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The bell tower of San Nicola, Lecco


The Duomo, Basilica di San Nicola, Lecco



Piazza XX Novembre, Lecco


Lecco from above

Welcome to Lecco
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population: 46,477 (2004)
Official site:
Lecco
Wikipedia:
Lecco
Map:
MapQuest

Visit our Lake District Portal

Lake Como forms an inverted "Y" with the city of Como at the bottom of the western arm, and the city of Lecco at the bottom of the eastern.  The beautiful little tourist town of Bellagio is at the point, in between the two.

Like Como, which is almost twice the size, Lecco is a busy industrial center, and not a place where many travelers stay the night.  However, it is worthy of its place on a tour of the Lake District because the centre of the old city along the lake, well-buffered from the industrial suburbs,  has a definite charm and contains just the right number of things to do and see for a day's outing.

The old heart of Lecco sits at the mouth of the River Adda, which flows down from the surrounding mountains.  It is now spanned by three bridges, the oldest and handsomest being the Ponte Visconti which was built between 1336 and 1338 AD).

The areas surrounding the town have long been planted with mulberry bushes, where silk worms abide, and so Lecco has been producing raw silk for the textile industry of Milan for hundreds of years.  The area is also close to iron ore deposits and has been producing iron almost since the beginnings of the Iron Age.  That industry, however, after hundreds of years has been almost played-out.

Lecco boasts two piazzas of note, the Piazza Cermenati and the Piazza XX Novembre.  The area in around the two is where one finds all Lecco's important buildings, churches and monuments.  The most imposing building is the town's Duomo (Cathedral) the Basilica San Nicola, which dominates the village from its perch on the slopes above the lake.  The interior, burnished in gold leaf, encloses one in a golden light, and offers refuge from the hottest days of summer and the most blustery days of winter.  The tower beside the Duomo, La Torre di Viscontea, is an elegant, pencil thin structure that gives the village an energetic exclamation point.

Below the tower is a palazzo known locally as The Viscontea, and nearby is the lovely Palazzotto di Don RodrigoVilla Manzoni houses the Manzoni Museum, dedicated to the writer, Alessandro Manzoni, author of the seminal Italian novel, "I Promisi Sposi" (The Betrothed).  To prove their devotion to Manzoni, the town has also erected a bronze statue of his likeness which stands outside in the piazza.  The Vallo delle Mura, home to the city's art gallery and Lecco's main theatre, Il Teatro Sociale, are other cultural attractions in the old city.

This is Italy, so there are, of course, a number of other churches and religious structures from medieval times that grace Lecco and are worth keeping an eye open for:  the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Vittoria, the Sanctuary of Santa Maria Gloriosa, the Convent of San Cristofero, the Chiesa di Beato Serafino, and the Chiesa dei Santi Materno e Santa Lucia among them.

Naturally, there are a plethora of cafes, trattorias and restaurants in Lecco where one can take a breather from the peculiar agonies of sightseeing, and partake of some of the local specialities, the best of which incorporate fresh fish taken from Lake Como, the Adda and other nearby rivers.  Those down by the lakefront have the advantage of an open-view across the lake, and proximity to the glorious promenade that fronts the city and follows the bay.  (A walk after an Italian dinner should be mandatory!)

If you are looking for a jaw-dropping view of Lecco, Lake Como and the incredible mountainous terrain that marches north into Switzerland, drive east of the town and find the valley-level terminus of the cable car that takes one up the jagged granite slopes of Monte San Martino to the cloud level  Piani d'Erna.  Energetic travelers will find a number of hiking and trekking paths radiating out from the  mountain top terminus of the "funivia" which will lead you to countless other prospects where you can stand, in the clear, bright air in awe of mother nature's power over the senses.

And so, Lecco and environs, are, as we said, a day well spent!

By Vian Andrews, October 14th, 2006

Lombardia

4549′N 0905′E

Distances

Bellagio - 22 km;
Como - 28 km;
Bergamo - 34 km;
Milan - 53 km;
Brescia - 90 km;
Stresa - 133 km;
Verbania - 147 km;
Cremona - 154 km

Directory

 
 


Lecco Coat of Arms

 

 

Contributions: Tell us about your trip to Lecco.  What were your favorite places to visit, stay, and dine.  Contribute
 
The first half of the seminal Italian novel, I Promesi Sposi (The Betrothed) is set in Lecco, where its author Alessandro Manzoni spent part of his childhood.