The Battle of Giornico was part of an expansionist policy of the Old Swiss Confederation during the 15th century. The confederation attempted to expand into the southern foothills of the Alps to gain control of both ends of the valuable mountain passes. In November 1478, Uri troops moved south over the Gotthard pass into the Levantina valley. The population of the valley, who had long been opposed to Milan, greeted the Swiss troops as liberators and allies. However, below the valley at Bellinzona, they found the city gates closed. Uri was quickly joined by forces from other Confederation cantons and established a siege camp below the walls of Bellinzona on 30 November 1478. The Duke of Milan responded by sending 10,000 men toward Bellinzona to drive the Confederates back and reassert his control over the Levantina.
Copyright: CC 3.0