• Religious Tourism
    • Lakes
    • Active & Green

La Via Regina

The Queen of the Ways, ancient, crucial. A network of travellers’ hospices and monuments evidence of the historic importance of the route

The ancient Via Regina, which for centuries has run along the western shore of Lario, is the ancient transalpine communication route of Lake Como.

Well documented in both archaeology and the Imperial Roman maps, it crossed the Alps at Spluga Pass, coming from the Reno Valley and Lake Costanza.

A communication and defensive route on the water together with Lake Como, it was from ancient times, a one of a kind axis between the center of the Alps and the Po Valley, reinforced by the Roman conquest towards the limes of Reno. Via “Regina” means the main cobblestone road, a public road, and it was documented this way for the first time in 1187.

The municipal statutes of 1335 document the extension of this name for the entire stretch between Como and Chiavenna. However, given the importance, it’s probable that the area also included Milan – Como, and quite possibly extended beyond Chiavenna.

Today, although partly absorbed by the modern-day S.S. 340 road, the route still preserves important and splendid historic stretches that, conveniently connected to the minor roads and local paths, guarantee the continuity of the route. All this in a context of
a unique and very beautiful environment, which has rightly brought it fame.

Via Regina was a Via Francigena, or a route to Rome, as confirmed not only in the documents but also by the extraordinary monuments and the presence of a widespread network of “hospices” where free spaces were reserved by statute for pilgrims on their way to Rome. The original route covers very interesting stages, filled with monuments, villas and historic places that are undoubtedly worthy of the attention of the visitor.

Palazzo Gallio in Gravedona, a characteristic Renaissance residence built at the beginning of 1583 by Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio.The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which belonged to an Augustinian convent founded in 1467, it is one of the most interesting Renaissances complexes of Lario.The interior preserves numerous 16th century frescos.

The Santuario della Madonna della Pace in Menaggio, built in 1658 to mark the “Peace of the Pyrenees” at the end of the war between France and Spain. Inside, the altar has a bas-relief of 1484 that represents the Madonna with Child. The church of Sant’Agata a Moltrasio is from the Romanesque period, with murals painted on the outside wall. The interior preserves trace of frescos dating back to earlier decoration.

At Como, attention is drawn to the imposing building of Villa Olmo, a famous example of neoclassical architecture, built to the design of the Ticino architect Simone Cantoni for the Marquis Innocenzo Odescalchi.Admirable neoclassical decorations are preserved inside and there is a monumental, double-height drawing room with paintings by Domenico Pozzi.

The Romanesque basilica of Sant’Abbondio of the 11th century, built on the  foundations of a previous, early Christian church.The building, made up of five naves, preserves a valuable cycle of frescos in the apse, probably painted between 1330 and 1340.

 

5 reasons to cover the route

  1. Sacro Monte di Ossuccio, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, includes a sanctuary and 14 chapels, built between 1644 and 1699, adorned with terracotta statues and frescos.
     
  2. Isola Comacina, known for its fascinating archaeological heritage and the artists’ residences designed by the architect Pietro Lingeri. It is possible to admire the remains of a number of religious buildings constructed in rationalist style before the destruction of the island in 1169.
     
  3. The complex of Villa d’Este in Cerbobbio stands on the site of the ancient Villa Garrovo, which belonged to Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio. Converted into a luxury hotel, in the garden it preserves a scenic exedra and a flight of steps with a false cave housing a statue of Hercules and Lica.
     
  4. Villa Erba, built in neo-Renaissance style between 1894 and 1898 on the initiative of Luigi Erba. Thereafter, it became the residence of the director Luchino Visconti, and is currently part of a museum tour.
     
  5. The Cathedral of Como, characterised by a centrepiece of marble and decorative elements on the facade. The interior of the Duomo is adorned with sixteenth and seventeenth century tapestries, paintings and other works of art that confirm its sumptuousness and beauty.

On the same topic

Medieval cookery at the Abbazia di Morimondo

Gastronomic experiences at the Abbey of Morimondo
  • Religious Tourism
Gastronomic experiences at the Abbazia di Morimondo

The pilgrim’s dinner: medieval cookery in Morimondo

A lunch inspired by medieval cuisine with a seasonal menu
  • Religious Tourism
Traditional flavours at the Abbazia di Morimondo

Church Varese

From the Sacro Monte of Varese to the hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, a spiritual path made of artistic and landscape beauties
  • Religious Tourism
Church Varese, what to see

The Saint Columbanus way

The Saint Columbanus way is the route that,crossing the entire area of Eastern Lombardy, once led to Bobbio
  • Religious Tourism
The Saint Columbanus way

Franciacorta wine produced in monasteries

Famous and loved all over the world, Franciacorta wines are the ideal companions of great occasions, parties and moments to remember
  • Religious Tourism
Discover the monasteries producing Franciacorta wine

Churches Brescia

The religious one is a richness for Brescia which is one of the Italian cities with the highest number of churches on its territory
  • Religious Tourism
Churches Brescia, what to see in Lombardy

Churches Bergamo

Bergamo: a city with more beauties than you think. They are silent behind centuries-old facades of churches
  • Religious Tourism
Churches Bergamo, religious tourism

Via Francisca

The magnificence of the mountains gives way to superb panoramas where unspoiled nature will envelope you in an unforgettable experience
  • Religious Tourism
Via Francisca del Lucomagno

Dom Perignon and Franciacorta

The strange story of the most famous wine in the world
  • Religious Tourism
The strange story of the most famous wine in the world

La Via Regina

The Queen of the Ways, ancient, crucial. A network of travellers’ hospices and monuments evidence of the historic importance of the route
  • Religious Tourism
La Via Regina

Visit the mill at the Abbazia di Chiaravalle

Gita fuoriporta alla scoperta dell’Abbazia di Chiaravalle
  • Religious Tourism
Head out of the city and discover the Abbazia di Chiaravalle

Churches Lodi

Discovering the places of worship of the Lodi area. To fill the spirit between faith and religious art
  • Religious Tourism
Churches Lodi, exploring Lombardy

Sotto il Monte Giovanni XXIII

It is located in the area called Isola Bergamasca and is now a destination for pilgrimages linked to the figure of Angelo GIuseppe Roncalli
  • Religious Tourism
Sotto il Monte - John XXVIII

Churches Como

Como, appreciated for the beauty of its landscapes, combines beautiful villas and glimpses of the lake with beautiful churches
  • Religious Tourism
Churches Como, a guide to Lombardy

Cammino di Sant'Agostino

Retracing the Way of one of the most important figures of history will give an important new dimension to your awareness of life
  • Religious Tourism
Cammino di Sant'Agostino

Churches Milan

Some are famous all over the world, others known only to a few, all of which hide great surprises of art and architecture
  • Religious Tourism
Churches Milan, itineraries

La Via Matildica del Volto Santo

A great route of faith and culture
  • Religious Tourism
La Via Matildica del Volto Santo

The Easter rituals that bring Lombardy to life

Religious rites, centuries-old traditions, and folklore: this is how Lombardy is preparing for Easter 2022
  • Religious Tourism
I riti di Pasqua che emozionano la Lombardia

Churches Monza

A journey discovering the history of the territory through architecture and spirituality.
  • Religious Tourism
Churches Monza, exploring Lombardy

Km-0 in Lombardy: agriculture in monasteries

In the monasteries there is still the atmosphere of the past. If you want to buy genuine products, at Km 0, you can contact the monks
  • Religious Tourism
Km-0 agriculture in the monasteries of Lombardy