Outings for Halloween
Here are some unmissable destinations in Lombardy where you can spend your Halloween 2022
It is a moment of transition where night begins to prevail over the day, and sunny days give way to the first chills. Although Halloween is not really part of our tradition, it has entered widely into our imagination, fuelling the 'horror' fantasies of our children.
Leaving aside the more commercial side of the celebrations linked to this occasion, as an alternative idea, we could exploit the opportunity to discover unusual and secret places, taking advantage of the many mysterious and 'frightening' destinations in our region and even explore the places of interest in the vicinity of such locations that we have not yet had a chance to get to know.
From spooky haunted castles to Pumpkin Patch-style pumpkin fields and locations with a magical, gloomy atmosphere, here are a few ideas for organising our Halloween outing in Lombardy.
L’ORRIDO DI BELLANO (LC)
Considered one of the ‘spookiest' natural monuments in our country, the Orrido di Bellano (or Bellano Gorge) lends itself perfectly to be explored on Halloween with your children. We are on the shores of Lake Como, at the point where various geological processes have created a real canyon, which can now be explored via suspended footbridges. Majestic and impressive, it is one of the natural wonders of Lombardy, which is particularly impressive when it is immersed in the thin November mist, with the humidity and moss enhancing its most mysterious aspect.
This short (but intense!) visit is worth combining with a trip to the nearby Vezio Castle to experience the falconry display. It is a very charming place in itself due to the grandeur of the ancient medieval fortress overhanging Varenna and the sensational view of Lake Como, and made even more magical by the presence of a training centre for diurnal and nocturnal birds of prey: here you can see the various specimens up close and listen to the falconer's story and secrets of falconry.
THE FLOWER FIELD (CAMPO DEI FIORI) IN GALBIATE (LC)
The first pumpkin field in Lombardy, an authentic ‘Pick your own’ farm far beyond the fashions imported from overseas, it is the ideal place to stock up on pumpkins for autumn soups and desserts and to gather material for Halloween party decorations. We are in Sala al Barro Galbiate and from here, following the cycle-pedestrian path overlooking Lake Annone, you can reach this expanse of pumpkins of countless varieties. While the children will delight in treasure hunts and decoration workshops, you will enjoy one of the most evocative autumn skies in the region.
Inebriated by the sight of a myriad of pumpkin varieties, no visit to the Galbiate area would be complete without a detour to Villa Bertarelli, a refined late 18th-century residence of the Milanese upper middle class, now home to the Monte Barro Regional Park. It will give you an unmissable view of the lakes (the so-called Brianza lakes), the hills and the foothills of the Alps, while you will be enchanted by its splendid and well-kept gardens spread over three levels. Here you can admire the characteristic Portaluppi fountain and the Poggio della Brianza, looking up at the cedars and imposing beech trees that guard it.
THE OLD CUSTOMS HOUSE IN UBIALE DI CLANEZZO SUL BREMBO (BG)
The Province of Bergamo is famous for a spooky and slightly creepy place that lends itself well to a Halloween outing and has an aura of mystery that is sure to delight children. We are talking about an ancient Venetian customs house in Ubiale di Clanezzo, once the place where tolls were collected to cross the Brembo river: the gloomy atmosphere is made even more gloomy by the presence of the stone bridge and the impetuous waters of the river.
Also in the Clanezzo area, in the immediate vicinity of the customs house, a day of shivery thrills would not be complete without a visit to the 'Dancing Bridge', a wooden Tibetan bridge that crosses the Brembo river. The oldest suspension bridge in Lombardy, designed at the end of the 19th century to link the two banks, it can be crossed without a harness or a ferrata kit, despite the fact that it swings and creaks "frighteningly"... Who will dare to cross it?
CASTLE OF TREZZO SULL'ADDA (MI)
Built in the 14th century by the Visconti family, Trezzo Castle stands near Milan in a strategic position in the middle of a bend in the Adda river. Over the centuries it has been the scene of bloody battles, court conspiracies and mysterious assassinations, including that of Count Bernabò Visconti at the hands of his nephew Gian Galeazzo. It was allegedly haunted by the ghosts of his entire court, as during World War II a German commando reportedly spotted ladies, knights and ghoulish acrobats there. There are also tales of the ghost of a young woman who committed suicide for love and would throw herself from its towers every night.
A visit to the Trezzo Castle to coincide with the Night of the Witches could be the perfect opportunity to go to the lands of the Parco dell'Adda Nord, which is filled with the colours and scents of autumn, among chestnut trees, white willows, black alders, swans and kingfishers. It is not only a nature excursion, however: a visit to the Leonardo Adda Museum is a must: an open-air ecomuseum covering more than ten municipalities in the area is an interesting testimony to Leonardo's genius.
CONSONNO: THE GHOST TOWN (LC)
Still on the theme of Halloween, a trip to the Ghost Town of Consonno, a few kilometres from Lecco, is an interesting stopover: an unusual little place that tells the incredible story of an unscrupulous entrepreneur who dreamed of creating the Las Vegas of Brianza. In the 1960s, this atypical village was home to an Arabian gallery, a minaret, a Chinese pagoda and a mock medieval castle. But later, nature destroyed what man had forcibly built: in 1976 the 'toy town' was invaded by a landslide that left the village completely isolated. Now forgotten, today Consonno is a surreal place popular with lovers of abandoned places.
The Lecco area of Brianza or ‘Brianza lecchese‘ is certainly not lacking in interesting places to visit for a Halloween outing. One of these, which can easily be combined with Consonno, is the village of Ravellino in Colle Brianza, the birthplace of Ripamonti, the man whose chronicle of the plague in Milan provided the inspiration for Manzoni's The Betrothed. Most of all, however, it is the splendid views of Lake Annone that make Ravellino a place worth exploring. Its old wash-house and the Church of the Madonna della Ceriola, which houses a precious 17th-century altarpiece, are also full of charm.