BELLAGIO, THE PEARL OF LAKE COMO
Enchanting village with narrow alleys and squares in a steady up and down within evocative views, perched on a headland separating the Como from the Lecco branch of the lake.
Absolutely one of the most beautiful resorts in the whole world, loved and visited by artists and writers of all times.
VARENNA AND CASTLE OF VEZIO
This itinerary leads visitors to discover the narrow and evocative alleys of the ancient fisher village of Varenna, a true jewel set between the lake and mountains: from the Church of Saint George, which still preserves appreciable works of the 15th-16th centuries to the gorgeous botanic gardens of Villa Monastero and Villa Cipressi, eclectic residences reflecting on the water.
Craft shops and restaurants breathe life into the alleys downtown and the lake promenade in a succession of colorful views.
The Castle of Vezio, on the headland of Varenna, is clear from every corner of Lake Como and can be easily reached from Varenna either on foot or by car. It is surrounded by centenary olive trees and beside an incomparable view it offers the opportunity in the afternoons to admire the exhibition of birds of prey and falconers (booking required) and to visit the tower of the Castle and its underground passages.
The Castle is open from April to October from 10 a.m. to sunset, closed in case of rain.
Fiumelatte (= river of milk), the shortest river in Italy, so called because of the white foam of the seasonal torrent that gushes out only in the spring from a hollow in the rocks and after a short distance flows into the waters of Lake Como.
The hollow counts several explorers, among whom Leonardo da Vinci.
We recommend the route that from the cemetery of Varenna leads to the headspring of Fiumelatte passing by the “Baluardo, a remarkable viewpoint overlooking the lake.
ORRIDO IN BELLANO
Bellano will offer you great emotions when visiting the "Orrido": a natural gorge formed by the waters of the river Pioverna through a process of erosion which lasted 15 million years.
Narrow platforms fixed in the rock allow visitors to enter the gorge and have a breathtaking view of sparkling waters, waterfalls, smooth stones, rich vegetation and caves.
The gloomy rumble of the turbulent waters of this wonder of nature have made the “Orrido” one of the most well known tourist resorts of the lake.
ABBEY IN PIONA
The Abbey is located in a magnificent location on the slopes of Mount Legnone at the northern end of the lake in the municipality of Colico.
You can visit the Church with its beautiful frescoes, The Cloister, a place of meditation and silence, and the Chapter House, the meeting and reading place of the monks who still live in the Abbey.
In the building used for the sale you can find medicinal herbs, cosmetic creams, honey and the famous liqueurs, wisely distilled according to the most ancient traditions, all natural products created by the monks themselves.
ABBEY OF SAN PIETRO AL MONTE, CIVATE
It is surely worth visiting the ancient Abbey of San Pietro in Monte above Civate: beauty of nature and artistic creativity, a very special mix for one of the earliest masterpieces of Romanesque architecture in Lombardy.
One hour walk along a mule track takes you to the architectural complex.
The site is currently no longer occupied by any religious orders, but the two stone portals with the carved motto “Ora et Labora” remind us of the past presence here of Benedictine monks.
FORTRESS OF MONTECCHIO
The military fortress from the first world war best-preserved in Europe.
The complex of the fort, entirely excavated in the rock, is characterized by massive, granite walls and several underground walkways and preserves 4 massive cannons Mod. Schneider with rotating emplacement under armored dome.
LECCO AND MANZONI ITINERARY
Gently lying between lake and impressive mountains (Grigne and Resegone), Lecco is mostly appreciated by the ones who love art, culture and nature.
The centre with its alleys, the peculiar small districts, the cultural itineraries and the several activities you can join in the outskirts make Lecco a city where staying is surely a pleasure.
In the old centre you can visit the remains of the fourteenth-century walls of Azzone Visconti and the old Market and Theatre squares, as well as the Basilica of St. Nicholas with its high bell tower overlooking the old harbor. Among the Museums we recommend “Villa Manzoni”, that was the residence of the Manzoni family for two centuries, and the “Palazzo Belgiojoso”, Museum of Natural History, Archaeological Museum and Planetarium.
Unique is the view you can enjoy from the plans of Erna, a real balcony above Lecco at an altitude of 1300 mt, to be easily reached by a cable railway in just five minutes time.
The writer Alessandro Manzoni (Milan, 1785-1873) spent much of his youth in the villa of “Caleotto” in Lecco and just in the surroundings he placed the setting of his famous novel "The Betrothed". The itinerary retraces the steps of “Renzo and Lucia” from Villa Manzoni to the old centre of Lecco, from Pescarenico to the Fortress of the “Innominato”, from the house of “Lucia” to the dwelling of “Don Rodrigo”.
Well-known all over the world for its splendid villas, Como will fascinate you because of its charming landscapes and artistic heritage: from “Piazza Cavour”, the heart of the city, to “Piazza Duomo” and its Cathedral, from the beautiful “Piazza San Fedele” to the Tower.
Also recommendable a ride on the cable railway connecting the city to the scenic mountain of Brunate.
Not to miss the “Volta Temple”, which houses some relics of the famous scientist Alessandro Volta, born in Como and inventor of the electric battery, and “Villa Olmo”, seat of art exhibitions of high quality.