Between simplicity and taste,Tremezzina(the area among Colonno and Tremezzo) is the ideal spot for a journey made of sugar, flour and many calories.
The “made in Lago di Como” has always been synonym for simplicity and tastefulness which decreed, over the years, the great success of this wonderful area in tourism and food and drink. These two elements, indeed, are the common denominator of our gastronomy which, despite what you think offers you a wide choice of desserts representing true delicacies.
The newest among all Tremezzina‘s delicacies is the cake taking the same name: Torta Tremezzina. It was born 50 years ago in a workshop in Porlezza by the greedy mind of Fulvio Cairoli; the recipe was then patented and carried on by the Cairoli family with great attention to high quality and to healthy and genuine ingredients.
The cake is composed of a light, soft dough which meets a shortcrust pastry filled with a thin jam layer, is garnished in surface with almonds and decorated with powdered sugar. It is surely worth of a place in the gluttons bracket!
The Pasticceria Cairoli, closed in 2006, passed the torch to Pasticceria Tremezzina and the new owners Nicola, Amelio and Concetta Cusano is carrying on the pastry tradition of the one and only Torta Tremezzina.
Once upon a time a fisherman from Mezzegra who particularly cares about his boat, that is why he secured it to the pier with a special knot that he only knew how to do. A morning, however, he found his boat moored at the usual place but tied differently…had someone used the boat at night? He went out fishing. Once back, he secured the boat with his special knot and went home. Unfortunately, the following day the boat was not moored as he left it.
The fisherman, decided to discover who and for what used his boat at night, that night hid himself below deck andwaited…he waited so long that he was convinced nobody would come. At midnight he began to hear some voices, he saw the boat swinging and several people taking place on it…then, a voice said: <<boat leave for 1, boat leave for 2, for 3, for 4, for 5, for 6, for 7…>> but someone said <<but one of us is pregnant>> and the previous voice added <<so boat, leave for 8>> the boat immediately rose up from the waters of Lake Como and began to fly in the sky. The poor fisherman, realizing that he was surrounded by 7 witches decided to stay quiet below deck to avoid being discovered.
The boat stopped and landed in Torno, a small town on the opposite banks of Lake Como…all the witches got off the boat and disappeared until the early morning. They got on the boat again, the first witch pronounced the same refrain, the boat left and landed in Mezzegra where the witches moored it.
The following evening, the same scene…this time, however, the fisherman decided to follow the witches secretly. They arrived in a clearing where they did a bewitched dance and they picked up some sprigs from a plant that grew only in that place; the fisherman also picked a sprig up and put it on his hat for not losing it…early in the morning they came back to Mezzegra and made a date for the following night at Praa de La Taca, a very ancient place located on half mountain above Mezzegra, where once witches and shamans did their sabbat.
The poor fisherman was more and more frightened and remained goggle-eyed with astonishment when he recognized his wife among the 7 witches! The following evening, he followed his wife and the other witches up to Praa de La Taca and hid himself behind a stone: from there, he spied his wife and the other witches who, while dancing and throwing the sprigs into the fire, recited magic spells.
Unfortunately, the poor fisherman sneezed and was seen by the witches, who wanted to throw him into the fire…luckily, his wife recognized him and, thanks to the sprig he had on his hat, he was safe. The witches ordered him to burn the sprig and made him swear that, in exchange for life, he would never tell anyone anything and that them, the witches, could continue to use his boat every night.
A rough translation for Praa de La Taca could be “meadow of the footprints”…which footprints are we talking about? Sure, according to the legend these footprints are of the witches and shamans.
The certain thing is that, being at the borders of the enormous breaking in the rock which characterize the Crocione mount, the whole stone originates from a very ancient tropical sea populated by big mollusks, called Conchodon.In their fossil form, they seem to be little hearts (for the most romantic ones) or clog signs (for a farming culture)…which one do you prefer?
The so-calledGiro di Lombardia (officially Il Lombardia) is an individual male cycling race taking place each October in Lombardy. Since 2009, it is part of UCI World Tour and it is considered one of the five “classic races”:
Tour of Flanders
Liège Bastogne Liège
Giro di Lombardia
The race was established in 1905 so that this year takes place its 111th edition.
The track has changed several times over the years, but its symbol continues to be the Ghisallo, a worldwide rise starting from Bellagio and reaching the church with the same name (Madonna del Ghisallo), which is considered cyclists’ protector.
The Muro di Sormano is also widely known: this rise is 2.4 km long, ranging an elevation from 831 to 1124 meters, and with a gradient up to 24% so it’s a very demanding track.
Traditional points of arrival through the years were Milan, Monza, Como and in the second half of ’90 years Bergamo. From 2004 to 2010 the arrival was Como’s lakefront again, with the asperity of Valfresca (a rise located in San Fermo della Battaglia) a few km from the final line. From 2011 to 2013 the arrival was in Lecco while from 2014 to 2016 alternating between Como and Bergamo.
This year, Il Lombardia takes place on 7 October. The starting point is in Bergamo and the arrival, 247 km after, in Como…the same rout as 2015 edition, when Vincenzo Nibali rode to a solo victory.
The track is very selective and demanding, with six rises and 4.000 meters of vertical elevation: the first climb, Colle Gallo, is followed by Colle Brianza; after the town of Onno the riders climb the Madonna del Ghisallo, followed by the Muro di Sormano. After the Colma di Sormano the race descends to Nesso and onto the last two climbs: Civiglio and San Fermo della Battaglia, before reaching the finish line on Lungo Lario Trento e Trieste in Como.
In Italy we don’t work on the 15th August, we usually have day trips or barbecues with friends. Anyway, if you are in Como, here are interesting tips to spend the day.
A DAY IN A MUSEUM!
The museums in Como will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m:
–Museo Archeologico recollects the earliest history of Como, from the prehistory to the Middle Ages;
–Museo Storico is home to many relics dedicated to the Italian Risorgimento (especially to the riots of 1848,1849 and 1859) and to 20th century wars.
–Pinacoteca houses several sculptures and paintings
–Tempio Voltiano houses Alessandro Volta’s tools, both original and reconstructed, together with documents about his life.
2. A WALK THROUGH HISTORY, ART and NATURE
Guided walk to discover the so-called Chilometro della conoscenza, a green corridor and cultural path. Meeting at 3 p.m. at Via Cantoni, 1 (main entrance of Villa Olmo). Price: 4€ (up to 10 years for free). No reservation needed. More info here
3. GUIDED TOURS OF CASTELLO BARADELLO
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. you can have guided tours of Castello Baradello, one of the main symbols of Como city. From the top of the tower, you can enjoy a breathtaking view: from Switzerland to Milan, from Monte Rosa to Resegone…a 360° view on Lake Como, the Alps and even the whole Po Valley!
4. A PLEASANT WALK IN BRUNATE
Take the funicular in Como and reach the quiet Brunate to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life! Once there, you can have a pleasant walk to discover all the Liberty-style villas and Volta’s Ligthouse. Taking the funicular is sure an unmissable experience to enjoy Lake Como from the top step!
5. FIREWORKS ON THE LAKE!
You cannot miss the firework show in Cernobbio organized by Grand Hotel Villa d’Este, one of the most interesting architectural works of 16th century. You can enjoy the fireworks directly from Cernobbio’s lakefront.
Isola Comacina, the only island of Lake Como, has a glorious past. In 569 the Langobards crossed the Alps and quickly seized northern Italy…except for the richer part of Como and bordering towns, which, leaded by the general Francione, gathered on the island with their treasures. In a short time, houses, churches and fortifications rose on the tiny island, which took the name of Cristopolis (“the city of God”), since per a legend, a British priest carried the Holy Grail there.
In the Middle Ages, the island started to play an important role in politics and economics and in 1100 it started to entertain friendly relations with Milan. When in 1118 exploded the ten-years’ war between Como and Milan, the island allied with Milan and Como was defeated. It was 1127.
Thanks to the emperor Federico Barbarossa, Como rose again and in 1169, at St. John’s night, the warriors invaded the island, making devastations and carnages…the fortifications were destroyed and the churches, except for one, were razed to the ground. But that’s not all…the alliance with Milan was a serious crime: to pile it on, Vidulfo, the Bishop of Como excommunicated the island and in 1175 the Barbarossa forbade to rebuilt fortifications, houses and churches with a decree.
Obviously, since that moment on, nobody more inhabited the island because of the curse…until it was rediscovered in the 20th century. In 1914, indeed, the owner decided to bequeath the island to the king of Belgium, who in 1920 gave the it to the Italian state to transform it in a resting place for Italian and Belgian artists.
So, the island passed to the responsibility of Accademia di Brera (Brera Academy), which was appointed to preserve the archeological allure and the landscape’s charm. That is why, with the aim to making the island a community for artists, Pietro Lingeri (one of the main Rationalism exponent) built in 1939 three houses for artists, in Rationalism style.
SAGRA DI SAN GIOVANNI, ONE OF THE MOST EVOCATIVE AND ANCIENT EVENT.
The Sagra di San Giovanni is among the most evocative and ancient folkloristic events of Lake Como. It dates to 1600, when it was celebrated for the first time to keep alive the faith and the memory of the inhabitants.
Per a legend, in 1435 St. John appeared to a shepherd, inviting him to dig under a walnut…it was so, the ruins of the ancient Basilica di San Giovanni arose!The basilica was rebuilt and, since that moment on, on 23rd June (St. John’s birth) the terrible matters are celebrated with a solemn procession.
Some centuries later, on 22nd June, the houses and water in front of the island started to be enlighten by small lights (called lumaghitt) obtained, until 1960s, from snails’ shells. The aim was to remember the island’s blaze.
Starting from 1950s, a wonderful firework show was added to this celebration, as symbolic blaze of the island.
Take a boat from Como to Bellagio to enjoy Lake Como from the water and live a unique experience. You can choose between speed service (which takes only 45 minutes to reach Bellagio) or boat (which takes 2 hours but allows you to enjoy more the lake) and boats normally depart from jetty number 4 or 5. For more information about timetables and prices, visit http://bit.ly/28XQ19i and http://bit.ly/28XGbVV Remember to bring a k-way or sweater with you, since on the boat there is always wind and you maybe are cold.
VILLA SERBELLONI and THE LOVELY LANES OF BELLAGIO
In Bobby Deerfield (1977), Al Pacino and Marthe Keller arrive in Bellagio by ferry from Cadenabbia and decide to have dinner with a view and book a room at Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni. So, after reading the totem with information about the movies filmed in Bellagio, you can start your visit with a lovely walk through Bellagio’s lanes, punctuated with boutiques, souvenirs shops, bars and restaurants.
Don’t miss a visit to Basilica di San Giacomo (piazza della Chiesa 27): it is an important example of Romanesque and dates to 1075, when it was built by Maestri Comacini. Inside the basilica, you can see mosaics, romanesque sculptures, several paintings and the sculpted and golden wood altar.
PUNTA SPARTIVENTO, “THE HEART OF LAKE COMO”
In Bobby Deerfield you can see Punta Spartivento in a wonderful panoramic aerial view, accompanied by the theme Bellagio’s vista by Dave Grusin.
You can reach it by a 10 minutes’ walk from the basilica leads. It’s the panoramic point of Bellagio since you can enjoy magnificent views of Lake Como…the lake, the mountains and the two branches of Lake Como. It is also perfect for a picnic with your family or for romantic time with your sweetheart.
A ROMANTIC WALK ALONG THE LAKEFRONT.
Bellagio’s lakefront is perfect for a romantic hand-in-hand stroll with your sweetheart! It’s no coincidence that in the movie Rocco e i suoi Fratelli (1960) by Luchino Visconti Annie Girardot and Renato Salvatori kissed each other on this romantic promenade.
The lakefront takes you to Bellagio’s lido where you can sunbathe, sip a cocktail while admiring the breathtaking panorama and dance…Vanessa Redgrave, Edward Fox and Alessandro Gassman go swimming there in A month by the lake (1995).
VILLA MELZI AND ITS GARDEN
Don’t miss a visit to Villa Melzi, one of the main villas of Lake Como and among the most attractive places of Bellagio. The villa has a majestic garden, but don’t worry…you can’t get lost since they give you a map with your ticket. Start your visit with the oriental garden on the left of the entrance, whose peculiarity is the water lilies pool and Japanese maple plants; at the end of the pool you can see an artificial cave with a small stone bridge. Admire the Moorish kiosk nearby the lake, where the duke Lodovico Melzi went to have a cup of tea admiring Lake Como. Continue your visit and enjoy the landscapes of Lake Como from a gazebo situated in a grassy land once used as a tennis court; few steps more and…a gondola?! Surprised? Yes, a gondola, which was taken there by Napoleon’s order. At the end of the promenade, you can admire the lake from a terrace with a small water lilies pool. You can also visit the greenhouses, the bamboo grove and the noble chapel. For more information visit http://bit.ly/291baRc In Frankestein Unbound(1990) Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron stayed there.
The year was 1899 and Como got itself ready to celebrate the centenary of Voltaic pile’s invention with the participation of Italian and foreign firms. It was the International Electricity Exhibition and Helios, a firm from Cologne, decided to set in Como a short experimental tramway to promote the advantages in taking the tram.
Como’s tramway was launched on 1st January 1906 with the first stretch: S.Giovanni station-piazza Cavour-funicular and ended on 14th September 1952.
It was composed by five routes:
S. Giovanni station-piazza Cavour-funicular, launched in January 1906.
Piazza Cavour-San Rocco-Camerlata cemetery, launched in March 1906.
Piazza Cavour-Villa Salazar-Ponte Chiasso, launched in June 1906.
Piazza Cavour-San Martino, launched in July 1908.
Piazza Cavour-viale Varese-San Rocco, launched before 1914.
The urban tramway was 13.9 km wide. There were also non-urban routes to connect the city with its suburbs or with other cities:
Como-Cernobbio-Maslianico, launched between 1910 and 1911
Como-Appiano Gentile-Mozzate, launched in 1910.
Como-Cantù-Asnago, launched in 1909.
Como-Erba-Lecco, launched in 1912 and finished in 1928 with the connection with Lecco.
The whole tramway worked by a power grid of 550 V and obviously this was possible thanks to Alessandro Volta’s studies and invention, the pile.
Starting from 1935 trams were replaced by trolleybuses, until 1952 when the whole service was abolished to make room, in the following year, to a busway.
It was 1790 and William Wordsworth reached Lake Como for the Grand Tour, wanting something new. Three years later, he published Descriptive Sketches where he described our lake’s scenery as an amorous place, with sparkling eyes and breaking smiles.
AND, Como! thou, a treasure whom the earth
keeps to herself
Lake Como, indeed, has always been an ideal spot for artists, writers, aristocrats and famous people, thanks to its unique charm and wonderful, lavish villas. More and more Hollywood stars and famous people choose Lake Como to spend some days far from the hustle and bustle; to celebrate their wedding or to buy home:
George Clooney: he was one of the first American stars to fall in love with Lake Como. He visited Lake Como for the first time during breaks between films and he was enchanted by the Italian lifestyle, suggestive landscapes and marvelous villas with gardens overlooking the light-blue lake.
“Why should you go to Como?” “Cause it is shorter and easier to say. Lake Como!”.
Tom Cruise: he was invited by George Clooney to spend time on Lake Como, more precisely in Villa Oleandra.
Brad Pitt: he enjoyed Lake Como during Ocean’s Twelve shoot and he could not resist George Clooney’s invitation. Angelina also appreciated.
Matt Damon: he spent time in George Clooney’s home together with his wife and their children.
Cindy Crawford: she visited George Clooney with her husband Rande Gerber. They had a boat ride to appreciate our wonderful lake.
Catherine Zeta Jones: she visited Lake Como several times. First, she posed for Versace’s Italian Maison and spent a few days in their wonderful villa in Moltrasio. Then she visited George Clooney with her husband Michael Douglas.
Julia Roberts: she took her family out for a day of fun on Lake Como. It was the best opportunity to enjoy our charming panoramas and of course Clooney’s fascinating wife, Amal.
Gianni Versace: he was an admirer of Lake Como. He lived for several years in Villa Fontanelle, a neoclassical family home and property of his family, in Moltrasio.
Madonna: in 2005, she became the face of Versace’s fashion campaign and posed as an elegant and strong woman. During this partnership, she asked to use Villa Fontanelle, in Moltrasio, Lake Como, indeed, has always been an ideal spot for artists, writers, aristocrats and famous people, thanks to its unique charm and wonderful, lavish villas. More and more Hollywood stars and famous people choose Lake Como to spend some days far from the hustle and bustle; to celebrate their wedding or to buy whenever she wanted.
Michael Schumacher: in 2005 he bought Villa Cassinella, situated in Lenno, one of the most panoramic and scenic locations on Lake Como. He could not forget the tranquility and harmony of a location that could be reached only by boat or by walking from Passo del Lavedo.
Shakira and Piqué: in 2011, the FC Barcelona’s footballer and his partner Shakira chose Lake Como for a romantic elope and spent two days in Cernobbio.
Jennifer Lopez: in 2001 she spent her honeymoon on Lake Como, in Villa Fontanelle.
Richard Gere: he was invited in 2005 by Andriy Shevchenko to his house in Blevio
Robert De Niro: he chooses Lake Como every year to spend some days with his family.
Liam Gallagher: the singer spent several weeks at Villa d’Este with his wife.
Matthew Bellamy: he lived for several years on Lake Como with his girlfriend and he recorded the album “The Resistance”
Avril Lavigne: in 2008, he spent some time in Como with her husband and her band during a break from the tour.
Anthony Hopkins: he spent time going shopping and having a stroll in Cernobbio
Bruce Springsteen: he went several times to Lake Como with her wife and daughter to relax and go shopping in Como
Wanda Nara and Mauro Icardi: last summer, they arrived to Tremezzo aboard a black and white Rolls Royce to spend a romantic night.
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen: they got married in 2013 at Villa Pizzo, Cernobbio. Then they came back on Lake Como to celebrate their 3rd wedding-anniversary.
Mariah Carey: he spent a day at Villa Passalacqua, Moltrasio, making rehearsals for her tour.
Mark Zuckerberg: he took part to a wedding on Lake Como with his wife.
Álvaro Soler: the singer spent some hours in Como last winter. He visited the cathedral and bought a typical cheese from Lake Como. In Summer he came back to take a break before his summer tour and he had a refreshing bath in the swimming pool in Tremezzo.
photo by instagram @alvarosolermusic
Lindsay Lohan: in 2012 she posed for a Philipp Plein’s campaign in Bellagio
Lionel Messi: in 2014 he bought a villa on Lake Como
Emily Blunt and John Krasinki: they got married in 2010 at the lavish Villa d’Este, on the shores of Lake Como.
Robbie Williams: in 2014, he was the guest star at the marriage of Julia Blavatnik and he made a concert in Bellagio only for the guests.
Thanks to all the celebrities spending their time on Lake Como, it has become more and more an international, refined destination.