9 April 2018

Treaty of Lodi

When the battles stopped (briefly) in northern Italy

The Peace of Lodi required the map of 15th century Italy to be redrawn
The Peace of Lodi required the map of
15th century Italy to be redrawn
The Treaty of Lodi, which brought peace between rival states in the north of Italy for 40 years, was signed on this day in 1454 at Lodi in Lombardy.

Also known as the Peace of Lodi, it established a balance of power among Venice, Milan, Naples, Florence and the Papal States.

Venice had been faced with a threat to its commercial empire from the Ottoman Turks and was eager for peace and Francesco Sforza, who had been proclaimed Duke by the people of Milan, was also keen for an end to the costly battles.

By the terms of the peace, Sforza was recognised as ruler of Milan and Venice regained its territory in northern Italy, including Bergamo and Brescia in Lombardy.

The treaty was signed at the Convent of San Domenico in Via Tito Fanfulla in Lodi, where a plaque today marks the building, no longer a convent.

Milan’s allies, Florence, Mantua and Genoa, and Venice’s allies, Naples, Savoy and Montferrat, had no choice but to agree.

A plaque marks the building in Lodi where the treaty was signed
A 25-year mutual defensive pact was agreed to maintain existing boundaries and an Italian league, Lega Italica, was set up.

The states promised to defend one another in the event of an attack and to support a contingent of soldiers to provide military aid. The league was soon accepted by almost all the Italian states.

It was not entirely effective and individual states continued to pursue their own interests against others, but the peace lasted until the French invaded the Italian peninsula in 1494, initiating the Italian Wars.

Lodi's main square, Piazza della Vittoria
Lodi's main square, Piazza della Vittoria
Travel tip:

Lodi, where the treaty was signed, is a city in Lombardy, to the south of Milan and on the right bank of the River Adda. The main square, Piazza della Vittoria, has been listed by the Touring Club of Italy as among the most beautiful squares in Italy with its porticoes on all four sides. Nearby Piazza Broletto has a 14th century marble baptismal font from Verona.

The imposing walls of Bergamo's Citta Alta are a legacy of  the city's time under Venetian rule
The imposing walls of Bergamo's Citta Alta are a
legacy of  the city's time under Venetian rule 
Travel tip:

Bergamo in Lombardy, which was handed over to Venice under the terms of the Treaty of Lodi, is a fascinating, historic city with two distinct centres. The Città Alta (upper town) is a beautiful walled city with buildings that date back to medieval times. The elegant Città Bassa (lower town) still has some buildings that date back to the 15th century, but more imposing and elaborate architecture was added in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Città Alta’s magnificent walls were built by the Venetians between 1561 and 1588 to make it a fortified city and to protect their trade routes. Bergamo continued to be ruled by the Venetians until the 18th century when the French took over after the Napoleonic Wars.

More reading:

The devastating 1527 Sack of Rome in the Italian Wars

The end of the Venetian republic

How Lorenzo the Magnificent helped preserve the Peace of Lodi

Also on this day:

1933: The birth of Gian Maria Volonté

1948: The birth of '60s pop star Patty Pravo


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