Acquate is a characteristic district of Lecco that still clearly preserves its ancient centre. It dominates the centre of Lecco and commands a panoramic view of the lake. The territory of Acquate, bathed and, at the same time, bordered by the waters of the Caldone and Bione rivers, was traditionally devoted mainly to agriculture

The district is steeped in the Manzonian atmosphere: the naming of the roads was profoundly influenced by Manzoni and many of the district’s streets were renamed after characters in The Betrothed. A crossroads of alleyways in the heart of Acquate was the setting of the famous meeting between Don Rodrigo’s Bravoes and Don Abbondio at the beginning of the novel, not far from the Tabernacle of the Bravoes, where tradition also places the curate’s church. The attribution of these invented places led to long investigations and comparisons between Acquate and the neighbouring district of Olate. It is now widely agreed that the latter was the village of Renzo and Lucia but, for a long time before that, the honour was given to Acquate: still today, it is possible to stumble across the “traditional” house of Lucia while walking through the ancient centre of Acquate. 

The Lecco suburb was visited four times by Giuseppe Garibaldi. One of these was on 6 June 1859: travelling the length of the future Nation with the aim of making people aware of the cause of Unification, the general left Como for Lecco, where a large crowd gathered to hail him. On that occasion, the inhabitants of Acquate came down from their village in a large procession and marched through the streets of Lecco singing patriotic songs. To enhance the spectacle of their “parade”, the people of Acquate accompanied the march and the songs by striking a tin tool to produce a shrill sound like the chirping of cicadas. In this way, their memorable passage caused a thunderous racket and gave the impression that a swarm of large cicadas had swooped down on Lecco. 

Still today, the inhabitants of Acquate preserve and proudly hand down this legendary name, which has been given to very popular events staged in September, not only in this district but throughout the city: the Scigalott d’Or, the traditional festival of the patron saint, held every two years, and the Scigamatt, an entertaining sports competition that crosses the whole city. 

The origin of the name: according to some scholars, the place name Acquate comes from the Latin, meaning “irrigated fields”. According to others, the name of the district, which in ancient times was called “Coade”, came from the Germanic tribe of the Quadi, who arrived in Lombardy in 166 A.D.
Quarters: Bassana, Colongardo, Concezione, Poteo, Vicinali and Zuccarello.
Inhabitants’ nickname: “Scigalott de Quâ”, which translates as “cicaloni, the big cicadas of Acquate”. The nickname that describes the people of Acquate therefore refers to a historical event. Not to be missed: a visit to the parish church of San Giorgio Martire, which stands at the end of the Salita dei Bravi, and a tour of the district’s Manzonian places, that is, the “traditional” house of Lucia and the Tabernacle of the Bravoes. Finally, a walk to the parvis of the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Lourdes, where a delightful panorama of the city and the lake can be enjoyed.

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