so much more to explore in Cornello: in the “Museo dei Tasso e della Storia postale – the Tassos and the Postal Service History Museum” you will find many written documents related to the activity of the noble and ancient Tasso family, from Cornello, which played a crucial role in the communication field all over Europe, inventing the postal service and the taxi, as well. Don’t miss the renowned Penny Black, the first stamp ever issued!
Finally, crime also features Camerata Cornello’s history…in the early XX Century one of its inhabitants committed a brutal massacre. Keep reading to learn more!


As we mentioned before, the taxi is a sort of evolution of the European postal service created by the initiative of the Tasso family, which gained the kings’ trust thanks to its effective and punctual work. As a result, the family was given more and more assignments, including the transportation of tax revenues, carried out with some carriages where – sometimes – also a few passengers used to travel. This is how the first service was born, which was named “tassì” after the family, then becoming the current “taxi”.
The documents preserved at the State Archives of Bergamo and at Camerata Cornello’s Parish demonstrate that the Tassos came from the medieval hamlet of Cornello: their ancestor was Omodeo, mentioned in 1251.
His heirs were really active, indeed: during the following centuries, some of them actually established and managed the “Compagnia dei Corrieri della Serenissima – the Venice Couriers Company”, which used to run the connections between Venice and Milan and between Venice and Rome; others set up the “Poste Pontificie – the Papal Mail Service”, some others undertook the contract for the communications of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, thus becoming the Imperial Postal Service general masters for centuries. In the XVII Century, the German branch of the family – also known under the name of Thurn und Taxis, even got the princely title.

One of the most beautiful hamlets in Italy

Cornello dei Tasso is currently located in an isolated place, along the “via Mercatorum” street, but it hasn’t always been like that. This road, leading to the Valtellina valley, enhanced the trades for a certain time, making Cornello the seat of the Valley’s most important market. Nevertheless, when the “via Priula” road was built in the valley floor, in the late XVI Century, the hamlet was cut off the most significant trades. 

Cornello’s urban structure features the overlapping of four different building levels. The first two are made of horizontal fortification buildings and a covered walk with stone arches on top. The third level, more open, is formed by the houses, including the Tassos palace, separated from the others and located on a spur, on the Southern side of the village, overlooking the valley. In the fourth level we find the Church dedicated to the Saints Cornelio and Cipriano, featuring a Romanesque tower bell, very uncommon in the Brembana Valley. Inside the building, the walls are decorated with a very complex cycle of frescoes, both for their styles and themes. It is possible that some of the artists are the Baschenis from Averara. Finally, the emblem of the Tasso family, with the badger and the post horn, adorns the frame of the 1635 altarpiece, depicting the Crucifixion.

Noir

If you hear someone from Bergamo say “Faccio come Pianetti”, which means, “I’ll do just like Pianetti did”, you better run away! In fact, he’s referring to a violent and brutal fact that happened in Camerata Cornello, when Simone Pianetti killed seven people and avoided capture. He was born in the small contrada of Lavaggi, in Camerata Cornello, and migrated to New York looking for fortune. When he came back to the Brembana Valley, he became very poor due to some insinuations by the people of the village, so he begun to plan his revenge against those who had led him to that situation. On July 13th 1914 he killed Domenico Morali, the physician of Camerata Cornello and San Giovanni Bianco, the district secretary Abramo Giudici along with his daughter Valeria, the shoemaker Giovanni Ghilardi, the priest, father Camilo Filippi, the village envoy Giovanni Giupponi and Caterina Milesi, with whom he had controversy going on. After the massacre, he escaped among the mountains. Meanwhile, people started to consider him as a sort of Robin Hood and a liberator who fought the power (the mayor, the physician etc.). The local shepherds and charcoal-burners also helped his being on the run. We don’t know exactly what happened to Pianetti: some says he lived secretly in the mountains for many years, some other believes that he died soon after meeting his son, or maybe he migrated to America. Certainly his story became a source for legends, anecdotes and popular tales, besides making him appear on several recent publications and feature a few songs by Bergamo bands, including the Folkstone and the Cucine SCS.

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Visiting Cornello dei Tasso, in the district of Camerata Cornello, is like making a journey to the Middle Age. This hamlet, named one of the most beautiful in Italy, stands on a spur overlooking the Brembo River. You can reach it in only two ways: walking or using the mule tracks, the old dirt roads. The village’s isolation also represented its biggest fortune, as it allowed it to keep intact the entire ancient urban layout.
However, there’s so much more to explore in Cornello: in the “Museo dei Tasso e della Storia postale – the Tassos and the Postal Service History Museum” you will find many written documents related to the activity of the noble and ancient Tasso family, from Cornello, which played a crucial role in the communication field all over Europe, inventing the postal service and the taxi, as well. Don’t miss the renowned Penny Black, the first stamp ever issued!
Finally, crime also features Camerata Cornello’s history…in the early XX Century one of its inhabitants committed a brutal massacre. Keep reading to learn more!


As we mentioned before, the taxi is a sort of evolution of the European postal service created by the initiative of the Tasso family, which gained the kings’ trust thanks to its effective and punctual work. As a result, the family was given more and more assignments, including the transportation of tax revenues, carried out with some carriages where – sometimes – also a few passengers used to travel. This is how the first service was born, which was named “tassì” after the family, then becoming the current “taxi”.
The documents preserved at the State Archives of Bergamo and at Camerata Cornello’s Parish demonstrate that the Tassos came from the medieval hamlet of Cornello: their ancestor was Omodeo, mentioned in 1251.
His heirs were really active, indeed: during the following centuries, some of them actually established and managed the “Compagnia dei Corrieri della Serenissima – the Venice Couriers Company”, which used to run the connections between Venice and Milan and between Venice and Rome; others set up the “Poste Pontificie – the Papal Mail Service”, some others undertook the contract for the communications of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, thus becoming the Imperial Postal Service general masters for centuries. In the XVII Century, the German branch of the family – also known under the name of Thurn und Taxis, even got the princely title.

One of the most beautiful hamlets in Italy

Cornello dei Tasso is currently located in an isolated place, along the “via Mercatorum” street, but it hasn’t always been like that. This road, leading to the Valtellina valley, enhanced the trades for a certain time, making Cornello the seat of the Valley’s most important market. Nevertheless, when the “via Priula” road was built in the valley floor, in the late XVI Century, the hamlet was cut off the most significant trades. 

Cornello’s urban structure features the overlapping of four different building levels. The first two are made of horizontal fortification buildings and a covered walk with stone arches on top. The third level, more open, is formed by the houses, including the Tassos palace, separated from the others and located on a spur, on the Southern side of the village, overlooking the valley. In the fourth level we find the Church dedicated to the Saints Cornelio and Cipriano, featuring a Romanesque tower bell, very uncommon in the Brembana Valley. Inside the building, the walls are decorated with a very complex cycle of frescoes, both for their styles and themes. It is possible that some of the artists are the Baschenis from Averara. Finally, the emblem of the Tasso family, with the badger and the post horn, adorns the frame of the 1635 altarpiece, depicting the Crucifixion.

Noir

If you hear someone from Bergamo say “Faccio come Pianetti”, which means, “I’ll do just like Pianetti did”, you better run away! In fact, he’s referring to a violent and brutal fact that happened in Camerata Cornello, when Simone Pianetti killed seven people and avoided capture. He was born in the small contrada of Lavaggi, in Camerata Cornello, and migrated to New York looking for fortune. When he came back to the Brembana Valley, he became very poor due to some insinuations by the people of the village, so he begun to plan his revenge against those who had led him to that situation. On July 13th 1914 he killed Domenico Morali, the physician of Camerata Cornello and San Giovanni Bianco, the district secretary Abramo Giudici along with his daughter Valeria, the shoemaker Giovanni Ghilardi, the priest, father Camilo Filippi, the village envoy Giovanni Giupponi and Caterina Milesi, with whom he had controversy going on. After the massacre, he escaped among the mountains. Meanwhile, people started to consider him as a sort of Robin Hood and a liberator who fought the power (the mayor, the physician etc.). The local shepherds and charcoal-burners also helped his being on the run. We don’t know exactly what happened to Pianetti: some says he lived secretly in the mountains for many years, some other believes that he died soon after meeting his son, or maybe he migrated to America. Certainly his story became a source for legends, anecdotes and popular tales, besides making him appear on several recent publications and feature a few songs by Bergamo bands, including the Folkstone and the Cucine SCS.