Mezzegra Lake Como

On the western shore of the lake there is our small village Mezzegra Lake Como, which is now part like so many former Italian municipalities of a new common Tremezzina.

A little curiosity is that the name Mezzegra comes from Mezz Agra middle ground.

The green of the olive trees, the small streets, the lake, however, deny great stories that see us protagonists in the past of Italian and European history.

The sumptuous and frescoed palaces of the historic center in Bonzanigo (Brentano, Rosati, Abbate, the Bishop’s House) show the success of immigrant families in Europe.
The family of Clemes Brentano German poet and author in the period of Romanticism, comes from here and also the well-known philosopher and psychologist Franz Brentano.
Here, April 28, 1945, was closed an important chapter in Italian history, when Benito Mussolini and Claretta Petacci were shot at the gate of Villa Belmonte in Giulino.

Wandering through the narrow streets of the village you can find small hidden corners, glimpses of breathtaking, beautiful walks.

From our apartments you can reach in 5 minutes the parish church of St. Abbondio, with a beautiful view of the lake where people from all over the world come to get married.

And walking and walking can also be reached Pola, where lives with his family the well-known singer-songwriter Davide Van De Sfroos, godfather and image of Lake Como for Expo 2015.

Mezzegra with its traditions (such as the Festival of Missoltino) and its people is not a classic tourist destination, as Bellagio or Varenna, but maybe that is what the guests of our apartments are looking for: find the true roots of the country they visit!

Ossuccio Lake Como

Ossuccio Lake Como is now part of a new common, like many other Italian municipalities. Along with Mezzegra, Lenno and Tremezzo, Ossuccio is now part of Tremezzina.
Ossuccio is a country rich in history and tradition located in an area known as “Zoca de l’Oli”, territory reach of olive trees thanks to the Mediterranean and mild climate.
Its origins are linked to the Comacina Island where today you can find archaeological remains and the artists houses in the rationalist style.
Isola Comacina was home to an important church at the beginning of Christianity, fortified by the Byzantines, then defeated by the Lombards.
It became a refuge for kings and dukes with their treasures and during sided war for Milan, who in 1169 took his revenge, occupying the island.
The festival of San Giovanni each year in late June commemorates the battle between Milan and Federico Barbarossa with musical fireworks and a spectacular burning of Isola Comacina.
When you enter in Ossuccio you can stop to admire Gothic tower of the Romanic church of Santa Maria Maddalena, than reach the lake shore to discover the typical corners and visit the Antiquarium.
Few years ago the Romanic church of San Giacomo, with its bell tower dating back to the XI-XII century, was the protagonist of an advertise of a famous brand of coffee.
The Sacred Mountain of Ossuccio Madonna del Soccorso with its chapels dedicated to the mysteries of the Rosary is now UNESCO heritage along with other Sacred Mountain of Piemonte and Lombardia.
The watch tower of Barbarossa now become FAI -Italian Environment Foundation- property.
Monastery of San Benedetto in Val Perlana is a peaceful corner in the nature.
A nice walk between history and nature awaits you in Ossuccio Lake Como !!!

Piccolo Mondo Antico: Castello Valsolda

After visiting the Church of Santa Maria Annunciata, continuing into the driveway, in 30 minutes you can reach Castello Valsolda.

Keep it up our tour for Valsolda of Piccolo Mondo Antico following the route that uncle Piero and Mr. Zacomo Puttini made the day of the secret marriage of Luisa and Franco.

On the left are the old stables of Pianca and close to the first restaurant we meet, your gaze runs over Casarico, San Mamete, Cressogno, Loggio and in front of Rescia falls.

Continuing our journey on the right hidden among the trees we can see the Caslano fountain, where Fogazzaro set his homonym poem.

Castello Valsolda is a country with a panoramic view located on a cliff. Is the native land of Luisa.

In the Church are celebrated the secret marriage between Luisa and Franco. Here you can admire the frescoes by Paolo Pagani and on the churchyard a breathtaking views of the west bank of Ceresio to Monte San Salvatore.

Venturing under the porch and passed the small square you come to the house of Luisa’s mother.

Continuing along the avenue between the houses until you arrive at the bottom of the village meeting places of Piccolo Mondo Antico: the walnut trees, the Muzzaglio pastures, the tiny cemetery of Looch where is buried Luisa’s mother.

Returning to the cobbled avenue, take the path on the left and in twenty minutes you can arrive at the lake.

The Valsolda of Piccolo Mondo Antico

In Valsolda autumn is the best time to soaking in warm colors and in the alleys of Piccolo Mondo Antico, the novel by Antonio Fogazzaro that has made popular this fabulous land.

Leaving the car over the Oria cemetery down to the lake among the oleanders, broom and red creeper to enjoy the panorama below with the Church and the shore of Lake Lugano.
In a short time we are in the churchyard of the Church of S. Sebastiano in front of Villa Fogazzaro, today FAI heritage.

Entering into the alleys comes to life the atmosphere of the novel as you find yourself in front of the corners and the buildings so well described by Fogazzaro: the dock, the steep street of the Tomato, the hanging garden, the red house of the bookies, the landing, the home of the Marquis Bianchi, the garden with maritime pine that stands gigantic in the sky.

From the churchyard you can see over the whole lake Lugano. On the southside of the village of Osteno with waterfalls Rescia and quarry stones and on the right Monte San Salvatore and the high mountains of Carona.

In the cemetery there is the family tomb of Fogazzaro.

Beyond the cemetery continue along the cobbled street to get to the Church of Albogasio and from there, taking the staircase called “the Calcinera”, stands the Church of Santa Maria Annunciata to admire the frescoes by Giovanni Battista Pozzo.

In the landscape towards the mountain are set the homes of people of Piccolo Mondo Antico: the house with porch of the Podesta building of the Seventeenth century, Villa Affaitati Salve of the Austrian official Pasotti which is a scale reconstruction of the Royal Villa in Warsaw on the Vistula river, the trail that climbs the mountain Boglia and Colma Director.

Valsolda

The earth of Valsolda extends among Porlezza and the border between Italy and Switzerland. It offer an entirely view of Lake Lugano.

The Valsolda is a green amphitheatre facing south with the Mediterranean climate with olive trees, cypresses and laurels.

On the lakeside we find the villages of Oria, Albogasio, San Mamete and Cressogno.
Upstream through woods and meadows there are the villages of Castello, Loggio, Drano, Puria and Dasio.

The natural and historical beauties attract in these places hikers and lovers of mountain bike rides.

On the opposite shore of the lake, but always part of the municipality of Valsolda, there is the village of Santa Margherita reachable only by boat. From here started the funicular to Lanzo Intelvi.

For nature lovers the Valsolda Nature Reserve is a point of considerable interest.
The southern part of the Nature Reserve is equipped with rest areas and is available both for tourism and cultural teaching.

For history lovers there are traces of prehistoric life in Muzzaglio and Camporgna, Roman finds in Castello and Albogasio, remains of medieval defensive structures in the historic centers of towns.

The most valuable works of Valsolda are made in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth century by local artists: sculptors, decorators, plasterers, painters and architects emigrated across Europe to achieve excellent works.
Not to be missed their works in the local churches and the Pagani museum.

Finally, in these places you can breathe the atmosphere of the works of Fogazzaro. In particular the novel “Piccolo Mondo Antico” with its views, its narrow streets and the house of Fogazzaro today FAI heritage.

Porlezza and its fractions

About Porlezza and its fractions is more difficult to have historical sources of the past.

The village of Begna has in its lower village the oldest part of the late Roman period, while the upper core is born as a rural offshoot of the older one.

The center of Agria is a medieval hamlet of rural origin.

Tavordo can be divided into two distinct core of medieval origin. The first nucleus is composed of buildings that gravitate around an agricultural-manor courtyard, while the oldest is composed of noble and peasant matrix buildings.
Tavordo is a politically and economically autonomous township. On the front of the houses you can still admire frescoes depicting the Madonna, St. Sebastian, St. Roch and St. Uguzzo (St. Lucio) denoting the historical link between these people and the pastures above the pass of St. Lucio in Val Cavargna. In the hall called “Conventino” was set in medieval times, the Hospitales for pilgrims and travelers.

The village of Cima still remembers its historical function of noble medieval hamlet in the civil and military structures that are read in its buildings. The parish church of the Purification of Mary denotes its medieval cemetery as the Oratory of St. Giorgio. Oldest is the Oratory of St. Michele which is still visible in the destroyed castle of the same name.
Upstream of the state road are always in the hamlet Cima, a lime kiln, well-preserved example of industrial archeology.

A walk in the fractions of Porlezza brings us back to medieval times, and we will discover the unexpected scene angles!

Porlezza

The territory of the municipality of Porlezza is located at the Swiss border, the nerve center of transit between Lugano and the center of Lake Como. It is composed of five villages: Porlezza, Cima, Begna, Tavordo, Agria.

The “porlezzese” was inhabited since ancient times. Proof of this are the two hoards of Gallic coins found in Cima and the roman tombs with grave goods of pottery and terracotta.

With the spread of Christianity, it became “Capo Pieve” including Osteno, Carlazzo, Val Rezzo, Val Cavargna. With Valsolda, Porlezza was included in the diocese of Milan.
During the “ten-year war” between Como and Milan, Porlezza was part of Milan.
The Milanese, setting up a naval base armed with shipyards for the construction and maintenance of naval vessels.
To this period belong the fortifications of the village still legible in its city plan.

The Porlezza town is full of great architectural value.
The parish church of San Vittore had baroque style with a nineteenth century facade and the interior is rich of frescoes and stucco decorations.
The Oratory of Santa Marta is full of stucco and frescoes of the eighteenth century.
The oratory of Our Lady of Miracles is octagonal with paintings by Giulio Quaglio and Pietro Antonio Pozzi.
The Oratory of San Rocco is perched on the slopes of Mount Colmen built to vote during a cholera epidemic.
The Romanesque chapel of St. Maurice at the foot of Mount Galbiga was unearthed after being buried by a landslide.

Porlezza originate famous families of the sixteenth century artists….
The Door: Gian Giacomo Della Porta worked as a sculptor and architect of the Duomo of Milan and the Certosa di Pavia; Giacomo Della Porta was called to turn Domenico Fontana with the dome of St. Peter on the drawing by Michelangelo.
The Sanmichele: known military engineers who built fortresses in Piemonte, the Papal States and Dalmazia.

The ancient land of Porlezza economy was primarily agricultural.
In the eighteenth century it developed the silk industry and were active two glassworks.
Since 1885, for about 50 years Porlezza was the terminus of the narrow gauge railway Menaggio-Porlezza carrying passengers, tourists and workers, but also the wood of Mount Galbiga and ice of the lake of the Plan to the hotels of Tremezzina.

This territory, thanks to the proximity of Switzerland and the natural attractions of the surrounding environment, in recent years has had a significant tourist and economic development.

Colonno

To the bottom of Monte Costone there is Colonno, a picturesque village reflected in the waters of Lake Como.
Colonno takes its name from a Greek colony installed by Julius Caesar. These Greeks proceeded to build roads and work the land cultivating the olive trees, the grapevines, the wheat. They founded Colonno, Lezzeno, Lenno, Griante.
One of Roman tombs near the lake between Colonno and Sala Comacina testifies this period.
Colonno in the Middle Ages, was part of the Comacina Island Church, and followed its fate in the long war between Como and Milan.
Once inhabitans were fishermen and farmers, Colonno has maintained its structure with houses leaning against each other, as original architecture of the Middle Ages.
In the Renaissance period Colonno lives the struggles between the French and Spanish, it allies from time to time to Lombard princely family.
In this moment probably started the trades of agricultural products, the women of Colonno are known as very resourceful in marketing.
The inhabitants of Colonno are famous for hard work and the ability in marketing. They sold agrucultural products, along with fish and fresh dairy products, touring the province with the basket on theyr back.
To visit the church of San Michele Arcangelo which houses frescoes from medieval times.
Near the lake in a characteristic square there is an old building which locals call the District Court enriched by a precious door of the XVI-XVII century.
The town is crossed by the torrent valley of Sala, which locals call “Pessetta”. On it, just outside the town, it stands a house bridge which preserves the memory of an overflow occurred in 1905.
Outside the town it deserves to be remembered the cascade of Camogge, that during periods of heavy rain swells and falls roaring into the lake.
If you drive along the Green Way Lake Como, Colonno is the country of departure for those arriving from the south, do not forget to visit this quaint town before you continue your beautiful walk!

Lenno lake Como

Lenno Lake Como is a town of Roman origin, set in a ‘cove known for its beauty by Cardinal Durini, in the seventeenth century, “Gulf of Venus.” It is said that Plinius the Younger had two villas Comedy and Tragedy the first near lake and the second much more upstream.
Numerous historical references in the country, as in the village of Campo in a stretch of Via Regina inserted in the node of streets that formed the “ancient Roman military camp” where the Campidoglio square reminds us of the legions of Rome’s passage and the time of Julius Caesar the Greek settlers from the island of Lemnos who gave the name to Lenno.
Lenno is also art with the church of St. Stephen with medieval origins where there is an ancient crypt, the baptistery Romanesque home to numerous art exhibitions, the Acquafredda abbey and the famous Villa Balbianello Lenno belonging to the FAI which were filmed episodes of famous movies like Star Wars the Attack of the Clones or 007 Casino Royal.
The famous market on Tuesday is an ideal venue for getting a bit ‘of shopping, enjoing a coffee on the lake or why not an italian ice creams at “Fabbrica del Gelato”.
Lenno is a starting point for boat trips or a perfect spot for launching a boat or beaching pleasure boats.

Gravedona lake Como

Gravedona Lake Como is situated in a beautiful bay.
It is characterized by its squares and the picturesque lanes that cross the country.
Gravedona is a witness to a past rich in historical event, was an important center in medieval and Roman period.
It was the community center of the Three Parishes and still preserves valuable churches and monuments.
By the lake stands the Church of Santa Maria Del Tiglio twelfth century.
On the site of the ancient castle stands imposing Palazzo Gallio (XVI century).
The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and the Convent, contains a fresco cycle of the sixteenth century.
The promenade along the lake continues linking Gravedona to Dongo.
This nice walk is very busy during all seasons: families with children, people who walk with dog and that ones who ride a bicycle.
The event more attractive during the summer season is the reenactment of August 14 with fireworks and bonfires lit on the mountain to remember a legend.
Seven brothers and sisters belonging to the family of Hermit Saints. Zephir on Legnoncino, Ulderico on Mount Muggio, Eulalia in Gravedona, Eufrasia in Dongo, in Bellano, Defendente in Varenna, Calimero in Pasturo.
As they lived far one from the others, to communicate when they were in danger, they lit fire outside their alpine hut so the others could rush to help.
Perhaps the tradition of lighting fires on the mountain (called “bonfire”) on the eve of the feast of the patron saints was born in this way.