"Spicy Como". The red-light history of the city- Lake Como Italy

If we ask to young people from Lake Como Italy for which reason is the Cortesella area known, they wouldn’t probably be able to answer. Nevertheless, we only were in the ‘30s when the district was about to restore the rough city zone from an activity always repressed as well as demanded.

For sure, the hidden secrets of the old town walls concerning a spicy and naughty past can at first surprise the reader because of the good reputation of Como. Anything new instead to Cristina Fontana, guide and researcher who wrote about the evolution of the prostitution phenomenon in her book ‘Como a luci rosse’: a real historical research from Roman age to nowadays.

The thing we can understand from Cristina’s book is that even though the prostitution centre has often changed due to the administration hostility, prostitutes didn’t stop practicing their (il)legal profession: when the two Plinii were ruling, there was a building for public prostitution, then in the Middle Age the public baths close to San Fedele’s church became the pleasure place until the construction of real brothels around 1400. The old Como brothels, three for the record, were all placed in the city centre near the Cathedral and obviously attracted customers looking for company, even from Swiss.

The situation caused the malaise of respectable citizens who were daily assisting these scenes to the point that authorities claimed the possible relocation of the brothels in the suburbs.

"Spicy Como". The red-light history of the city- Lake Como Italy

Nicole
Discover the towns on 
Lake Como Italy with us,
info@slowlakecomo.com mobile +39 392 027 9675. 

Orrido di Nesso: the hidden waterfall
The heritage of Musso & The Giardino del Merlo
Churches, Castles, Ancient Ports and Dream Landscapes. Rezzonico and Santa Maria.
Brienno.The Labyrinth Village
The Village of Hell. Lezzeno and the Devil’s Bridge.
Cantù is Beautiful! Galliano and the Museum of Wood

Merone sustainable town in Lake Como Italy

Merone, a four thousand inhabitants town, is known as sustainable example in Lake Como Italy.

 

There, in fact, a brilliant project came true: an area previously devoted to industry got new life thanks to simple but effective solutions.

The place was commonly known for its cement factory and industries powered by hydric energy from river Lambro. After the coming of several fundings, the deputy mayor decided to change Merone reputation and realised a project able to connect modernity and sustainable development.

Step by step, he succeeded in creating a synergy system in which everyone has their own role: eco squares, an eco-urban park, a bike sharing network and eco-hostels. However, the deputy mayor isn’t satisfied yet and revealed there are still some work in progress ideas such converting a previous industrial area to pursue a greener aim. For the inhabitants, this is also an opportunity to rediscover the bond with their roots- as a matter of facts, Merone hides a past of workshops and local handicraft as the Sangiorgio clog factory proves.

Not only the public administration but also private citizens contributed to the project: recently hotel Corazziere has been requalified using bio architecture, the result was new life to Baggero mills.

Hence if you would like to spend an eco-friendly Sunday, it’s not necessary to go that far away…just discover Merone in the Brianza area!

Merone town Lake Como Italy

Nicole
Discover the towns on 
Lake Como Italy with us,
info@slowlakecomo.com mobile +39 392 027 9675. 

Orrido di Nesso: the hidden waterfall
The heritage of Musso & The Giardino del Merlo
Churches, Castles, Ancient Ports and Dream Landscapes. Rezzonico and Santa Maria.
Brienno.The Labyrinth Village
The Village of Hell. Lezzeno and the Devil’s Bridge.
Cantù is Beautiful! Galliano and the Museum of Wood

Lezzeno - Towns on Lake Como Italy - Slow Lake Como

Despite the proximity to Bellagio, few tourists visit this charming town on Lake Como. Maybe somebody is frightened by his reputation as  a village of witches and smugglers.  If Bellagio, beautiful and famous, it is the place of the great hotels, shopping and glamour, Lezzeno at a very short distance, is the place where you can discover the most hidden and mysterious soul of Lake Como area.

The two villages are separated by a curved road between rough cliffs. . If you have the courage to go this way and overcome the Devil’s Bridge, located right between the two villages, you will be rewarded with amazing views, fishermen’s homes where time seems to have stopped,mountains peaking on the village and on the lake.

Lezzeno is the longest town on the lake, 7 kms inhabited.  Inhabitants here unlike other villages didn’t choose to live too far from the shores and this justifies the numerous fishing activities still well represented nowadays. Village life here  had, and has nowadays,  a strong sense of belonging and complicity. During  the epic years of smuggling  it wasn’t uncommon for strangers who asked for information about people of the village, hear the inhabitants answer they didn’t know them at all and then discover the addressees were very close relatives.

Every year in March, on the occasion of the feast of St. Joseph, the banks of the country are illuminated by giant roaches. We know that in Lezzeno have lived many witches, then executed and burned. It is not, however, to recall these events that the burners are turned on. This is a competition between the different hamlets of the village.

The purpose of the competition is to build the stack that will burn for longer than any, but it must be defended from the actions of disturbances of opponents. All the contenders must be young and live in the hamlet they want to represent. On the morning of decisive day the different groups position their pyres waiting till it gets dark then once the fires are lit they all look out at the lake because in the dark a “pirate raid” from other hamlets  could try to put out the enemies’ bonfire.  Beauty, mystery, history and legends. A little paradise awaits you in Lezzeno,…… just beyond the Devil’s bridge.

Lezzeno - Towns on Lake Como Italy - Slow Lake Como

Davide,
Discover the towns on 
Lake Como Italy with us,
info@slowlakecomo.com mobile +39 392 027 9675. 

Orrido di Nesso: the hidden waterfall
The heritage of Musso & The Giardino del Merlo
Churches, Castles, Ancient Ports and Dream Landscapes. Rezzonico and Santa Maria.
Brienno.The Labyrinth Village
The Village of Hell. Lezzeno and the Devil’s Bridge.
Cantù is Beautiful! Galliano and the Museum of Wood

towns on Lake Como Italy

12 months,  12 towns, 12 emotions. Places, monuments and secret hamlets of Lake Como.

Someone says that our Lake and our territory are melancholic in autumn and winter, better to come in spring or summer. For us at Slow Lake Como, our territory is beautiful all the year round, and has infinite beauty to show, endless stories to tell.

We take you to the unknown places, in the towns overlooked by tourist circuits, in the corners you’ve never noticed, in cloisters and hidden or often closed monuments, choosing the seasons where they have more charm.

From “Devil’s Bridge” to “Paradise’s stairs”, from the old closed houses of the walled city of Como to the ancient sacred architecture of our territory, from the labyrinth town to the exterminated landscapes of the North Lake Como.
An exciting journey that lasts 12 months. Every month a stage, a new pearl, as we like it, walking with the step and curiosity of the wayfarer. We move slowly, but we never stop … follow us …

towns on Lake Como Italy

October  2017 – March 2018 Calendar

Sun  29/10:  “Town of Hell”. Lezzeno and the Devil’s Bridge

Sat 25/11 “Como piccante”. La storia a luci rosse della città. “Spicy Como”. The red lights history of the city.

Sat 16/12 “Art in the Hidden Cloister”. Santa Margherita in Como.

Sat  20/01 “Cantù is beautiful!” Galliano and the Wood Museum.

Sun 25/02 The Labyrinth town”. Brienno.

Sun 25/03 “Churches, castles and ancient harbors”. Santa Maria and Rezzonico.

Sara
Discover the towns on Lake Como Italy with us,
info@slowlakecomo.com mobile +39 392 027 9675. ⠀

cascina rodiani e Slow Lake Como premio turismo cultura UNESCO

Today we are glad to share a great NEWS!

The itinerary Sul confine dei paesaggi won the turismo cultura unesco Cristina Ambrosini award organised by L’Agenzia di Viaggi magazine.

Sul confine dei paesaggi (On the border of the landscapes) is an eco-sustainable interregional itinerary between Lake Como and Lake Lugano,
which centers the pre-Alpine territory and its UNESCO sites: the Sacro Monte of Ossuccio and Monte San Giorgio.
The proposal was developed by Cascina Rodiani – Green Hospitality in collaboration with Slow Lake Como, Burgio Carri Srl and Spina Verde Regional Park.

It was a great emotion to receive the award in Siena during the World Tourism Event for UNESCO sites.

Sara
PS
For info and booking contact us! 
info@slowlakecomo.com mobile +39 392 027 9675. 

Lake Como Pian di Spagna natural Reserve - Slow Lake Como

The environmental protection and the respect are the slow tourism basis, this is why we want you to discover our places in Lake Como Italy. Natural reserves are the sites where the right balance between men and nature is restored once again. In particular, on Lake Como and all over the area it’s very common to find such preserved places and the Pian di Spagna natural reserve is one of these. The reserve territory lies where dry land and water meet creating together an environment with a great naturalistic value. The level land involved among Como Lake, the lake of Mezzola and mountains of Val Chiavenna as well as Valtellina hosts a wide range of different flora and fauna species. Among all the animals living in the area perhaps the most important ones are the migratory birds which can find here a safe place to stop in and to nest. As far as the flora is concerned, the cane-brake is the characteristic type of vegetation which can be found walking along the Lake of Mezzola. It is also a perfect shelter for the reproduction of migratory birds such as herons and kingfishers. In the lake, you can also find plants anchored to the depth or floating on the surface for example the waterlilies. The area was first recognized as a natural reserve towards the second half of the 20th century and ever since that time the landscape has completely changed. As a matter of facts, the modern engagement for the territory preservation would have been impossible only two generations ahead when finding a new fertile land to cultivate was the only preoccupation. Today the recognition as a natural reserve has allowed to keep the natural characteristics of the zone, to control the socio-economic activities and to pursue a didactic and recreative aim.

Lake Como Pian di Spagna natural Reserve - Slow Lake Como

Nicole
Discover the secret pearls of Lake Como with us,
info@slowlakecomo.com mobile +39 392 027 9675. 

Orrido di Nesso: the hidden waterfall
The heritage of Musso & The Giardino del Merlo
Churches, Castles, Ancient Ports and Dream Landscapes. Rezzonico and Santa Maria.
Brienno.The Labyrinth Village
The Village of Hell. Lezzeno and the Devil’s Bridge.
Cantù is Beautiful! Galliano and the Museum of Wood

Note from the editor

Between the time of writing and publishing a terrible landslide fall down from Val Bregaglia (CH), this is an environmental disaster, the mud has killed fish and flora in the river Mera, we are still not sure about the condition of the Lake Mezzola and the reserve, but the river from the border with Switzerland to Lake Mezzola is ecologically dead. The river Mera is the same that connects Lake Mezzola to Lake Como, Italy. The consequeses are not so hard to predict because less than 20 years ago a similar incident (in the Italian side) caused a similar result.  Having this news very near to our hearts we, at Slow Lake Como, believe we need to better protect our place, our land and we feel it is also our role to do everything we can to prevent similar incidents. First of all we can share information about protected areas of Lake Como.

Orrido di Nesso, the waterfall view on Lake Como Italy

Want some fresh air to recover from the crowded Como?
You will certainly appreciate getting lost in the narrow streets of Nesso, an ancient town pretty close to the city.

Nesso looks like the typical suggestive village on Lake Como: tiny old houses adorned with flowers and other details, long tiring steps leading to the lake and many glimpses on the breath-taking landscape. Nevertheless, the village hides a treasure that makes it one of the most interesting place to discover in the area: I am talking about the waterfall, commonly known as ‘orrido’.

There are many points in the village where you can enjoy the view of this nature gem… perhaps the best way to see the waterfall is going down from the main road on the top to the small bridge near the lake. Once you will reach the bridge, even in the hottest day of summer you can easily feel fresh air because of the waterfall splashes- the bravest ones will not probably miss the chance to jump in the frozen water! Another good idea to spend time in Nesso is waiting for sunset in the bars on the top and enjoying the pleasant view while drinking a glass of wine.

Nicole
Discover the towns on Lake Como Italy with us,
info@slowlakecomo.com mobile +39 392 027 9675. ⠀

Orrido di Nesso: the hidden waterfall
The heritage of Musso & The Giardino del Merlo
Churches, Castles, Ancient Ports and Dream Landscapes. Rezzonico and Santa Maria.
Brienno.The Labyrinth Village
The Village of Hell. Lezzeno and the Devil’s Bridge.
Cantù is Beautiful! Galliano and the Museum of Wood

Orrido di Nesso, the hidden waterfall on Lake Como Italy

 

One of the best reason Lake Como is visited all year is the variety of hiking trails it has.

Discover the most loved Slow Lake Como’s itineraries: Brunate Como Torno, Breathtaking Scenery and Rebellious Lake Como. On the Footsteps of the Smugglers.

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For info and bookings contact us!
info@slowlakecomo.com mobile +39 339 / 26 43 621

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And if you are a passionate hiker check out this article from Boot Bomb:
Top 50 Long Distance Hiking Trails In The USA

garden of the Valley oasis peace Lake Como Italy

 

Nature lovers will probably fall in love with this little place full of plants and flowers located in the south-west branch of Lake Como. The so-called Garden of the Valley (il Giardino della Valle) was born thirty years ago thanks to the strength and initiative of Dilda Frati, commonly known as granny Pupa. At that time, the woman managed to recover an illegal dump and to realize on her own a precious botanic garden in Cernobbio, near the city of Como.

Her idea was so successful that later the Valley Garden Association was founded aiming at the preservation and improving this space. The place is full of wooden sculptures portraying animals and crossed by a small river so that you can feel even more closer to nature. However, the Valley Garden means a lot more: it isn’t simply a botanic garden, it’s about a place of culture, meeting and sharing for the community.

Every spring, people organize free art exhibitions or concerts and there’s also a small permanent reading area with some free books to enjoy! Nevertheless, none of this would have been possible without granny Pupa and now that she is ninety years old, she is worried about the future of the Valley Garden. Plenty initiatives have been promoted throughout the years to support the garden such as “Help bring water to Pupa’s garden” in order to build an automatic irrigation system. What more could you ask for than a peaceful walk in this garden on a sunny spring day?

Garden of the Valley oasis peace Lake Como Italy - scultures

Nicole

Discover the secret pearls of Lake Como with us,
For info and booking info@slowlakecomo.com mobile +39 392 027 9675.⠀

Orrido di Nesso: the hidden waterfall
The heritage of Musso & The Giardino del Merlo
Churches, Castles, Ancient Ports and Dream Landscapes. Rezzonico and Santa Maria.
Brienno.The Labyrinth Village
The Village of Hell. Lezzeno and the Devil’s Bridge.
Cantù is Beautiful! Galliano and the Museum of Wood

Erbonne ghost town Lake Como Italy

Are you looking for a special place in Lake Como, Italy? You cannot miss to visit Erbonne, a very little town with old stone houses and only few inhabitants. The town, which could be reached taking a wooden bridge, lies near to the border between Intelvi valley in Italy and Swiss. Visitors can take a walk into the old village and explore places recalling the past such as the wash-house or the smuggling museum. Having lunch in the ‘Osteria del valico’ is the perfect way to get to know more things about Erbonne. The tavern offers the excellent typical dishes of the valley but there is other plenty things to see. The place guards old photos and objects from the past, including the furniture recovered by the owner. ‘Osteria del valico’ is on the way to Erbonne from Casasco, San Fedele Intelvi. Erbonne, as a proof of its peculiarity, has inspired the writer Maria Corti who depicts the magic place like that:
Even at night, you can perceive the invisible presence of the Generoso Mountain… outside there’s the healthy fresh air of one thousand meters of altitude and when the sun goes down, the last western light meets the eastern darkness on the farmsteads walls”

Source: www.iltuoghostwriter.it/

Erbonne ghost town Lake Como Italy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicole
Discover the towns on Lake Como Italy with us,info@slowlakecomo.com mobile +39 392 027 9675. ⠀

Orrido di Nesso: the hidden waterfall
The heritage of Musso & The Giardino del Merlo
Churches, Castles, Ancient Ports and Dream Landscapes. Rezzonico and Santa Maria.
Brienno.The Labyrinth Village
The Village of Hell. Lezzeno and the Devil’s Bridge.
Cantù is Beautiful! Galliano and the Museum of Wood