Lake Como was discovered over 2,000 years ago by the Romans who choose
it as one of their favoured retreats. In 49 B.C. Julius Caesar conquered
Como and populated it with 5,000 colonists and named the lake Larius.
The most famous sons of Como, then known as Novum Comum, were the two
Plinys: Pliny the Elder, author of a celebrated Natural History in 37
books and his nephew, Pliny the Younger, a prose author. Since the first
century A.D. holiday villas have been very popular in Como; Pliny the
Younger had two on the lake, one called Comedy and the other Tragedy.
In the 19th century, Longfellow came to Lake Como to write, as did Tennyson.
Composer Franx Liszt came here in 1837 and wrote his symphony "Dante",
Bellini wrote his opera Norma and the dancer Taglioni lived at Blevio.
Until World War II the lake was considered a paradise. The tragic events
of 1945, whose climax was reached with the shooting of Mussolini and
Claretta Petacci at Dongo, cast on the scenery a shadow which however
was soon to disappear.
While visiting this area don't miss the following sights:
Built in the 18th century in Tremezzo, it houses art treasures (masterpieces
by Canova and Thorvaldsen). It is well known for its Azaleas and Rhododendron
and its botanical gardens.
Located at Lenno on a promontory near the Island and blessed with a
scenic garden, the villa was built by Cardinal Durini in the 18th century.
The villa owes its present aspect to its latest owner, the explorer
Guido Monzino, who donated it to the F.A.I. (Italian National Trust
for Environment) in 1988.
Both the villa and its gardens can be visited by appointment only.