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The villages of Tremezzina

The Commune is formed by the villages of San Siro and Rezzonico together with the one of Santa Maria where there are both the Town Hall and the Parish Church.
The Parish Church of Santa Maria was built between 1464 and 1474 next to the convent of Dominican Friars, although the tower bell reveals some traces of the Roman era. The attached Convent, now converted into the Parish house, has still some unaltered rooms of that time.
The church façade has a very interesting white marble doorway datable between 1520 and 1530. Of the same period is the relief of the Madonna with Child placed next to the left angular pillar. Inside, the church is characterized by a rich selection of frescoes by Sigismondo De Magistris, Agostino Calvi and Michelangelo Carminati of the 16th century as well as some beautiful Baroque stucco decorations.
Rezzonico and its Medieval Castle. Placed on a rocky plateau overlooking the lake, it is one of the alongshore hamlet of the Commune. At the entrance of the village, some high embattled walls indicate the way to the castle. This was built in 1300 with different kinds of stones, probably to replace an more antique building that belonged to the Della Torre family, and it is sourpassed by an embattled tower with ogive windows. The ogive front gate is enriched by some bocks of white marble. Throughout the centuries, the castle underwent to a number of restorations that kept it in extremely good order. It is still, as it has always been, a private residence. The castle front gate opens onto a small square that houses a little church dedicated to the Three Wise Men (Magi). The building was restored during the 1600, but for sure it is of more ancient origins. By tradition, it is believed that the procession carrying the relics of the Three Wise Men - that are believed to have been stolen from Milan and translated to Germany – moved along the ancient via Regina, which connected Lombardy to Central Europe and Germany. Inside the church, the main alter piece depicts the Adoration of the ThreeWise Men. Above it there is a statue of Saint Anthony of Padua that nowadays is worshipped in the church.
The historical nucleus.Along the stairway that from the little castle-square leads down to the lake, the lane is scanned by several arches that break the path along which open some beautiful and elegant stone doorways, some of them topped with a family coat of arms. At the end of the path there is a doorway bearing the following inscription: “Agostino Stoppani 1464”. Turning to the left hand side one meets a polygonal shaped doorway facing the lake and overlooking the characteristic local small port.
The settlements above Rezzonico. Climbing along the slopes of Mount Bregnano (2017 m.), at different heights, one reaches the mountain hamlets of Rezzonico.
Gallio. Through a mule trek that leads to an entangled net of lanes running among some stone houses with flight of stairs and open terraces, which stand leaning one against the other, one reaches the settlement of Gallio. Along the path one comes across a mural painting dating to1840, depicting The Crowing of the Belssed Virgin, and a little further there is another mural painting depicting a Madonna with Child. Soon after, one reaches a small church dedicated to Saint Lucia. On its façade opens a granite doorway topped with a niche with a severely damaged wooden statue of Saint James. In ancient times the church was dedicated to the Saints Rocco and Sebastian, as it is reported in the documents of the Bishop’s pastoral visit in 1599. Inside the church, on the lateral walls, there are two frescoes dating to 1580.
San Martino is the hamlet set half way up the mountain slope from which one can enjoy a wide panorama over the lake. Amid this settlement there is the little church mentioned by Bishop Archinti in 1599. Its barrel-vault has been added later on. Inside the church one can admire some valuable paintings of the 17th century as well as a cycle of frescoes of counter- reformation influence, which complex iconography represents Jesus’ Resurrection. Some Saints of the local popular devotion, painted after Morazzone's language translated by the Fiamminghinos and the Recchis, complete the cycle.

The village is situated on the alluvial plain originated by the Albana River. The most ancient settlement coincides with the hamlets of San Martino and Barbignano. Being close to the Mera Valley and to the Saint Jorio pass, the village had the chance to both industrially and touristically develop. The economical importance of the area was well known also in old times. This was mainly due to the road leading to the Saint Jorio Pass, which connects Lake Como to Bellinzona, in Swiss territory, and to Germany. The iron-mines of the area had been exploited from the 15th up to the 19th century, when the production of cast-iron was interrupted.
On the 27th April 1945, on the road between Musso and Dongo, a partisan division captured Benito Mussolini, Claretta Petacci and some of the Fascist Ministers as they were attempting to escape to Switzerland. The Fascist Ministers were taken to Palazzo Manzi where they were immediatedly judged and executed, while Mussolini and Petacci were taken to Mezzegra where they spent their last night at Casa De Maria to be executed on the following morning, 28th April 1945. Dongo Town Hall houses a small photograph museum that documents these events.
The austere front of Palazzo Manzi dominates Parravicinio Square. The building was built in 1824 and Giuseppina Manzi gave it to the Commune in 1937. On request it is possible to visit the so called Golden Room with some frescoes by Giuseppe Lavelli. Form the square it is possible to reach the Ancient Via Regina that leads to Barbignano, where the path mounts up to reach the Regina Bridge to go down again into the valley crossing the hamlets of Campiedi, Mellia and Mossanzonico. Here, taking to the right hand side one reaches the so called Casa del Cardinale (the Cardinal House) characterized by a fresco of the 1500 depicting a vintage allegory. It is possible that the house belonged to the Medici Family (not related to the Florentine one). A little further down there is a Renaissance building that belonged to the Marquis of Marignano.

It is the most important settlement of the northern part of Lake Como. It is set on a wide harbour between the slopes of Mount Sasso Pelo and the alluvial plain of the Liro River. Facing Gravedona, on the opposite bank of the lake, at the foot of Mount Legnone which widespreads to reach the entrance of Valtellina, there is the peninsula of Piona with its beautiful Medieval Cistercian Abbey. As to witness the existence of a pre-Roman settlement, along the Ancient Via Regina some Gauls tombs with many archaeological items were found. The churches of Santa Maria del Tiglio and of San Vincenzo preserve a number of archaeological items belonging to the Roman era.
The Church of Santa Maria del Tiglio. It is the most original Romanesque building in Como Area. It was built in the late 1100 on a pre-existing Paleo-Christian Baptistery to which belong the relives, now embodied into the facade above the doorway, together with a font and some pieces of the floor inside the church.
The Parish Church of San Vincenzo. It is a Romanesque building erected in 1072 on a pre-existing church. Its detached Baptistery was later transformed into the Church of Santa Maria del Tiglio. It is possible that its crypt dedicated to Saint Abbondio - probably the original church - had been raised because of the frequent over flooding of the lake. The crypt floor and some other items rescued on the spot belong to a previous Roman pagan temple. Between 1600 and 1726, the church was completely restructured with the addition of the porticos that join the church to the oratories of San Michele and Saint Maria at both sides of the main building, which were used as Lazarettos (hospitals) during the great plague in 1628.
Palazzo Gallio. It was built for Cardinal Gallio - to whom was given the Feud of Gravedona in 1528- on the spot where once there was the ancient Castle of Gravedona. The palace was built between 1586 and 1587 and consists in a massif structure with four towers at each angle to remind the antique vocation of the place. Gravedona houses many important and beautiful Romanesque churches spread all over its territory. We advise a conducted tour to visit them. For booking call Cooperativa Imago at Dongo. Tel. (0039) 0344 82572.

The village is set on the northern most end of Lake Como, on an alluvial plain surrounded by the Mesolcina Mountains and nearby the meadows of Pian di Spagna, a protected oasis where it is possible to practise bird watching.
Of great historical value are the Roman remains preserved at Gera. Among them it is possible to see a stele - now embodied into the left hand side post of the frontal doorway of Saint Vincent's Church - dedicated to the memory of Lucio Duazio Valentino, a young boy who died in the 3rd century a. C.
Between 1964 and 1965, during some works made inside the church, some pieces of a mosaic floor dating to the 2nd century a.C. and now visible in the first right hand side chapel, were discovered. It was also possible to prove the existence of a previous Romanesque church built upon a Roman building, of which it was found part of the mosaic floor. In Renaissance, the development of the area is not only proved by the many important frescoes inside the church, but also by several mural painting on the external front of the houses grouped along the ancient Via Regina and documented since 1500. In front of the church built in 1634, and now dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of Fatima, the ancient Via Regina widens to form a small square where the village public meetings were held throughout the 1300. Of the 17th century is the small Stronghold on the River Adda; a rectangular building which was ment to support the Fortress of Fuentes (Forte di Fuentes) that was built during the Spanish domination of Lombardy. It is now possible to visit the ruins of Forte di Fuentes. For information please get in touch with Colico Town Hall (Province of Lecco).


Texts by Bina Battistella Fraquelli
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