Toponyms and dialect
We need to dispel the belief identifying the name of our hamlet with the adjective ” romanus”, which means from Rome.
In the late Middle Ages it was mentioned as RUMANO demostrating a clear indo-european originof the root “RU”, which gave origin to the words stream and rivulet.
Therefore, Romano means a village built in an area with plenty of flowing water. The dialect is gentle, it lacks the phonetic harshness of the language spoken in the surrounding valleys.
This is probably due to the long presence of garrisons of more educated populations: first the Romans followed by the Greeks.
The Romanese dialect, despite a slight difference, is more similar to the one spoken in Bergamo, than the one in Martinengo, a bordering village.
The origin of our hamlet is quite peculiar: its foundation dates back to 1171. Back then Romano
already existed in an area close to Covo. This territory was disputed between the “Vescovi-Conti”
from Cremona and those from Bergamo: three gates with their own boroughs belonged to Cremona
and one belonged to Bergamo. In the same year representatives of Bergamo and Romano
municipality gathered to agree on the construction of a new hamlet completely within the
The shape of the new village is unique as villages used to be built in a circular, oblong shape before
that time. Martinengo, Cologno and Urgnano are relevant examples. On the contrary, Romano had
an extended, oblong shape, a sort of shield shape with limited surface; therefore (even though they
had the same number of inhabitants) buildings were attached to each other, roads extremely reduced
to the minimum width exploiting the courtyards and reducing the possibility of growing vegetables.
The city gates were only three or four; the walls, higher than five meters, were reinforced with
numerous protruding towers.
Romano became a free town with substantial privileges confirmed by all rulers from the 13th to the
18th century; privileges that led to political, economic and social achievements.
The early centuries witnessed numerous and confusing dominations: from the time of the “Comuni”
to “Signorie”, powerful and controlling families followed each other and overlapped one another.
Among the most important families of the time it’s worth mentioning the Sommi – from Cremona,
the Colleoni – from Bergamo and the Soardo who were constantly living in this hamlet even though
with no more political power.
In 1335 started the enlightened domination of the Visconti. They appointed Giacomo Covo ascommander of the fief during the following century.
In 1428, after the peace treaty of Ferrara, the Republic of Venice took control over the territory and
kept it until the end of the 18th century, except for brief interruptions. Next, it was replaced by the
Cisalpina Republic followed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
We should never forget the medieval golden age of the great bergamasco Bartolomeo Colleoni who ruled from 1448 till his death in 1475.
Under his rule Romano was mainly granted economical benefits.