the Year of our Lord 1521, in the Castle of Griante,
had its end the eventful life of John the Crazy,
who was born in Brenzio in the Parish of Dongo.
the beginning he was a soldier of venture under
the Republic of Venice, then, later on, he became
Admiral of his own pirate fleet with which, for
many years, he searched the lake terrifying the
along-shore villages. During the endless war for
the succession to the Dukedom of Milan, he entered
into alliance with the Grisons against the French,
who contended to the Spanish the Swiss and the
Germans, the possession of the Lombard territory.
In the end, he was given the command of a column
made of stranded Lombard soldier of venture and
Lansquenets (German mercenaries), with which he
should have conquered Como back from the French.
adventure of John the Crazy is but a modest episode
in the long and bloody war between France and
Spain on Italian soil, which started at the end
of the 15th century and ended with the Peace of
Cambrai the 8th of August 1529. Nevertheless,
it is of particular interest for those, like us,
who want to point out how a quiet and peaceful
village like Griante had to witness and take part
to some events which upset the normal life of
people, in a period of great turmoil.