SOLFERINO, a village of Lombardy, Italy, in the province of Mantua, 5 m. S.W. of San Martino della Battaglia (a railway station 72 m. E. of Milan on the line to Verona), situated 410 ft. above sea-level, on the south-west edge of the hills bordering the Lake of Garda on the south. Pop. (1901), 1350. It was the scene of a battle fought on the 24th of June 1859 between the allied Franco-Sardinian army under Napoleon III. and Victor Emanuel, and the Austrian army commanded by Francis Joseph II., in which, after a severe contest, the latter retired over the Mincio (see ITALIAN WARS). The battle fought by the Sardinians on the left wing of the allied army is often called by the separate title of San Martino, from a hamlet near the Brescia-Verona railway, about which it was fought. From this battle, a certain shade of blue was designated by the name of Solferino, and was very popular for some years, though now, unlike its companion " magenta," it is forgotten.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)