The Irresistable Charm of Rezzonico
If you are the sort of traveller looking for hidden treasures in out of the way places then you should not miss the small town of Rezzonico nestled on the western shore of Lake Como. If you are wanting a lakeside holiday in retreat from the fast and the furious then, without hesitation, I recommend you choose here!
Its tranquility is soothing and even though its directly on the water AND totally charming, it remains overlooked and excluded from the list of better known tourist spots on the lake. For sure, its streets hardly consist of a string of shops, boutiques and restaurants. Nor will you find tourist attractions such as museums, stately homes or villas excepting of course the Chapel of the Three Kings on the main square, restored in the 15th century and housing a much loved statue of Saint Antony of Padua. But maybe it is precisely this that makes this small town so captivating. It is simply lovely in itself with an unadorned beauty of its own making.
Dominating this tangle of dwellings on the lake promontory is the castle first ereceted in the 10th century by the counts Della Torre di Rezzonico – one of the most important ancient aristocratic families in the area. Maybe you have heard of Ca’ Rezzonico in Venice? The castle is directly associated with that same family which formed such a strong dynasty as to develop one branch in Como and the other in Venice whilst also siring a pope – Pope Clement XIII. A strange fact that surprised me!
Over the centuries the castle has been added to – the walls were erected in the 14th century – and restored a number of times so as to present a predominantly mock medieval facade today, as with the two towers on the corners of the perimeter wall. It is not open to the public although its castellated towers provide an unmistakable silhouette to the town no matter from which angle its viewed.
Here are three gems not to miss as you explore the town:
- The marvellous portico under the fishermen’s houses which is at the bottom of the stepped path or ‘cuntrada de Riscionech’ (Contrada di Rezzonico in dialect) which leads down to the lake from the main road.
- The lakeside pathway which, even though very short, offers views of the extraordinary landscape; you may also be puzzled by the strange wooden structures built out over the water … they are none other than a sort of fisherman’s perch still used today and testimony to what is the long established soul of this place.
- The beach on the left-hand side of the town. If you visit in summer you will particularly appreciate it since it is rather secluded and so less crowded compared to the other beaches in the area.
All these aspects go to frame a string of well-maintained old houses, gateways emblazoned with coats of arms, arches and cobbled streets.
And if you are going to ask if this place is easy to find, the answer is yes! In spite of having described it as being a bit out of this world, actually it is easy to find and to get there by bus. Also it boasts a small hotel (Locanda Lauro), a simple well managed family-run place where you can try out some of the local specialities.
Translated by The Como Companion – Como’s local newsletter for English-speaking residents and visitors