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Francesca Bassi

Wine tasting tour around the lake. Experience Lario by taste!

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Wine tasting tour: the story.

This is a story of courage and passion, made of pure love for a territory and its features. Let’s talk about something that is usuallwine tasting toury matched with your meals… sometimes it heals your deepest wounds or simply accompany your romantic nights. Well, we are referring to Wine! 

For many years, the production of this refined drink was destined only to the area close to Milan. Thanks to some ancient documents we can say that the activity of making-wine goes back even to the Romans and Middle Ages. In 1800 the Commissione Ampelografica compiled a list of ten vineyards used to produce Lake Como’s refined wines. It’s surprising the fact that Verdesa , the tipical white wine of the area, was already mentioned by that list.

Tolstoj told the fame of Como and its vineyards. He wrote about its stay in Tavernola, where he experimented a new form of health therapy. At that times the grapes that covered Tavernolas’ hills were used to handle diseases and illnesses. Unfortunately, this fame was early destroyed. Slowly mulberries and their silkworms covered the valleys of Lake Como: it was only the XVIV century when the renowed Lario’s wine disappeared. Exactly ten years ago angular and tired farmers, dressed only by fatigue and sweat, supported by climate, recovered the old wine-producting tradition… The native vine variety restart to germinate!

This week, Vinitaly, the Italian biggest event dedicated to the world of wine, celebrated this story! 36 farms, located in Brianza and around Como, exhibited their 365-days work: 3500 quintals of grapes. This is definitely a niche in the world of wine-excellences in Lombardy. High quality product that shows a strict connection with lands, traditions, families, art and history, but also economic.

It’s difficult to cultivate grapes in an area with extreme temperature’s changes. This gives to the wine a special flavor. Indeed, in 2008, the IGT brand ” Terre Lariane ” has been recognized to the wine of the lake.

The best stops for a wine tasting and sparkling tour around the lake, swimming in the wine, are surely La Valletta Brianza (LC), Montevecchia, Montano Lucino (CO), Domaso (CO) and Sirtori (LC). Domaso, affected positively by the influences of the Valtellina’s viticulture, is flourishexperience lake como by tasteing, as well as Ticino and the shores of Lake Lugano. It’s about a niche production that spans the provinces of Como and Lecco and includes local wines such as Sorsasso, white, red and pink. Although only the white ones, like Domasino, received lots of awards. Today, the desire to discover the wines of the lake has allowed many fans to discover the viticulture in Drezzo and Uggiate Trevano, famous for the precious bottles of merlot. Talking about Montano Lucino you can consider even the chardonnay, merlot and cabernet.

Now begin your wine tasting tour of the lake! Cheers! Let’s toast to Lake Como!

What’s on Easter? 3 things to do around the lake!

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What’s on Easter? We’re on the lookout for awe-inspiring travel proposal to get you in the mood for your Easter holiday around the lake. Nearly every culture has a unique way to remember and celebrate this religious event. Below are our top three ideas about where you can weave acts of remembrance into an already awesome and fun vacations

1)What’s on Easter?  Saturday –> Dreaming a little bit of relaxation: the Roman Baths. 

what's on easter roman bathLet’s jump back to the second half of the first century A.D.! The city of Como hosts the remains of Roman baths. They are spread over an area of about 1500 square meters. Recently, thanks to the works of recovery, the baths are now visited by walking on a path of elevated walkways. Through them you can also see the remains of the excavations and recovered plaster. Two small exhibition spaces with explanatory panels preserve a selection of excavation finds.

Saturday could be the perfect day to enjoy this piece of Italian history. The Roman baths are located in Viale Lecco, 9, in Como. On Saturday they are open from 10am to 6pm, while from Tuesday to Thursday from 10am to 2pm.

For more information you can:

  • Go to the Infopoint Broletto, in Piazza Duomo ( phone  +39 031 304137 – everyday open from 10am to 6pm);
  • Write an email to como@volontaritouring.it

2)What’s on Easter? Sunday –> An alternative Easter lunch: Let’s have a barbecue!

Alpe del vicerè

what's on easter vicerè alpeAt 900 mt above the village of Albavilla, in the province of Como, there’s a suggestive upland perfect for different tipes of trips. This territory, also called Alpe del Vicerè, is a small park, equipped with a parking area, as well as picnic areas with tables and barbeque corners. Nearby there are restaurants and mountain huts and various trails for hiking enthusiasts.

It is an ideal base for many excursions along the Dorsale del Triangolo Lariano. Following different pawhat's on easter alpe del vicerèths, indicated by the numbered trail, you can reach:

  • Baita Patrizi (943 m; 1 hour);
  • Capanna Mara (1125 m; 1 hour);
  • Bolettone Refuge (1310 m; 1.15 hours);
  • Riella Refuge (1275 m; 1.45 hours);
  • The hole of the Lead (695 m; 1 hour).

Starting from Como you can easily reach Albavilla by bus (c40)and by car (following SP37). 

Mount Bisbino

what's on easter barbecueAmong the inhabitants of Como even a few know this ancient and interesting reality. Unfortunately there is no public transport in this area. Starting from Como, follow ss340 (Strada Regina). You will pass Cernobbio and then reach Bisbino. Six hairpin turns after Madrona and 3/4 kilometers far from the top there is a picnic area with barbecue and picnic tables.

After a good Sunday lunch you can turn around the Bisbino, following a path at about 2/300 meters below the summit.

what's on easter monte bisbino

3)What’s on Easter? Monday –> Children, have fun! Treasure hunt is here!  

The exciting treasure hunts of Lake Como’s villas are unmissable! The Botanical Gardens’ Treasure Hunt, organized by the Grandi Giardini Italiani,  is a great opportunity to bring children to nature in a witty way. They learn to recognize plants and trees, leaf by leaf.  what's on easter treasure hunt

The event is organized for children aged 6 to 12 years.

Villa Carlotta, Tremezzo

The event is organized in three shifts:

  1. At 11am
  2. At 2pm
  3. At 3.30pm

Ticket price:

  • 10 euros for children;
  • 5 euros for parents. Parents’ ticket give also the opportunity to visit the museum and the botanic park;

Booking: eventi@villacarlotta.it

Villa Melzi, Bellagio

It is organized in two shifts:

  1. At 11am
  2. At 3pm

Ticket price:

  • Free entrance for children;
  • 6,50 euros for parents;

You don’t need to book!

For more information: giardinidivillamelzi.it – +39 339 4573838

Villa Monastero, Varenna

For information: +39 0341 295450 – villa.monastero@provincia.lecco.it

 

 

 

Italian blown glass Christmas ornaments bellagio

Bellagio, the guardian of Italian blown glass Christmas ornaments

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Italian blown glass Christmas ornaments lake comoGreen, full of colors, big or small, real or artificial …a holidays’ symbol, adorned and decorated by following own personality and creativity and only the Italian blown glass Christmas ornaments!

Today Christmas tree is the best friend of lots of families all over the world….And to think that once it wasn’t a obvious Italian tradition! Indeed in the Catholic countries, such as Italy, instead of the others European countries, this tradition arrived late. That was because the real emblem of Christmas was the Nativity Scene. The northern part of Europe, full of Protestant countries, saw the arrival of this new tradition since the beginning of the Second World War.

The origins of Italian glass art.

Sit down and wait the 1940s when the world of Christmas tree decoration arrived in Italy too. Karl Becker, German entrepreneur and owner of La Florida, left his country and continued to produce artificial Christmas trees on sunny Lake Como. He got the cooperation of many Italian glassmakers, swamp by economic crisis. They left the production of goods for kitchens and glass bottles to dedicate to Italian glass bowls.

Thanks to the decline in the production of glass ornaments in Germany, Italy become the new center of glassmakers. In 1950s lots of Italian blown glass Christmas ornaments were exported to USA, sold as unique goods only in luxury stores and exclusive malls. Children could hang characters of Disney stories such as Peter Pan and miniatures of Sputnik, Paperino or Topolino. In 1960s Charlie Brown, the Beatles and Pink Panther entered the world of Christmas glass decorations.

Italian blown glass Christmas ornaments.

The production process uses, in addition to the creativity and imagination of the artist, the vetro soffiato a lume technique (blown glass candle technique). Starting from a pyrex glass heated tube, the glassmaker blows the preform to achieve the desired shape and then fixs to the central body the various completions. After stabilization in the oven, each piece is colored in silver and then decorated by hand with holly, candles, Christmas trees, stars, comets, bells and also fairy tales or movies’ characters.

Bellagio Christmas decorations.

Of course, in Bellagio there’s the ancient Italian tradition of glass blowing … something like in Murano. Those who love the uniqueness and quality made of unique pieces, the result of a careful manual work by craftsmen, the reference point is this famous village, the guardian of Lake Como Christmas tradition. To visit Bellagio means not just to learn about the history and natural beauty, but also to learn more about the traditions of the past.

La Sava, artisan artistic glassmakers, is one of the most successful names in Bellagio. Mr. Brambilla and his daughter Annalisa founded this small company. For more than 40 years it continues to blow delicate and special pieces for their best customers. Its success went overseas, in the land of stars and stripes.

I Vetri di Bellagio, is a craft shop that could be seen strolling through the old town. Here you can buy blown glass items, hand-decorated objects and glass jewelry.

In 2009 was born also Gilardoni Decorazioni Natalizie with the objective to produce hand-made Christmas decorations.

spanish painting jesus gravedona

The Spanish painting of Jesus in Italy: a piece of Spain in Gravedona.

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Spanish painting jesus italy

“Lake Como is the most beautiful Lake in the world!”…. This was the definition that Huffington Post gave to one of the twenty lakes considered the best for spending a wonderful holiday. Many years before, while Manzoni was setting its romance ”The Betrothed” on our lake, Giambattista Giovannini built a small oratory in Gravedona, dedicated to the Madonna de la Soledad and led there something unique…. It was the XVII century.

A dark background, the light and dark contrast and Christ crucifix covered only in the lower part of the body with a white cloth enhance by a lace strip. The suffering headspanish-painting-jesus-italy reclined and a tired face lined by blood. The eyes closed …the hands open and rend by spikes …the arms full of injures and sweat’s drops. The feet break by another cruel spike. Mateo Cerezo el Viejo was really inspired when he realized this Cristo di Burgos, a Spanish painting Jesus Italy in origin that was donated to Gravedona.

In a elegant, refined, sun kissed cove on the northern part of the Ypsilon shaped Italian lake …on a green huge bed…. this historical and religious village raises up, brushed by soft breeze in summer and whitened by frost in winter.

First discovered by Romans and Celts, in the XVI century the village became part of the Spanish monarchy.  The Reign of Naples, Sardinia, Holland, the south of Italy and some colonies in the so called “New World” were already part of the Spanish crown. Indeed only Sicily can praise another Cristo di Burgos, located in Scicli.

spanish painting jesus italy gravedona

Despite all the hurdles the masterpieces of this reign survived in their beauty and refinement.

 

lake como foliage

Val d’Intelvi. Autumn embraced between Lake Como and Lugano.

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lugano alps autumnThe air begins to change, the scorching temperatures of the past months are packing up to leave the boots and give way to autumn breeze. Maybe with the arrival of the season’s warm colors everyone need to discover loads of romantic corners where to find refuge or getaways.

Autumn prepares  itself to reach Mount Sighignola (1320mt), in Val d’Intelvi, embraced between Lake Como and Lugano. The only path to reach this place is a 100 years old road, wanted by Vittorio Bertarelli, one of the founders of Italian Touring Club. Autumn is really excited because he knows that he will reach the renowed Balcone d’Italia and its spectacular panorama. He will coloured everything in red, orange and yellow and the foliage will make this  valley a land ready to make the happiness of those who love open-air exciting adventures.

Today the land smiles and shines but a few months ago a great monster threated it, spreading sadness and grayness . A funicular railway would have built to link Lanzo d’Intelvi with Campione d’Italia. The building survived 40 years uncompleted because of financial and technical purposes. That were 40 years of sufferings and shame for the Balcone d’Italia.

On 14th October 2016 the threats of the great monstesighignola autumn r ended thanks to the inhabitants’ fight: everything was destroyed!

The breathtaking views given by Sighignola were safe
and everyone can appreciate its beauty. Even autumn could come back giving its red elegant touch.

Now, the desire of romance calls. Simple warmth and loving structures answer such as the Bed & Breakfast “A Casa Camilla” or the Hotel “La Locanda del Notaio”. Here the awakening is gentle: they are windows on the shore of Lake Como and Alps, the rural culture and its culinary offerings.

 

Lake Como and Titanic, which is the connection?

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titanicTitanic… a tragedy developed in a beautiful love story that made everyone a little bit weak in the knees. Who doesn’t know Rose, Jack and their lovesick?! But you don’t know that during that spring of the year 1912 Giuseppe Peduzzi, a citizen of Schignano, a little village situated in Val d’Intelvi, decided to leave Lake Como to start a new life in the English country.  

During 20th century England teased lot of young boys and girls …but probably Giuseppe was very tired because of all the months  of difficulties, fatigues and sacrifices. So he decided to buy a ticket for the third class on the new and beautiful Titanic, a transatlantic projected as infallible to try a new life in the USA. Peduzzi was only 24 years old when in 1912 he boarded on Titanic in Southampton. Obviously, he was very unaware that it would be his last travel in search for a future: a drop of Lake Como fall into the sea scattering away with the remains of the most charming transatlantic of the story.

Colomba, a delicious and sugary Easter

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Lake Como ColombaDo you celebrate Easter with Colomba? Do you know how delicious is this typical Italian Easter cake?

It is similar to Panettone, since the ingredients are flour, eggs, sugar, butter, candied orange peels and almonds frosting.

Its origins are uncertain, but a legend tells that during the dark ages an Irish monk called Colombano visited the north of Italy, in particular Pavia and Lombardic Kingdom, with some pilgrims.

On a Lent’s Friday Teodolinda queen, as the housekeeper of the kingdom, hosted them and ordered her cookers to prepare a meal made of delicious and high-quality bush meat.

Catholic religion forbids eating meat’s dishes each Friday of Lent. This is the reason why Colombano would never eat meat that day, nevertheless, to not trip up over anybody, the monk decided to benedict the food. During the blessing, the bush meat turned into bread doves.

It seems that the typical Italian Easter cake comes from this legend; furthermore, in the Catholic religion, the dove is symbol of peace and that is why it is eaten during Easter period.

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