The beaches of Abbadia Lariana
Abbadia Lariana boasts a marvellous lakeshore promenade, beaches and parks, wide open green areas with shower and bathroom facilities, bar and childrens’ playground.
The beaches offer open spaces as well as lounge areas where visitors can hire a sunbed and sun umbrella, not to mention sports activities (kayak hire and beach volleyball area).
This location offers stunning scenery with broad beaches gently sloping down to the clear water of the lake, almost white near the shore, changing to emerald green where it reflects the mountains.
This is somewhere you can simply enjoy yourself and relax.
From the 16th century onwards, the Lombardy area became increasingly involved in activities connected with silk production: silk worm rearing, spinning coccoons, twisting and weaving.
On the Lecco branch of Lake Como, in Abbadia Lariana, there is a factory for twisting silk, preserved as it was in the mid-nineteenth century and turned into a museum.
Preserved, restored and with the collection expanded with material from other silk mills which have long vanished, in 1998 it became the Monti Civic Silk Museum.
It contains one of the largest working silk twisting machines in Europe.
For virtual visits:
Get a taste of our content with this virtual tour, a project of the museum network Sistema Museale of the province of Lecco:
Built at the foot of Monte Borbino, the existence of the small church of St Martin was recorded as early as the 13th century, but its origins are more ancient. Renovated in 1400, the building today has a rectangular plan with a single nave with wooden roof, with exposed trusses. On the furthest wall, the ogival arch opening gives the access to the apse, covered by a beautiful ribbed cross vault, closed in the centre by a circular key with bull-shaped hemming.
The church originally presented several frescoes dedicated to St Martin and the Virgin Mary, works stolen over time. Some photographic evidence of these still remains. It has recently become part of the Provincial Museum System.
Click here to learn more about the history of the Church of St Martin
Dating back to the 9th century, the church of St Bartholomew, located in the hamlet of Castello, is one of the oldest religious buildings in the country. Originally smaller than the current building, it underwent several interventions over the centuries: in 1700 it was expanded with the addition of sacristy, bell tower, cemetery and barrel and sail vault.
Deconsecrated in 1970, the last restoration works have led to the restoration of the building, now an exhibition and museum site.
Click here to learn more about the history of the Church of St Bartholomew –
The church of San Lorenzo is situated in Abbadia Lariana, a stone’s throw from the waters of Lake Como. Built in the 13th century for the Servite Fathers, the small single nave church rose on the ruins of a previous Benedictine Abbey and was dedicated to Saints Vincent and Anastasio.
In the 18th century the church was renamed San Lorenzo, dedicated to Saint Lawrence, and in 1888 it was extended and completely renovated with the additon of two naves at the sides of the building, the walls were enlarged and the ceiling was raised. In 1915 the interior was frescoed by the painter Luigi Tagliaferri (1841-1927). In the centre of the vault, Tagliaferri painted a fresco of the martyr Saint Lawrence being carried by angels to Heaven. The pillars supporting the vault feature the twelve apostles and other lovely frescoes can be sen in the apse and above the organ.
The high altar, an exquisite wooden piece from the 17th century, is located in the chancel which is entirely paved in pink marble. At the sides of the altar there are two paintings by the artist Buzzoni of the life of Saint Lawrence. Of further interest are the two large paintings on either side of the entrance to the parish church depicting the devotion of Saint Augustine.
Recent restoration work was carried out on the ceiling and interior to ensure the conservation of this lovely building. Beside the church of San Lorenzo you can still see the Cloister of the ancient Benedictine Abbey and in the Chiesa Rotta (Broken Church) park you can see ruins of the early parish church dedicated to Saint Lawrence.
Originating in Asia, mulberry, in Latin Morus, is the plant used in silkworm farms to feed the precious insect, which feeds exclusively on its leaves. Essential for the peasant families of the territory, the mulberry of the pier is perhaps the oldest specimen in the country.
Silk is one of the oldest textile fibres in the world (produced since the 27th century BC), born from the Chinese tradition and imported into Europe thanks to the Moors, in Spain. Introduced in the 12th century in Italy, during the 13th century our country became the largest centre of production in the West.
With the import of the silkworm, the mulberry was brought along to Europe, being the plant whose leaves represent the only sustenance of the insect. Silkworms have a remarkable appetite: they eat mulberry leaves continuously, night and day, growing very fast.
The silkworm is a species of Asian moth that, before turning into a butterfly, closes in the cocoon from which the silk is spun.
From the bowels of the earth
Time: 1:00 hour
Difficulty: this is an excursion for all ages, children included. The route is along a mule track and easy trail which requires little effort.
Along the way there are stunning views of the lake and gentle slopes with olive groves, orchards and vegetable gardens. As you climb the cobbled track, the noise of the plain fades into the distance as you are immersed in the silence of the woods.
In just a short time you come to the little hamlet of Calech famous for its broad meadow where it is worth stopping a moment to admire the view of the Grigna Meridionale and its striking ridge Cresta Segantini as well as the mountains on the Como side of the lake. The final stretch of the trail is steeper and rocky but after about a hundred metres you have arrived!
It is a spectacular scene with the deafening roar of the water plummeting 50 metres from above.
The imposing rocky walls carved by the water over the course of millennia create a primordial setting which makes us feel very small.
This place surrounded by natural wilderness is a hidden gem in the heart of the Grigna, an oasis of peace and silence.
The source of the torrent Zerbo is located at the foot of the Southern Grigna, called Grignetta, in Colonghelli. Running down to the valley, the small stream slowly swells in its bed, called watercourse, crossing wooded areas where it forms small waterfalls and gorges. The total length is 5.4km.
In the middle of its route the torrent Zerbo gives rise to the Cenghen Waterfall, and then ends its journey in Lake Como.
From the torrent Zerbo comes the Roggia, the canal that crosses the country, whose water was used in the past as a driving force for the silk industry. In its upstream part there is a derivation of the course intended for the production of hydroelectric energy, originally built by the Moto Guzzi company.
Fun fact: the Zerbo is not a torrent to be underestimated. In the past, following a probable landslide event, it diverted its course. At the time, in fact, it flowed into the area called “Poncia”, the ‘tip’, where today the Ulisse Guzzi park is located.
The hamlet of Mulini is characterized by the passage of the Roggia, an artificial canal of modest capacity that comes to life from the torrent Zerbo. In the past, its waters were used to power mills and water wheels, a driving force in the silk industry.
The mills of the hamlet were mainly used for the production of flour, which was flanked by grinding wheels for the sharpening of agricultural tools such as scythes, dark and hoarseness.
Leaving the hamlet of Mulini, the waters of the Roggia continue their journey to the city centre, where they feed the large wheels of the Museum Setificio Monti.
Until 1928 (the year of birth of today’s Abbadia Lariana) the hamlet of Mulini was part of the Municipality of Abbadia Sopr’Adda along with the centre, Cascina San Bartolomeo and Borbino.
Borbino is a small hamlet of Abbadia Lariana, which was of great importance in the past. The oldest of the three churches in the town dates back to the 13th century.
The symbolic place of this hamlet is the large washhouse located in front of the church of Our Lady of the Snow: place of aggregation for the women of the time who gathered here to do laundry, the washhouse of the hamlet of Borbino was used to wash clothes until the sixties.
In recent times, thanks to the work of local volunteers (the so-called “burbinatt”), the water of the washhouse has returned to flow just as in the past.
Settlement of Romanesque origin, in the past Linzanico was part of the Duchy of Milan. It became common during the 18th century, was part of the province of Como for several years, and then was annexed to the municipality of Mandello by royal decree of Napoleon (1809).
When the Austrians took the power again, the municipality of Linzanico was restored. It was composed of the little settlements of Novegolo, Linzanico, Crebbio, Lombrino and Zana, what we now call “high hamlets”. The definitive union with Abbadia Lariana took place in 1928 with Royal Decree during the fascist regime.
Linzanico still has some buildings dating back to 1700. From the hamlet you can start the itinerary to reach the Cenghen waterfall.
A small village of medieval origin built on the slope of the hill next to the centre of Abbadia Lariana, it was equipped with a defensive system of the territory precisely because of its strategic position. Today a castle remains as a witness of the past.
In the middle of the village is the parish church of St Antony the Abbot. The current structure is the result of changes over the centuries, the last of which dates back to the 17th century. During these renovations no paintings were destroyed, but today it is still possible to admire a work dating back to the mid-seventeenth century: it is an oil on canvas depicting the territory of the parish, in which the church of St George is easily recognizable.
In the church of St Antony the Abbot, the Sunday closest to January 17 of each year, the feast of the patron saint is held during which the traditional mass of blessing of the animals is celebrated.
The hamlet takes its name from the church dedicated to the Saint, built as a votive offering in 1836 by the inhabitants who survived the terrible cholera epidemic of that year: thanks to the donations of the believers, the alms and the testamentary bequests of the citizens, the work was completed in a short time and the church was blessed in 1856.
Inside it has a single nave, there are the black and white marble altar, the wooden statue depicting St Roch and several paintings including the representation of St Charles between St Peter Martyr and St Alexis.
Take it easy, look around and reflect
Time: 3.5 hours (Abbadia to Lierna)
Difficulty: this hike is suited to all ages, a great idea for a family day out and a nature trail to discover the area. Spring and autumn are the best seasons to enjoy the magic of these places.
The Sentiero del Viandante is a hiking trail about 45 km in length along the eastern shore of Lake Como from Abbadia Lariana to Piantedo. In the past this walking trail served for communications and trade from one town to another. The Viandante is well signposted and can be divided into stages thanks to its frequent intersections with the Lecco-Colico railway line so that you can do one stage at a time and return to your point of departure by train. It is basically a long walk with short uphill stretches which take you to spectacular viewing points.
The first stage from Abbadia to Lierna is a perfect example of the beauties of this itinerary, full of geological and botanical curiosities not to mention points of cultural and artistic interest: there are testimonials to the religious faith of the local population such as the lovely medieval chapel of San Giorgio; medieval tower houses such as Barbarossa’s tower recall the defence system on Lake Como in days gone by; and then there is the patchwork of fields, vineyards, olive groves, farm buildings and hamlets perched on the slopes below the peaks of the Grigne mountain range.
Piani Resinelli, situated in the Lombary Pre-Alps, is a plateau on a great col beneath the Grigne mountain range and extends across the municipalities of Abbadia, Madello del Lario, Ballabio and Lecco; this strategic position affords incomparable views which stretch from the Rhaetian Alps as far as Monte Rosa, towering above the plain below, the Lecco branch of Lake Como and the minor lakes of Alta Brianza. The Grigne Massif, stretching along the eastern side of Lake Como between Lecco and Bellano, can be accessed by a number of itineraries which start in Piani Resinelli; of great geographic, geological and scenic interest, not to mention a renowned climbing area, it can be considered one of the most important ranges within a short distance (about 60 km) of the city of Milan. Piani Resinelli is at a mean altitude of 1300 metres above sea level and is only a half an hour away from Lecco by car following directions for Valsassina via the town of Ballabio.
The little Church of San Giorgio (St. George), is on the Sentiero del Viandante trail.
It has ancient origins: San Giorgio was probably built in the Early Middle Ages. It has a gabled facade with beautiful exposed wooden trusses and the walls and lancet windows date back to the 13th century: the broad vaulted triumphal arch and the presbytery with its ribbed vault were additions of the early 15th century. The architecture is extremely plain, a common feature of medieval churches along the lake shore.
The interior is particularly enchanting for the rare cycle of frescoes, which covers most of the walls, the triumphal arch and the back of the presbytery, with Christ in the Last Judgment and Saints, Limbo, the Resurrection of the good; the Damned, around the huge king of hell. These frescoes are placed in the years 1475 – 1485. There are also busts of prophets and a Crucifixion and some panels with the Madonna enthroned with St. Bernardino, the saints Nicola Tolentino and Antonio abate, the saints Bernardo and Rocco, the primordial sin of Adam and Eve.
The Tower of Maggiana, known as “Barbarossa’s Tower” is one of the best conserved in the province of Lecco, located in a panoramic position in the village of Maggiana, part of the town of Mandello del Lario. The massive square building which overlooks the lake once controlled the Ducal Road along the lake shore and was in communication with all the fortifications along the eastern shore of Lake Como.
It was built in a strategic position towards the rich pastures and mines of the adjacent Val Meria and Piani Resinelli plateau. Although it has undergone renovation work on a number of occasions, the Tower dates back to the 12th century and was possibly commissioned by the lords of Mandello.
At the turn of the 19th century the tower was acquired by Francesco Alippi who carried out restoration work and added the rooftop terrace.
On 5th May 1828, a builder working on the first floor came across a granite plaque blackened by smoke engraved with these words: “Frideric-Imperat-German hic tutus quievit – Anno 1158” (Frederick German Emperor slept here in 1158) which explains how the tower got its name.
Tradition also has it that there was once a castle on the hillside just north of the village.