Adda (river)

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).

The Adda in Tirano
The Adda in Imbersago
Adda, rivière.png
Location of the Adda
CountriesItaly, Switzerland
Physical characteristics
SourceVal Alpisella[1]
 • locationeast of Livigno, Italy
 • coordinates46°32′50.64″N 10°14′21.12″E / 46.5474000°N 10.2392000°E / 46.5474000; 10.2392000
 • elevation2,122 m (6,962 ft)
 • coordinates
45°08′04″N 9°52′54″E / 45.13444°N 9.88167°E / 45.13444; 9.88167Coordinates: 45°08′04″N 9°52′54″E / 45.13444°N 9.88167°E / 45.13444; 9.88167
Length313 km (194 mi)
Basin size7,979 km2 (3,081 sq mi)
 • average187 m3/s (6,600 cu ft/s)
Basin features
ProgressionPoAdriatic Sea
 • leftBrembo
 • rightMallero

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


The Adda's true source is in Alpisella valley near the head of the Fraele glen, but its volume is increased by the union with several smaller streams, near the town of Bormio, at the Rhaetian 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 the Mallero joins, also on the right. This first half of the course of the Adda makes it the only big river of northern Italy to flow from east to west. It falls into Lake 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 313 kilometres (194 mi), joins the Po, 13 kilometres (8 mi) above Cremona.[2]

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;[2] several battles have also taken place at the bridgehead of Cassano d'Adda and surrounding countryside.


The Adda has the following tributaries (R on the right bank, L on the left, from source to mouth):

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Cartello sorgente dell'adda 2122 m" (in Italian).
  2. ^ a b   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCoolidge, William Augustus Brevoort (1911). "Adda". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 183.

External linksEdit