The name PAR is Celtic in origin, which then became PARRE after being Latinized. According to some historians Parre means "High Place" and according to others it means "Big Field". After the discovery of historic artifacts in 1883, 1983 and 1994, Parre has been considered an emblematic site of the Alpine world.
For centuries Parre has been the land of farmers and shepherds, who took their sheep to Piemonte and Oltrepo' Pavese for the winter and then in summer would go through the Valtellinesi valley to the town of Gandino to sell wool to the various textile industries of the area.
The village has maintained its two distinct divisions: Lower Parre (Par Sota) and Upper Parre (Par Sura). Over time the village has grown to also encompass the local the areas of Agher, Costa Erta, Campella Valzella and others, which were originally farmland.
The "Villa de Parre", a group of rural houses in Parre, has been documented as far back as 928, which is the first known reference to the village of Parre.
The theory that Parre is "PARRA" the "Oppidum Orobiorum" remembered by Pliny the Elder in the Naturalis Historia, in reference to a historical writing by Cato the Elder, is gaining strength.
At the end of the twelfth century, after the necessary acts of liberty, the institution of a free government (with two governors) was created. After having had civic unrest and various Signorie the "Valle Seriana Superiore" sent some representatives to Venice to declare their loyalty to the town and ask for help and protection. The dominion of the republic of Venice, which maintained the institutions already present at the time, lasted until 1797 and the arrival of the French troops.
The excavation of Parre Castle, the Austrian domination, or even the troubles of the Italian renaissance era did not particularly bother the Parre people who have always showed "a quiet public spirit".
Points of Interest
Although only a small village, Parre still maintains a rich sense of history. In upper Parre you can find old houses built with stone walls, lovely "loggiati", small windows, columns and arches, such as the Houses near the Saint Christopher Arch or the Tiraboschi Road Arch. In lower Parre is the Cominelli House, where the Barons Belleboni were born, who became known as the Princes Von Paar in Austria.
The most important artistic treasures are kept in the churches, the large "Parrocchiale", dedicated to Saint Peter and the smaller church dedicated to Saint Rocco.
Well worth a visit for their panoramic views are the "Oratorio della Santissima Trinita'" (16th Century) located on nearby Mount Cusen and the "Oratiorio San Antonio" (17th Century) on Mount Alino.
The culinary specialty of Parre is Scarpinocc, which is a unique mouth-watering type of ravioli with a very light centre, seasoned with generous amounts of Parmesan cheese and melted butter. These can be found in most local restaurants, and are also celebrated in an annual festival (Festa degli Scarpinocc) held in Parre every August.
The rich popular culture of the village has been documented by researchers in various publications, but also by local groups such as the historic society "lampiusa" (a word which in the traditional shepherd's language - il gai'- means moon). The members of this group, who dress in the authentic costumes of the Parre shepherds, work hard to maintain the traditions, balls and songs from past centuries (and which were still in use even after the Second World War).