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Busto Arsizio

Italy, Busto Arsizio
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| footnotes =
}}"Busto Arsizio" (Lombard: "Büsti Grandi") is a city and "comune" in the region of Lombardy, in northern Italy, 25 km north of Milan in the province of Varese.
The economy of Busto Arsizio is mainly based on industry and commerce.


Despite repeated claims by Lega Nord and her local allies about a Celtic heritage, recent studies seem to show that the "bustocchi"s ancestors were Ligurians, called ‘wild’ by Pliny, ‘marauders and robbers’ by Livy and ‘unshaven and hairy’ by Pompeius Tragus. They were good at working iron and much sought after as mercenary soldiers. A very remote Ligurian influence is perceptible in the local dialect, Bustocco, slightly different from other Western Lombard varieties, according to local expert Luigi Giavini, author of a vocabulary.Varesenews, November 21, 2002

Traditionally these first inhabitants used to set fire to woods made of old and young oaks and black hornbeams, which at that time, covered the whole Padan Plain. This slash-and-burn practice, known as "debbio" in Italian, aimed to create fields where grapevines or cereals such as foxtail, millet and rye were grown, or just to create open spaces where stone huts with thatched roofs were built.
By doing this they created a "bustum" (burnt, in Latin), that is a new settlement which, in order to be distinguished from the other nearby settlements, was assigned a name: "arsicium" (again "burnt", or better "arid") for Busto Arsizio, whose name is actually a tautology; "carulfì" for nearby Busto Garolfo, "cava" for Busto Cava, later Buscate.

The slow increase in population was helped without doubt by the Insubres, a Gaulish tribe who had arrived in successive waves by crossing the Alps about 500 years before Christ. It is said that they defeated the Etruscans, who by then controlled the area, leaving some geographical names behind (Arno creek -not to be confused with Florence"s river - Castronno, Caronno, Biandronno, etc.)

Busto Arsizio"s site was not chosen randomly: in fact, the settlement was created on an area on the route from Milan to Lake Maggiore (called "Milan’s road", an alternative route to the existent Sempione), part of which, before the creation of the Naviglio Grande, made
use of the navigational water of the Ticino river.

However, nothing is sure about Busto Arsizio"s past till the 10th century, when the town is first hinted at in documents, already with its present name: "loco Busti qui dicitur Arsizio". A part of the powerful Contado of the Seprio, in 1176 its citizens are likely to have taken part (on both sides) to the famous Battle of Legnano, actually fought between Busto"s frazione of Borsano and nearby Villa Cortese, when Frederick Barbarossa was defeated by the Communal militia of the Lombard League. From the 13th century the town became renowned for its production of textiles. Even its feudalization in later centuries under several lords, vassals of the masters of Milan, did not stop its slow but constant growth; nor did the plague, which hit hard in 1630, traditionally being stopped by the Virgin Mary after the "bustocchi", always a pious Catholic flock, prayed for respite from the deadly epidemic.

By the half of the 19th century modern industry began to take over strongly: in a few decades Busto Arsizio became the so-called "Manchester of Italy". In 1864, while the "bustocco" Eugenio Tosi was the Archbishop of Milan, it was granted city privileges by king Victor Emmanuel II of Italy. The city kept on growing for more than a century, absorbing the nearby Comuni of Borsano and Sacconago in 1927 on a major administrative reform implemented by the Fascist regime, and was only marginally damaged even by World War II (a single Allied airdropped bomb is said to have hit the train station). This respite was given, actually, by the fact that the town hosted the important Allied liaison mission with the partisans, the Chrysler mission, led by Lt. Aldo Icardi, later famous for his involvement in the Holohan Murder Case. During the conflict Busto Arsizio was a major industrial center of war production, and the occupying Germans moved there the Italian national radio. The Italian resistance movement resorted preferably to strikes and sabotage than to overt guerrilla, since those willing to fight mostly took to the Ossola mountains, but strengthened in time, suffering grievous losses to arrests, tortures and deportation to the Nazi lager system. The names of Mauthausen-Gusen and Flossenburg concentration and extermination camps are sadly known to the "bustocchi", as dozens of their fellow citizens died there. When, on 25 April 1945, the partisans took over, Busto Arsizio thus gave voice to the first free radio channel in northern Italy since the advent of Fascism.

After the war, the city turned in time increasingly on the right of the political spectrum, as its bigger industries in the Sixties and Seventies decayed, to be replaced by many familiar small enterprises and a new service-based economy. Today the town represents a major stronghold for both Forza Italia and Lega Nord right-wing political parties.

Busto Arsizio has a high immigrant population owing to both its economy and location.

Main sight
Paintings in St. John the Baptist church.
Saint Michael Archangel.
The most important buildings of the city are the churches. In Busto Arsizio there are several of them, builted in the last milenium. Many of them are reconstructions of former churches.

Shrine of "Santa Maria di Piazza"
The most remarkable building of the Renaissance period, indeed the only remaining, is the shrine of "Santa Maria di Piazza" ("Saint Mary of the Square"), also called "shrine of the Beata Vergine dell"Aiuto" ("Blessed Virgin of the Help"). The building stends in the city centre. It was built between 1515 and 1522. The village of Crespi d"Adda, built up for Cristoforo Benigno Crespi, is home a more little copy of the shrine.

Saint John the Baptist"s church
The church of Saint John the Baptist, in the city center, was built between 1609 and 1635, but the bell tower is older (between 1400 and 1418). The facade, finished in 1701 by Domenico Valmagini, have a lot of statues and decorations. In the interior are numerous of paintings by Daniele Crespi, a celebrated painter born at Busto Arsizio, such as "Cristo morto con San Domenico". The square in front of this church was built over the ancient cemetery.

Saint Michael Archangel"s church
The third biggest church in the city is the Church of Saint Michael Archangel (San Michele Arcangelo). Its bell tower, built in the 10th century, is the oldest building in Busto Arsizio; originally it was part of a Lombard fortification. The present church was built from the architect Francesco Maria Ricchino. In the church there are some relics and, the most important is the body of San Felice Martire.

Saint Roch"s church
Built up after the 1485 bubonic plague and dedicatet to Saint Roch, invocked against the plague, it was rebuilt from 1706 to 1713 thanks to little offers in a small area given as a present by the lawyer Carlo Visconti. Inside the church there are frescos from Salvatore and Francesco Maria Bianchi (1731) and Biagio Bellotti.

Dieser Artikel stammt aus der freien Enzyklopädie Wikipedia und kann dort bearbeitet werden. Der Text ist unter der Lizenz Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike verfügbar. Fassung vom 23.07.2018 02:27 von den Wikipedia-Autoren.


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