Mandello del Lario
Mandello del Lario, lying on the eastern shore of Lake Como, in the southern branch known as Lago di Lecco. It has gained some international notoriety as the seat of the historic Guzzi Motorcycles factory.
Built as a Roman settlement, Mandello underwent a tumultuous period in the Middle Ages as the fortified village was constantly contended between Como and Milano. A peaceful period arrived in the sixteenth century, when the locals found prestige in their silk weaving.
Mandello sits above the lake and enjoys nice views and placid scenery. The Church of San Lorenzo, in the historic center, dates back to the early Christian Age. It was rebuilt during the 9th century and renovated again in Romesque style in the Middle Ages. The simple church of San Giorgio was built in the 1100s with a re-do in the 14th century. It has an intricately carved baptismal font and frescoes. The Sanctuary of the Madonna del Fiume (Our Lady of the River), has a Renaissance style exterior with its vaulted and arched portico, with a Baroque interior that boasts fancy stuccoes, gilding and paintings. The Grotta Ferrera, in the district of Acqua Bianca, is of huge cave (about 175 meters long and 50 meters large), with an underground brook with a striking waterfall.
For motorcycle fans, don't miss the Guzzi Museum in Via Parodi, which chronicles the history and designs of the famous motorbikes.
Maggiana is a characteristic hamlet overlooking Mandello from the top of its terrace and is worth a visit. The historical center is home to the medieval Torre del Barbarossa where Federico I, called “il Barbarossa” (Red Beard), resided in the twelfth century. Inside the tower is a museum that exhibits rural tools, which is open just upon request or during the celebrations of June.
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