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The villages of Tremezzina

It is a very ancient town. Traces of a first settlement, which date back to the prehistorical era, have been found on the hill where later the town developed. Probably the place was chosen because of its dominant position at the outskirts of the Lombard plain, between the rivers Serio and Brembo with their valleys that take to the Orobic Alps. These Valleys had been inhabited since the paleolitical era and in Val Camonica there are some rock engravings of that time. It is due to its first inhabitants that the town took the characteristic plan that distinguishes it from any other Lombard town, making Bergamo one of the most singular town in Italy as it is set half on the plain and half on the hill. This also explain the origin of its name, which root of is berg that stays either for mountain or for house on the mountain The old town is set on the hill and it appears in the distance like a vision. The heart of the upper town is the Piazza Vecchia, one of the most beautiful Italian squares, flanked by the most important historical buildings of Bergamo on which overlook an imposing tower. In the light and shade of the portico of the Palazzo della Ragione (the ancient town hall), outstand the marbles of the portions of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and Colleoni's Chapel, a Renaissance masterpiece, work of Amadeo.
In its monuments Bergamo reveals its tight relationship with the Republic of Venice with which it shared four centuries of history, art and culture. And it was the Venetians who built the great walls that since 1500 enclose the upper town, disjoining it from its environment. The clusters set along the winding down the slope roads toward the lower town witness the original connections between the two souls of Bergamo.
How to reach Bergamo from Tremezzina: By car ferry from Cadenabbia or Menaggio to Varenna then by train to Lecco - connection to Bergamo.

The town is situated on the south most end on the eastern branch of Lake Como. It is surrounded by high, arsh mountains, emerging from the water where the lake ends to become river Adda, well described by Alessandro Manzoni. This setting gives the impression of being on a fjord stretching into the wide basin of the lake and dominated by the spurs of the two Grignas and the uneven crests of the Resegone. Where the fjord ends, the river starts its flowing towards Milan, crossing the Milanese plain. Leonardo da Vinci projected and created a channel, the Naviglio, to connect Milan to Lake Como and only recently the final part of it that ended into the very heart of Milan, has been covered and turned into roads.
Because of its strategical position right in the middle of the piedmont roads and of its water transport system, Lecco has always been densely populated. It always drew its living from its commercial and craftsmen traditions, mainly based on iron workshops and on the market that, since 1149, is held in the main square (Piazza XX Settembre) every Wednesday and Saturday. This square is still the very heart of the ancient town, flanked by the Mayor's palace, of which the only remain, is the Visconti's coat of arms embodied in the wall of the now dismissed Custom House, together with the Castle. During the Spanish domination the castle became a stronghold on the border with Switzerland, the Republic of Venice and the Dukedom of Milan: Today the only remain of the ancient castle is the Visconti's tower next to the old doorway toward Milan.
How to reach Lecco from Tremezzina: 1 -By car ferry from Cadenabbia or Menaggio to Varenna and train to Lecco. 2 -Car Ferry from Cadenabbia or Menaggio to Bellagio and bus to Lecco.

Milan is the economic and industrial capital of Italy. It was founded by the Celt Gauls and in 222 b.C. it was occupied by the Romans who named it Mediolanum because of its geographical position that was right in the middle of the roads which from Rome lead to Central Europe. Under Diocletian it was one of the capital of the Tetrarchy and it was contended with cruel fights between the Goths and the Byzantines. In 539 a.C. it was completely destroyed by the Goths and it was neglected during the first period of the Lombard dominion. During the Carlovingian reign it started its revival under the Archbishop's rule. In the 13th century it became domain of the Torriani first and of the Sforza Visconti afterwards. In 1501 the French occupied the Dukedom of Milan, but the Augsburg contended it starting endless bloody wars on Lombard soil. In 1535 it passed under the rule of Spain which lasted until the Spanish war for succession. In 1713 it was conquered by the Austrians but, with the advent of Napoleon 1st, it became the capital of the Cisalpine Republic first (1797) and of the Italian Republic afterwards (1802). In 1815 it became the capital province of the Lombard Venetian region under the rule of the Austrians until 1860, when Italy became a Nation. Milan cathedral is known as il Duomo and it is right in the heart of Milan. It is an imposing Gothic building. Its taller spire is 108,50 meters high on top of which there is la Madonnina, a golden statue of the Madonna that dominating Milan. The Duomo is decorated with 3159 limestone and marble statues together with valuable bas-relives and beautiful glass windows. Next to the Duomo there is the Galleria which connects Piazza Duomo with Piazza della Scala. Here there is the world wide famous Teatro alla Scala, (its museum is open 9 -12 and 14-18) on one side, and Palazzo Marino (now the Town Hall) facing it on the other side of the square. Within walking distance from the Duomo there is the Castello Sforzesco, a beautiful and perfectly kept Medieval building which houses some museums and it is open to the public. Not far from the Castle, there is the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie by which there is the convent with Leonrdo's Last Supper which stands out for importance. Those who wish to visit it have to book in advance: Tel. 02 89421146. At the back of La Scala, within walking distance, there is the Academy of Brera, one of the most important and rich Art Galleries in Italy.
How to reach Milan from Tremezzina: 1 - ferry to Varenna and Train to Milan. Buy your ticket on the train. 2 - Como by bus and train to Milan. In Como there are two station: the main international line at Stazione San Giovanni that ends at Stazione Centrale in Milan, and the local Northern Line by the lake next to the bus terminal, where there are more frequent trains, that ends at Stazione Cadorna near the Castello Sforzesco. In both stations there is the underground that takes right at Piazza Duomo


Texts by Bina Battistella Fraquelli
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