Adda (river)

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The Adda in Tirano
The Adda in Imbersago
Location of the Adda in Italy
Countries Italy, Switzerland
Physical characteristics
Main source Val Alpisella (Stelvio Pass), Italy
2,237 m (7,339 ft)
River mouth Po River
Length 313 km (194 mi)
  • Average rate:
    187 m3/s (6,600 cu ft/s)
Basin features
Basin size 7,979 km2 (3,081 sq mi)

The Adda (Latin Abdua, or Addua; in Lombard Ada or, again, Adda in local dialects where the double consonants are marked) is a river in North Italy, a tributary of the Po. It rises in the Alps near the border with Switzerland and flows through Lake Como, the Adda joins the Po a few kilometres upstream of Cremona. It is 313 kilometres (194 mi) long. The highest point of the drainage basin is the summit of la Spedla (a subpeak of Piz Bernina), at 4,020 metres (13,190 ft).

Towns along the river Adda include Bormio, Sondrio, Bellagio and Lecco (both on Lake Como), and Lodi.


The Adda's true source is in some lakes near the head of the Fragile glen, but its volume is increased by the union with several smaller streams, near the town of Bormio, at the Raetian Alps. Thence it flows first southwest, then due west, through the fertile Valtellina, passing Tirano, where the Poschiavino falls in on the right bank, and Sondrio, where is the junction with the Mallero, also on the right. This first half path of Adda makes it the very only one big river of Northern Italy to flow from East to West, it falls into the Lake of Como, at its northern end, and mainly forms that lake. On issuing from its southeastern or Lecco arm, it crosses the plain of Lombardy where it is joined from the left by the Brembo, Serio, and finally, after a course of about 240 kilometres (150 mi), joins the Po, 13 kilometres (8 mi) above Cremona.[1]

The Adda at Paderno.

The Trezzo sull'Adda Bridge, erected in 1377, holds the world record of 72 metres (236 ft) for the longest bridge arch built before the introduction of metal into bridge construction.

The lower course of the Adda was formerly the border between the Republic of Venice and the Duchy of Milan, after the Treaty of Lodi, 1454; and on its banks several important battles have been fought, notably that of Lodi, where Napoleon defeated the Austrians in 1796;[1] several battles have also taken place at the bridgehead of Cassano d'Adda and surrounding countryside.

Ferry designed by Leonardo da Vinci.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Adda". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 183. 

Coordinates: 45°08′04″N 9°52′54″E / 45.13444°N 9.88167°E / 45.13444; 9.88167

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