Drawings by Antonio Monteverdi
The archaeologist Marina Uboldi describes the charm and magic of Lake Como's Island, throght 14 explained sheet, from the origins to nowadays.
The map is available also in Italian and as a poster, size 50x70cm.
Nature, beauty and... history
We’re here in a top tourist reserve with a lot to offer. There’s the chance to enjoy lakeside life and water sports, or lose yourselves in the calm of the surrounding nature on numerous nature hikes.
The temperate climate encourages the Island’s luxuriant undergrowth, including shrubs and flowers more usually found far further South.
The lake is home to a wide variety of fish.
Trout and pike can be found, typical to local freshwater environments, but there are also rarer species such as bleak, agone, whitefish and perch. All are delicious ingredients in the simple but tasty local cuisine. Numerous bird species, many now protected by law, include several types of duck, swan, cormorant, heron and seagull, often watched over by the beady eye of a hawk or buzzard.
But let’s shift our attention to another feature of this corner of paradise.
The uniqueness of Isola Comacina lies in its history. Its strategically pivotal position in the Lario’s defensive system meant that it was at the heart of the slightest dispute at the time of the first Barbarian invasions from the North.
For a long time it was an impregnable stronghold on the Byzantine line of defence against the Lombards and gloriously central to events during the Middle Ages.
Tragedy struck in 1169 when, as punishment for breaking free from Como and allying with Milan, it was razed to the ground.
The Island was also one of the diocese’s most important religious centres. This accounts for the numerous churches that have been archaeologically excavated.
Isola Comacina’s history and nature trail offers an extraordinary chance to enjoy a magical place, where nature and tradition merge to let you relive its heroic and legendary past.