• Lakes

Lago di Lugano The Little World of the Past

In the Fifteenth century, the guests of the Mozzoni family departed from the hunting lodge to hunt bears.

 

In the Sixteenth century, Villa Cicogna Mozzoni, in Besuschio, was enlarged and changed into a sumptuous mansion, embellished by gardens on various levels with an interplay of exteriors and interiors. The descendents of the family continued to run the property, whose garden (full of statues and fountains) can now be visited together with 12 fully frescoed rooms (with furniture and objects of various historical periods). The villa is also used as a concert venue and an exhibition centre and can be rented for wedding receptions and gala dinners.

Antonio’s memories
Villa Fogazzaro Roi in Oria Valsolda was used by Mario Soldati as a set for his movie Piccolo mondo antico (The Little World of the Past), named after the novel that
Antonio Fogazzaro wrote in the same rooms of the villa. The writer’s works depict the atmospheres of what was his dwelling in the past, whose conservation was entrusted
to the FAI (Italian Environmental Fund) in 2009. Its rooms are ‘loaded’ with memories, disseminated all around from the library, where Fogazzaro’s books are kept, to his office.
Original handwritten annotations have also survived and are still kept inside a drawer of his desk. Erected on the lake bank, the villa offers charming views of the neighbouring mountains.

The echo of Prehistory
Fossils of 25 reptile species, 50 fish species, more than 100 invertebrate species and various vegetable species, conifers in particular, were extracted from the deep layers of Mount San Giorgio, where they had remained for millions of years - the oldest even date back to 247 million years ago. The peculiarity of this very important geo-paleontological area, a transnational (Italian-Swiss) UNESCO World Heritage site, are the five layers of fossils, each belonging to a prehistoric period, which are of interest for studying the evolution, over millions of years, of groups of organisms that used to live in the same environment. To arouse visitors’ interest, workshops and guided tours around the mountain are organised. Do not forget to take a look at the exceptional panorama of this site. The fossils extracted from Mount San Giorgio are kept in two museums, the Museo dei fossili del Monte San Giorgio, in Meride, Switzerland (refurbished and enlarged by architect Mario Botta) and the Museo civico del Fossili in Besano. The first exhibit to be
seen in the San Giorgio museum is a 2.5 m long reconstruction of the terrestrial saurian
Ticinosuchus. The exhibits on display in the second museum include, among others, a nearly 6 m long Besanosaurus, with four embryos found in the abdomen, and a Saltriosaurus, whose remains are the only fossils of a large carnivorous dinosaur in
Italy.

In the trench
A system of fortifications – skilfully erected between mountains – connect the two ridges of mount Orsa and mount Pravello, a few kilometres far from Viggiù. These constructions are part of the Linea Cadorna defences, built during World War I. This historic itinerary raises visitors’ curiosity, as they walk through the tunnels where
soldiers used to station and live in the past, with a rudimental but effective ventilation system and clearings, where cannons were kept. Right outside, views of the lago di Lugano will await them.

The arco di Muzio
An arch is placed at the entrance of Campione d’Italia, an Italian border town surrounded by Swiss territory. It was designed in the 1930s by the 20th century Milanese architect Giovanni Muzio, who was on a mission here to review the
town-planning scheme. In 1958, a garden was built just behind the arch, whose ideal focal point is a large, cylindrical fountain decorated with seagulls by skilled local ceramists. On the north side of piazzale Maestri Campionesi (this place is called
“Campione Masters Square” by no coincidence!), a few mosaics saved from the demolition of the old Casino are found, which depict the “liberal arts”, or the arts of the Middle Age masters.
 

5 reasons for

1. Cascata del Trallo (Trallo Waterfall), Brusimpiano. A short and easy walk will lead
visitors from the village centre, along the torrent, to the Trallo waterfall, a wonder of the natural world, nestled in the woods.

2. Balcone d’Italia, Lanzo d’Intelvi. Sighignola, a 1,320 m high mountain of the Lugano
Pre-Alps (Prealpi Luganesi) on the Italian-Swiss border is otherwise known as the “Italian balcony” for a good reason. It can be reached from Lanzo d’Intelvi by car or on foot by a practical trail.

3. Grotte di Rescia, Claino con Osteno. Seven grottos wind along a 500 m (545 yd)
trail on the eastern side of Ceresio. The peculiarity that makes these “Grotte di Rescia”
rare at national level is their material, travertine marble sculpted by water erosion down
the centuries. In December and January, grottos are extraordinarily open for the “Natale in grotta” (Christmas in the Cave) pantomime.

4. Sasso Paradiso, Marzio. This rock can be reached on foot from Porto Ceresio or from Marzio, through a non-demanding trail. Masso Erratico is a natural Lago di Lugano belvedere, but also retains traces of the old Linea Cadorna system of fortifications.

5. Porto Ceresio. Porto Ceresio is a picturesque village overlooking the lake, surrounded
by nature and the mountains. The lake-front is worth discovering by walking past ancient
villas (with marble decorations now unfortunately displaying signs of ageing) to finally reach a few pebble-and-sand beaches, under the shadow of weeping willows.

On the same topic

Lago Maggiore Old stories

Finds from the Iron Age, evidence of the Ice Age, monuments of industrial archaeology, dolls from the eighteenth century to date: lower Lago Maggiore (the Verbano area)
  • Lakes
Lago Maggiore Storie antiche

What to do in Lake Iseo

  • Lakes
What to do in Lake Iseo

Lago Maggiore Artist’s brushstrokes

Trompe l’oeil frescos, five centuries of pictorial cycles, spontaneous and organised murals: colour is everywhere in and around Laveno Mombello
  • Lakes
Lago Maggiore Pennellate d'artista

Lago di Lugano The Little World of the Past

A place of cultural interest indeed with the landscapes of Fogazzaro’s novels, the fossils of Monte San Giorgio, the fortifications of World War land the secret places of Ceresio
  • Lakes
Lago di Lugano Piccolo mondo antico

Lake Como Itinerary

  • Lakes
Lake Como Itinerary

Rabbit Island in Lake Garda

A very suggestive island, a small lake paradise.
  • Lakes
Discover San Biagio, the Rabbit Island in Lake Garda

Vacation at Lombardy Lakes

The Lombardy lakes offer quality services and accommodation for every type of holiday.
  • Lakes
Vacation at Lombardy lakes, ideas for planning

Canoeing

Vivere i laghi lombardi in canoa.
  • Lakes
Canoeing

Lake Garda Photo Gallery

Photo exhibition to tell the beauty of this territory.
  • Lakes
Discovering Lake Garda with pictures, from A to Z

Boat Trips at Lombard Lakes

Iseo, Garda, Como. Boat trips on the Lombardy lakes offer an alternative point of view. From the lakes to the villages that surround them.
  • Lakes
Boat trips at Lombard lakes, an original idea

Lake Como in spring

Discovering Lake Como, among blooming wisteria, idyllic landscapes and crystal clear waters.
  • Lakes
Visiting the Villas by boat

Lago Maggiore Unspoilt landscapes

Monteviasco can only be reached on foot or by cableway from Ponte di Piero. This village is famous for its 18th century mills placed in a natural setting.
  • Lakes
Lago Maggiore Paesaggi incontaminati

The loveliest island in the Lakes

Visit the islands of the Lombard lakes: a dip in little enchanted worlds.
  • Lakes
The loveliest island in the lakes: Montisola, Isola Comacina, Isola del Garda

Luino

The tourist boast of Luino is the picturesque and folkloristic weekly market.
  • Lakes
The Luino Market

Lago di Como: charmingly seductive

Described by Stendhal as ‘voluptuous’, the south-western branch of Lake Como charms with its gardens, villas and breath-taking views.
  • Lakes
Lago di Como: sedotti e affascinati

5 Thing-to-do in Colico

The perfect place for your outdoor holiday on Lake Como
  • Lakes
colico cose da fare

Brunate a view on the Belle Époque

Visit the "Balcony on the Alps".
  • Lakes
Outdoor trip to Brunate

Lago di Iseo: prehistory and bubbles

The Valle Camonica rock engravings are as famous worldwide as the wine made in Franciacorta. On a journey of discover what else this area has to offer
  • Lakes
Lago di Iseo Preistoria e bollicine

Centomiglia, sailing challenge on the Garda

Centomiglia: the most important sailing event in Garda and known throughout Europe.
  • Lakes
Centomiglia, sailing challenge on the Garda

Lago di Garda: the shadow of D’Annunzio

From the Vittoriale degli Italiani to the fifteenth-century Cathedral in Salò, via the Valle delle Cartiere valley in Toscolano Maderno: all the spectacular sights around Gardone Riviera
  • Lakes
Lago di Garda, lungolago Zanardelli