- Art & Culture
The third stop on our tour is the small village of Gradella, which lies between Rivolta d’Adda and Pandino, at the end of a beautiful tree-lined avenue through the countryside.
Added to the prestigious ANCI list of the most beautiful villages in Italy in 2005, it is the only rural village in its category. Gradella has maintained its distinctive low farmhouses over the centuries, known for their typical ochre colour, red brick accents, and large communicating courtyards.
The name "Gradella" originally referred to a fortified castrum: in the early Middle Ages, a Lombard stronghold was established here, but the fortifications were destroyed in the 13th century. The village owes its unique architectural features to the noble Maggi family, who began buying up land and houses in 1558, establishing themselves as the absolute owners of Gradella in 1692.
Their presence can be felt in the seventeenth-century Villa Maggi at the eastern end of the town, remodelled between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and surrounded by a beautiful centuries-old park. In this fairy-tale village, immersed in the countryside, peace reigns supreme. You may never want to leave, especially if you are lucky enough to run into the friendly herd of fallow deer, originally brought to the village by the last Contessa, Camilla Maggi, who stroll through the picturesque streets to welcome visitors.