- Art & Culture
Lecco: the largest of these villages
Alessandro Manzoni, after taking a nature photography of the territory painting the lake Como, the mountains and the Adda river, continues with a description of Lecco, “the largest of these villages”, describing it a village who sets out to become a city.
In the seventeenth century, historic period when The Betrothed is set, Lecco was a fortified village under Spanish domination and had a castle, built in the fourteenth century by the Visconti family of Milan, by the will of Azzone Visconti. Of the mighty castle and fortified village today remains visible only the Viscontea Tower (Torre Viscontea in Piazza XX Settembre) and part of the walls with the town walls (vallo delle mura near Via Bovara), where the Palace of the Spanish governors was built (now Lecco’s Public Library), and near the Basilica of St. Nicholas (Basilica di San Nicolò) where you can see the round bastion on which the high bell tower was erected, known as “matitone” (“big pencil”).
The writer then painted us Lecco’s surrounding territory with roads and paths, with small towns placed on the banks of Adda river, always embedded in the spectacular natural environment Lecco offers embraced by mountains and mirrored in the lake.
Cover image: illustration darft for the edition of The Betrothed dated 1840 Library Braidense