Lake Como is home to many old forts and castles, spread around the lake and always worth a visit. Each castle complex tells its own story and can look back on a long history. Let yourself be captivated by the imposing buildings and experience an adventure on Lake Como.
The Castello di Vezio, as it is known today, was built in the 14th century and is still very well preserved. It is well worth a visit, especially because of Luca Castiglioni’s regular bird of prey show there with tawny owls, buzzards, barn owls, falcons and other birds of prey. Actors are also part of this show and take their viewers a little way back in time.
The Castello di Vezio was already a military fortification at the time of the Lombard queen Theudelinde in the 6th century. During the First World War 1915 – 1918, it served as a defensive post against German attacks from the sea or from nearby towns. In the middle of the complex is the 20m high observation tower, which can only be reached by a drawbridge. Once you have conquered the steep steps to the top, you are rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view over Lake Como.
The falcon show, whose main actors are not only falcons but also other birds of prey, takes place in the castle every day from 10 am to 6 pm. During this time, the Castello di Vezio offers you a variety of entertainment such as exhibitions and shows.
On the outskirts of Varenna (in the direction of Dervio), a very idyllic path leads partly up stairs to the Castello (ascent approx. 30 min).
April to October daily from 10:00 to sunset, November to March only Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to sunset.
Particularly worth seeing are the ruins of this former Spanish fort, which was built in 1603 and originally served as protection against attacks by the “Three Federations”. The ruins provide an insight into Italy’s long history and are always worth a visit. However, you need good shoes, as the paths are not paved. Special attention must be paid to children because the weirs are not secured. The fort is still in use today, although not for defence purposes. But it is a beautiful setting for concerts and theatre performances.
You can reach la Forte di Fuentes by taking the main road from Colico in the direction of Sondrio, turning left according to the signs, crossing the railway tracks straight on, then turning right up the small hill. Information is available at the tourist information office in Colico.
The visit to this former fortress is very interesting. It was built between 1911 and 1915, but only came into modest use at the end of the Second World War. The fortress is still preserved as it was built over 100 years ago, because there was never any fighting here. However, the fortress also has a great historical story: shots were fired from there to the other side of Lake Como on 26 April 1945 to stop a column carrying the fleeing Benito Mussolini from going underground.
There will be a guided tour in Italian (and a little English), and a handout with German translation will be provided. The fortress can be reached by taking the main road from Colico towards Sondrio, turning left according to the signs, crossing the railway tracks, then continuing left and up the small hill.
Corenno Plinio is a small medieval village in Dervio. With its close-knit houses, small winding lanes and many sneaky paths, the picturesque town transports its visitors to another time. Originally built around the castle walls, Corenno Plinio offers a breathtaking panorama in an enchanting atmosphere. According to the first official documents, the origin of the village dates back to the 13th century.
The castle of Corenno Plinio was originally built as a defensive structure and has two towers. An exit from the castle leads directly to the Piazza di Corenno. Directly adjacent to the ring of walls is the church of St Thomas of Canterbury, probably built between the 12th and 13th century. Particularly worth seeing are the uncovered wall frescoes of the church, which date from 14th and 15th century. In the church square there are three tombs housing the Princes Andreani.
The path up to the castle is lined with ancient patrician villas and steep steps, whose steps are characteristically carved directly into the rock, form a large part of the path. The visit to the medieval fortress and village is free. There are no guided tours.
In Santa Maria Rezzonico lies the picturesque Castello of Rezzonico, on a promontory jutting into Lake Como. The 13th-century monument, which is well worth seeing, was reportedly built by the della Torre family on a former fortification and offers beautiful walks all around.
On the left, the paths lead to a small bay, along the right you reach the fortified shore area of Rezzonico. From there you can enjoy a great view of Lake Como. South of the Castello is the small fishing port of Rezzonico.
The castle itself is rarely open to the public, as it has been privately owned by a French family for almost a century.
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