COLORNO – The history

The name of Colorno derives from the original position of the town where the Lorno canal flows into the Parma stream: “Caput Lurni” it means “at the head of the Lorno”.

The territory consisted of plain lands, partially affected by the Roman colonization that affected the Parma countryside in the second century B.C.

In the Middle Ages the lords of Colorno where the Bishops of Parma, to whom the Longobards had given fiefs and powers. An episcopal document of 1004 and an imperial bull of 1195 make mention of Colorno and its territory: at the beginning, the village consisted of few houses around a church and the core was near the Oratory of the Madonna della Neve.

For its strategic position, the town was important in the defense of the city of Parma against attacks from the north; thus, Colorno was fortified and became property of the municipality of Parma.

From 1303 and 1612, the territory of Colorno was fief of the Correggio Family, Terzi Family and Sanseverino Family. Azzo da Correggio moved the town on the right bank of the Parma stream, abandoned the castle on the Lorno torrent and built another one on the new site.

Around the second half of the 1600’s, Colorno became a summer residence and the center was liven up and was embellished by famous architects and artists; some new transformations were carried ou in the palace and in the garden and were built important buildings as the Longara, the bridge over the Parma stream and the Potager.

When the Farnese Dinasty became extinct, the Duchy passed to Charles of Bourbon, the son of the King of Spain and Elizabeth Farnese; it was a period of wars by the French and German armies, including the bloody battle of 1734.

On 1748, the Duchy passed to Don Philip of Bourbon, the younger brother of Charles, and for Colorno began a new golden age so as to deserve the title of “Versailles of the Dukes of Parma”.

After the fall of Napoleon, his wife Marie Louise of Habsburg set in Colorno her summer residence restoring the palace and the garden. At her death, the regency was taken by the Bourbon-Parma Family who was not well received by the population.

With the plebiscite of 11th March, 1860, the Duchy of Parma became an integral and indistinct part of the new nation that had formed.


The coat of arms of Colorno is divided into two part, on the left side the Orno, a tree similar to ash, which gave its name to the Lorno River. On the right, there is a half-golden cross, to remember Saint Margaret, patron saint of the country, on red background symbol of bloodshed in martyrdom. In the lower part, there is a dragon with the tail of a snake and a head of a lion, representing the devil that is the evil, crushed by the coat of arms to mean the victory of good over evil.

All around there are palm leaves and laurel symbol of peace and at the top the ducal crown.

The coat of arms began to be put on the documents after the unification of Italy, before there was the ducal one.