The legend tells that Zavattarello was refuge for a group of Roman soldiers who escaped from the battle of Trebbia river, won by Hannibal in 218 a.C. In that period there was a village in our land, confirmed by the finding of a Roman cemetery. But more ancient archaeological finds suggests that this place was populated centuries before the Roman period. From late Roman empire to Middle ages, in Zavattarello there were a lot of shoemakers: the name "Zavattarello" comes from the local word for this job, similar to the modern "zavaltée", derived from the late latin "savatta".
In X century this place was property of the Monastery of St. Columba in Bobbio: Zavattarello remained property of Bobbio since 1169, when, during fights between Pavia and Piacenza, the second town conquered it.
In 1209, for decision of emperor Ottone IV, Zavattarello became again property of the Bishop of Bobbio. There was a long war to obtain Zavattarello between two parties of Piacenza: the first was guided from Landi family, the secondFu teatro di prolungate contese tra due fazioni piacentine: quella ghibellina capitanata dalla fami from Scotti family. At the end, Landi family won and conquered Zavattarello, keeping this feud until Visconti period.
Ubertino Landi was one of the most famous lords of Zavattarello and about him there are a lot of legends: he defended the castle from a lot of attacks and fighted a lot of battles. But when he was too old to fight, he gave his properties to Scotti party.
The rising of Visconti family was the beginning of fortune for Dal Verme family: in 1385 the Bishop of Bobbio donated Zavattarello to Jacopo Dal Verme, from Verona, famous soldier and founder of a war school famous in Europe. He was the first of his family to have properties in Oltrepò Pavese.
In 1485 Lodovico il Moro ordered to kill Earl Pietro Dal Verme, who didn't have sons: so Lodovico became lord of Zavattarello and donated it to Galeazzo Sanseverino, Earl of Caiazzo. In 1499 Lodovico il Moro escaped from Milan when French soldiers arrived, guided from Gian Giacomo Trivulzio: Lodovico went to Germany with Sanseverino. Bernardino della Corte, who kept the castle of Milan, surrended to French army, and he obtained Zavattarello and other Dal Verme properties. Dal Verme heirs continued to claim their rights, until in 1512, when Bernardino died, obtained Zavattarello back.
But Galeazzo Sanseverino turned to French party, so in 1520 obtained Zavattarello again from Francesco I. Fights between Galeazzo and Dal Verme family ended when Sanseverino died during the battle of Pavia in 1525: Dal Verme family obtained the feud definitely.
In 1817 Zavattarello passed from Bobbio religious Diocesi to Tortona and in 1923, with Bobbio, was passed to Piacenza province. But the inhabitants protested with a march on Bobbio, so in december 1924 the governement decided that in 1925 Zavattarello came back to Pavia province.
summary of the book by
Carlo Alberto Facchino, Antonio Trazi ed Enrico Baldazzi,
"Zavattarello, pagine di storia e di vita"