This itinerary covers North Lake Como, the upper part of Lake Como, famous for its lakesides holiday resorts and water sports. It is highly recommended for families, because it is the part with the widest beaches and shallowest water on the entire lake.
This is an itinerary that during all day and the point of departure is Dongo, an historical village that is linked to the end of the Fascist era.
DONGO: is on a plain formed by the Albano Stream at the mouth of Albano Valley. The mayor highlights are:
- the small Romanesque church of Saint Maria in Martinico, a building with a single central nave with sculptural decorations;
- the beautiful Franciscan Monastery of Madonna delle Lacrime, built in the 16th century, it celebrates a miraculous event in 1553 when the “Our Lady with Child”, a fresco in a niche of the church;
- the Parish Church of Saint Stefano, rebuilt in the 18th century and adorned with frescoes by artists of European fame, such as Carlo Scotti and Giulio Quaglio.
Behind the church begins a beautiful walk that flanks the lake, linking Dongo and Gravedona. Along the way there are benches, beaches, lidos and picnic areas. This walk lasts 50 minutes and is accessible to wheelchair users too.
GRAVEDONA: situated in a beautiful valley, is one of the most famous place for trekking and excursions on Lake Como; the mayor highlights are:
- the Church of Saint Maria del Tiglio, dating from the 12th century this is a unique example of carved wood from the local Romasque period and with the exception of the arms, the entire piece comes from a single piece of wood;
- Palazzo Gallio, a majestic building with towers and loggias, built in 1582 as a residence for a Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, and now the seat of the Comunità Montana.
- The church of Saint Maria delle Grazie, known as the Monastery whose grassy courtyard affords splendid views of the bay;
- The Romanesque Church of Saints Gusmeo and Matteo, built on the site of the martyrdom of the two saints after their relics were found around 1248.
From Gravedona we can continue on two different excursions:
PIONA ABBEY: by car or by boat too during summer, we can reach Olgiasca Peninsula, on the eastern shore of Lake Como where Piona Abbey stands. The abbey church is built based on the model typical of small Romanesque buildings in the Como area. At the side of the church is a fascinating cloister built between 1252 and 1275 in a style of transition between Romasque and Gothic; it is surrounded by beautiful columns with figurative and plant motifs. Around the abbey there is a vast green area maintained by the Cistercian monks and a shop where visitors can buy excellent liqueurs and herbal infusions. The abbey is open all year round.
THE VALLEY OF GRAVEDONA: climbing the Valley of Gravedona by car we reach the villages of Livio and Peglio; in Peglio there is a interesting complex of Saint Eusebio that consist of a church, a portico, an ossuary, a rectory and a cemetery. We climb to the village of Peglio. Crossing the plain of Gorghiglio and passing by the small oratory of the Madonna del Gorghiglio to reach Livio. Here there is th 15th century Church of Saint Giacomo Vecchia with a magnificent apse frescoed during the 15th century.