camminacitta

Farmers, artists and notaries in Rovenna

Stage 1 – From the church of St. Nicholas in Casnedo to Rovenna

St.Nicholas’s church in CasnedoOld millVilla ErbaThe Citadel of silk

s. nicola di casnedo

St.Nicholas’s church in Casnedo

Information

Position: the church prospects on a small square

Paving material: Cobbled

Architectural Barriers: It is possible to reach the churchyard with ten steps and the church with two more steps

Access : The church is normally closed, except for religious services

Services: Parking available in the area

Entertainment and Catering : -

Description

(Silvia Fasana)

The church of S. Nicholas in Casnedo, once dedicated to San Carlo, was built on the site of an oratory named after the patron saint of Milan, and owned by the noble Perti family (owner of the villa next door). The dedication to St. Nicholas derives from the usage of small communities to attend functions in the chapel, situated in the old monastery of the Assumption in Cernobbio, suppressed in 1784. The building probably dates back to the late eighteenth-early nineteenth century, and in 2001 underwent a major restoration work. The rectangular façade shows baroque-inspired rounded shapes . Crowned by a simple tympanum, opened by a central rectangular window and by an elegant entrance gate, the decoration is based on the contrast between the mouldings and the frames made of gray stone and the plaster, of an intense mustard color. The interior has a single nave, with two side altars. The furniture comes in part from the original oratory and in part from the monastery of the Order of Cluny. From the monastery comes the beautiful seventeenth-century painting placed on the left wall of the nave, depicting the Assumption, attributed to the school of the painter from Crema Gian Giacomo Barbelli, as well as the eighteenth-century Via Crucis framed in gilded wood. To the previous oratory belonged instead the current altarpiece of Our Lady of Sorrows with Saint Charles, Nicholas and Anthony of Padua, dating from the first half of the eighteenth century, and probably also the valuable eighteenth-century altar in polychrome marble. On the sides of the altar, in the apse, you can see two windows with wrought iron grating, eardrum and a marble balustrade; probably the Perti family attended the celebrations from thse windows. The left altar has an altarpiece in gilded wood containing a copy of the Baptism of Jesus by Gaudenzio Ferrari, while in the altar step the Child Jesus and S. John the Baptist are depicted. The right hand altar has a wooden altarpiece, dating from the mid-seventeenth century, containing a statue of the Madonna.

Contacts

Comunità Beata Vergine del Bisbino Tel. 031.511487

Ex Mulino

Old mill

Information

Location: on the right bank of the stream flowing from the Buco della Volpe, a karst cavity in mount Bisbino which opens under the hamlet of Madrona.

Paving: the old mill building is surrounded by grassy slopes limited by dry stone wall terracing.

Access: the building is a private property where access is prohibited.

Services: -

Leisure and food: -

Description

(Silvia Fasana)

The building, in undressed local stone, is divided into two parts, the smallest of which is on the right, where presumably the mill-wheel was located, so to be moved by stream waters, and used to grind wheat, corn, and chestnuts. Como scholar Paolo Giovio, in his work Paulii Iovii Descriptio Larii Lacus, drawn up in 1537, and published in Venice in 1559, wrote as follows: “Just above Cernobbio, on the gentle slopes of the mighty mount Bisbino, one can see Piazza, Rovenna, Toldino, blessed by excellent corn quality, albeit coming from less than abundant crops”. And, as Giambattista Giovio wrote in 1795 in his work Como e il Lario: “You can gather wheat there which has ears so full and attractive that it is a delight to cook them in a soup, in the same fashion as you would cook spelt or barley”.

Contacts

Municipality of Cernobbio Via Regina 23, 22012 Cernobbio, Tel. 031.343253/234

I.A.T. of Cernobbio iat@comune.cernobbio.co.it

Villa Erba

Villa Erba

Information

The point of interest is located next to the path but it is not visible because it is placed in the wide park. From the path it is possible to see only the entrance to the park, on the left of the gate.

Position : The entrance to Villa Erba is located along Via Regina in front of the city hall

Paving material Stone slabs

Architectural Barriers: There are no architectural barriers

Access: Villa Erba is an important congress centre that can be visited only during some events or organized guided tours

Services : Parking (both free and fee) available in the area, city hall, pharmacy, the Post

Entertainment and Catering: Café, Shops. In the villa you can find the museum “The rooms of Luchino Visconti”, to the famous film and theatre director. Villa Erba was one of his favourite houses.

Description

(Silvia Fasana)

The villa , in luxury mannerist style, is an articulated compound composed by a manor house house square, housing service, guest quarters, greenhouses, stables and boathouse. Luigi Erba, musician and collector from Milan, brother of Carlo Erba, owner of the pharmaceutical company of the same name, bought the property of the Cima della Scala family and ordered to build the house of the architects Gian Battista Borsani and Angelo Savoldi who drew the inspiration from the style of the 16th century architect Galeazzo Alessi. The villa was built at the end of the 19th century, its main entrance and most important rooms overlook the lake. The panoramic turret and the entrance porch, which can be found also on the opening sides, are typical features of the villas of that period. The interiors were decorated by Angelo Lorenzoli with frescoes by Ernesto Fontana. The decorations include friezes, stuccoes, gilded plaster, ceramic floors and exotic wood and the use of ancient artworks embedded in the walls and on the ceilings. A grand staircase links the ground floor to the first floor, where the rooms are placed. Upon the death of Anna Brivio, wife of Luigi Erba, the villa was inherited by the daughter Carla, wife of the count Giuseppe Visconti di Modrone. One of Carla’s children, the famous movie director Luchino Visconti (1906-1976) loved to spend the summer holidays here. In 1986 a public consortium bought from the heirs most of the property in order to create an exhibition and congress centre. Some pavilions inspired to the greenhouses were built in the park, after the designs of the architect Mario Bellini. In 2003 Villa Erba reached its maximum importance with the European conference devoted to E-Government. On that occasion the park and the pavilions were wired: this important event represented a great leap forward for Villa Erba, which now offers itself as ideal venue for important events. In 2005 the Museum “The rooms of Luchino Visconti” was inaugurated in the Villa: a documentation centre open to the public where the environment where the movie director spent his time was revealed. The creation of the museum took place as one of the important architectural and historical enhancement works started in January 2003, implemented with public funding. A wide, completely flat, park flanks the villa, with many quality trees highlighted by a botanical itinerary. The parterre opposite to the villa is animated by age-old, ball-shaped, boxwood trees, that with their green geometries (taken from Chiese, ville e Giardini, Citta’ di Cernobbio)

(tratto da Chiese, ville e giardini, Città di Cernobbio)

Contacts

Comune di Cernobbio Via Regina 23, 22012 Cernobbio, Tel. 031.343253/234

I.A.T. di Cernobbio iat@comune.cernobbio.co.it

Read here to get more info regarding the Congress centre in Villa Erba

Read here to get more info regarding Luchino Visconti

Asilo Bernasconi

The Citadel of silk

Information

Position : The “Cittadella della seta” is approximately included between place Mazzini and the torrent Breggia at the beginning of the current Regina street (SS.340)

Paving material: Asphalt and tiles

Architectural Barriers: Entering from Via Cinque Giornate, the private via Bernasconi is closed in the centre and on the right side by two closed gates in wrought iron; the access is allowed from the gate on the left side which is always open (pay attention to the stake, placed in the middle of the way). After around 100 meters there is a mobile barrier which can be bypassed on the left paying attention to two stakes, one placed two meters before the barrier and the other one, after 50 cm.

Access : Path 1 enables access to the “Cittadella della Seta” from Via Aquileia

Services Parking: available in the area, city hall, pharmacy, the Post

Entertainment and Catering: Café, Shops

Description

(Silvia Fasana)

Cernobbio has an important tradition linked to the silk industry and meets all the requirements needed to offer a modern cultural route able to recover traditions, improve knowledge of local history, upgrade the cultural offering for tourists. At the turn of the 20th century, on the area overlooking Villa Erba, stood a variety of facilities linked to the silk factory owned by the engineer Davide Bernasconi of Milan. His two villas were located in the centre of the area: today one hosts the city hall of Cernobbio, the other is a prestigious exhibition centre built in outstanding Liberty Style. These two villas were surrounded by the weaving warehouses of two dyeworks, as well as by homes built for the factory workers according to the middle-class dependancy ideal widespread in that period. In that perspective the” nursery school Bernasconi“ was built in 1881 by the “Società di Mutuo Soccorso”, supported by large benefactors’ donations, including that of Bernasconi. It was intened to be a “model” building, following the most developed practical and hygienic criteria of the time. Until the half of the last century, this urban area, connected to the production activities, represented a world set aside from the tourist part of Cernobbio; almost two souls of the same city. Today this area remains the only site of industrial archeology connected to the textile industry of the Como region, and is therefore of big interest.

Contacts

Comune of Cernobbio Via Regina 23, 22012 Cernobbio, Tel. 031.343253/234

I.A.T. of Cernobbio iat@comune.cernobbio.co.it

Stage 2 – The historic core of Rovenna

The farmhousesFairs and exhibitionsOur Lady of BisbinoChapel of the OssuaryThe Rovenna CrossChurch of St. Michael in RovennaRovenna War Memorial

Fronte di antica corte

The farmhouses

Description

“Most of the farmhouses had a court (locally called curt or l’era), i.e. a large communal courtyard where activities were carried out, and where the various entrances to the house and farm where located; there were also porticos (pòrtich) used in winter as a space for manual labour.

The house was built on several levels, and access to each level was through external staircases, interposed by balconies with wood railings (lòbia); firewood was generally placed under the stairs. On the ground floor – the coolest area – there was access to a small vaulted stone wine cellar (cantinìn) used to store not only wine, but dairy products and some cuts of meat, too. On the upper levels there was a ventilated, dry room, called granary (granée), used to store harvest products, mainly corn and grains (panìch), nuts, and salami. A special room was reserved for silkworm breeding.

The house consisted of but a few rooms: a very large kitchen (cüsina), which was the centre of domestic life, and the bedrooms (stanz). The toilet, a small hut with simply a pit hole in the middle (letrina), was placed outside.

Whether attached or separated from the dwelling house, the farm consisted of two rooms: on the lower floor the stable to shelter livestock, and upstairs the barn for the storage of fodder, often taken down by making it fall through a wooden trap door.

The size of the stable (stala) varied according to the quantity and variety of animals kept; the coexistence of different species bred for family use was frequent. The stable was low, paved with gravel or pebbles (risciàda), with a wooden manger (parzéf) on one or two of the perimeter walls; the larger premises were divided in two by a passage with gutters on each side to drain off animal manure. A stable of about fifty square meters could fit as many as ten cows.

The barn (cassina), sometimes vertically separated by dividing beams, could reach a height of six meters. One part would hold small bundles (cruségn) of chestnut tree shoots (zémbul), which, together with hay, were the cattle’s food in winter, and leaves, mainly of beech and fern (föia), which formed the cows pallet (stram or lécc’); the other, hay (fén), the pile whereof could be four meters high”.

(From Testimonianze di vita contadina in Rovenna, Cernobbio 1998)

Contacts

Municipality of Cernobbio Via Regina 23, 22012 Cernobbio (CO), Tel. 031.343253/234

I.A.T. of Cernobbio iat@comune.cernobbio.co.it

streghe

Fairs and exhibitions

Description

Towards the end of September-beginning of October, the Rovennese Sport Club, in collaboration with the Municipality of Rovenna, organizes the exhibition “Chestnuts, witches… and more” in the town centre courtyards. It is a series of events involving not only the village, but the entire town of Cernobbio, in its different administration, cultural and economic entities, aimed at all age groups, around the theme of chestnuts and witches. A tribute to chestnuts, not only as typical of autumn, but also as a valuable resource for mountain people in past times, especially during war and famine. The peculiarity of this event is coupling this produce with magic and fantastic tales of witches (a nickname traditionally given to the inhabitants of Rovenna), not represented as wicked souls to be afraid of, but as women who are the repositories of ancient knowledge, drawing strength from nature, and capable of helping others with their magic “recipes”. Themed walks, music and theatre, meetings, children’s activities, gourmet moments, and local food and handicraft markets, set in the stunning backdrop of the courtyards which the villagers, who actively and creatively participate in the preparation of the street layout, open to the public on this special occasion.

Alongside this event, the century-old “Fair of livestock and goods”, which takes place every year at the end of October, in conjunction with the “Lower Lake Como Pumpkin Show”, deserves a mention. The Fair, organized by the Pro Rovenna Association, aims at enhancing the traditions of this area, where items of all shapes and sizes are exhibited from all over the Lombardy region, and even from Switzerland’s Canton Ticino.

Contacts

Gruppo Sportivo Rovennese gsrovennese@virgilio.it

Associazione Pro Rovenna gianpiero.guarisco@hotmail.it

Municipality di Cernobbio Via Regina 23, 22012 Cernobbio (CO), Tel. 031.343253/234

I.A.T. of Cernobbio iat@comune.cernobbio.co.it

Madonna del Bisbino

Our Lady of Bisbino

Description

(Silvia Fasana)

In the streets of Rovenna, and in Cernobbio, too, it is common to find aediculae bearing the effigy of Our Lady of Bisbino, much venerated by locals in the shrine dedicated to her at the top of the mountain. The origin of this shrine is unclear. Tradition has it that, until the fourteenth century, this mountain was pointed, and shepherds, after flattening its top, used the rock to create a square and build a chapel dedicated to Our Lady, also functioning as a shelter from bears and bad weather. The first document attesting the presence of a church on the top of the mountain is a bill of sale dated 26 July 1368. However, the place is well known only from 1630 onwards: in that year the plague struck this territory heavily, too. On May 20, the community of Rovenna, led by the parish priest, went in procession to Our Lady of Bisbino, vowing, should they be preserved from the contagion, to repeat the pilgrimage to the city every first Wednesday of the month for a whole year. Sagno did the same, as did the bishop of Como, Lazzaro Carafino. The above communities were spared the epidemic, and the popularity of the church grew considerably, attracting increasing numbers of pilgrims.

Among the many devotional representations to be found in the chapels present in the area, Our lady of Bisbino is not always represented in the same way. It is sometimes depicted standing, with the Child in her arms, as in the large marble statue on the main altar, already present at the time of the bishop of Como Feliciano Ninguarda (1592) and returned to its original location only in 1933. Don Callisto Grandi writes about this statue in his 1898 pamphlet La Beata Vergine del Rosario ed il suo Santuario (The Blessed Virgin of Bisbino and her shrine): “it is deemed to have been brought up here, where there is no road at all, with great labour, on the strength of that faith which can move mountains, either in war-time, or in times of dispute or of heresy, to avoid being it stolen or desecrated. […] Some say that the block of white marble was miraculously found on the mountain itself, then transformed into a statue by an expert sculptor further to the prayers of good shepherds who were on the Bisbino with their flock for the summer pasture; according to legend, the sculptor, prosecuted by the justice of men, was wandering across these mountains to escape the severe punishment he deserved for committing serious crimes. Once up here he then repented, sanctified himself, and was pardoned of his sins. We are more inclined to believe that our beautiful statue is the work of some of the talented sculptors who worked in the construction of the Cathedral of Como at the beginning of the fifteenth century, where many expert plasterers and stuccoers from Rovenna were active, too”.

The other depiction of Our Lady sees her seated with the Child on her left knee, as in the small wooden simulacrum now housed in the space behind the altar, already located in the Shrine in the second half of the eighteenth century. This statue was worshiped on the main altar as a miraculous image throughout the nineteenth century and until 1933, becoming the symbol of the Shrine itself. As described by Don Grandi:”Everything suggests that this statue was created on the Bisbino by a shepherd […], a rough work carried out while guarding the flock, and an old tradition strengthens this assumption”. According to popular belief, this simulacrum came in fact from the underlying pasture called Boeucc. The representation in this statue is the most common to be found in the numerous ex-voto preserved in the shrine, precious evidence of widespread popular devotion. Stories where the ordinary and the extraordinary intertwine, illustrating the profound gratitude to Our Lady of Bisbino, who always stands beside men of yesterday and today in times of danger and strain.

Contacts

Comunità Beata Vergine del Bisbino, Tel. 031.511487

Cappella dell'Ossario

Chapel of the Ossuary

Information

Location: at the north-west end of St. Michael’s churchyard in Rovenna, at an angle with via Umberto I.

Paving: via Umberto I is paved with stone cobbles near the chapel, while the churchyard is paved with concrete flags.

Architectural barriers: to access the churchyard from via Umberto I one must cross a small 5cm threshold.

Access: one can see the inside of the chapel from the arched opening, which is protected by a grating.

Services: there are parking places in the area, and an automated teller machine in via IV Novembre.

Leisure and food: there is a bar in the area.

Description

(Silvia Fasana)

The Chapel of the ossuary is a small eighteenth century building at the northwest edge of the parish churchyard which catches the eye because of its dazzling white colour; it is built to a roughly square plan, and is closed by a cylindrical blind window surmounted by a conical local stone slab roof culminating in an iron cross. On the right (when looking at the façade), alongside Via Umberto I, there is a blind arch, resulting from the closure of a previous opening (a small 8 inch threshold and part of the two granite shoulders with the attachment for what once was a balustrade remain), bearing the inscription “What you are I once was. What I am, you will become”, an invitation to reflect on the transience of things. In front of the chapel, an arched opening protected by a grate allows you to see the simple altar on the inside, surmounted by an urn with the relics of St. Candidus, deposited here in the second half of the last century, along with the remains of other exhumations. Among these “lie, since 1797, the bones of a “person very worthy for her charity towards the people”, for a long time considered miraculous”, as reported by Vittorio Fossati and Irene Daviddi in the book Cernobbio “picciola terra” (The small land of Cernobbio). A scroll found during the restoration of 2011, and mentioned by Benvenuto Barelli in a brochure prepared for the occasion, led to the discovery that on 19 March 1800, at the behest of his grandchildren, the remains of Abbondio Gelodi, who died on 5 January 1797, and buried in the tomb of the Fathers of the Order of Minims in the church of S. Maria del Gerbo in Como, church of the former Augustinian convent of the Ascension (now church of the Holy Trinity in the Pastoral Center “Cardinal Ferrari” of Como), were placed in the ossuary of Rovenna.

A small 8 cm threshold at the base of the wall below the arched opening allows one to kneel in prayer.

In 1915, in compliance with the new mortuary regulation which provided for the transfer of ossuaries inside cemeteries, in places not exposed to view, the then Municipal Administration tried to enforce such transfer, but a wide public protest, with the collection of signatures, convinced the Administration otherwise, who, following the advice of the Prefect, merely restored the ancient ossuary.

The ossuary has been carefully restored in 2011 at the behest of Ercolina Riva Binda, born in Rovenna, on the occasion of her hundredth birthday.

Contacts

Comunità Beata Vergine del Bisbino, Tel. 031.511487

Croce di Rovenna

The Rovenna Cross

Information

Location: until the second half of the 19th century the precious “Rovenna Cross” was located on the Tuscan capital granite column standing next to the wall limiting the churchyard of St. Michael’s parish church, opposite to the façade. It has now been moved to a safer place.

Paving: the churchyard is paved with concrete flags.

Architectural barriers: the approx. 1.5 metre high column is placed on a 60 cm parallelepiped shaped base, which, in turn, stands on an approx. 15 cm step. Before the column, and still on the west side of the churchyard, there are two semicircular flowerbeds, limited by 10 cm curbs, which are planted with tress and shrubs, and separated by two granulated concrete benches.

Access: -

Services: parking is available in the area.

Leisure and Food: there is a bar in the area.

Description

(Silvia Fasana)

The “Rovenna Cross” is a precious gilded copper cross which scholars date back to the eleventh or twelfth century. It carries three embedded rock crystals at each end. As described by Stefania Clerici in the book Rovenna …oggi (Rovenna…today): “Despite death, the figure of Jesus is characterized by a serene facial expression, and is symmetrical and straight, as if still alive, in the early-medieval position of Christ triumphant. Legs are simplified and rigid, the body is thin, with long-fingered hands, signs of archaism making this composition a likely companion to Carolingian and Ottonian ones. However, Eastern hints can be found in the style of the Rovenna cross, too: for instance, the gilding, and the solemnly hieratic and frontal figure, are features mediated from Byzantine art”. We do not know when it was placed on the top of the column fronting the façade of the church of St. Michael (S. Michele), but it was certainly up there when, in 1861, Msgr. Vincenzo Barelli, canon of the Como Cathedral, and antiques enthusiast, saw it and understood its value, advising to keep it inside the church. Initially, it was placed on the tabernacle of the chapel on the right, and later, once restored, in an even safer place. During Pope John Paul II’s visit to Como, in May 1996, the cross was placed on the altar in the plain of Lazzago where the pope celebrated Holy Mass, and a copy, reproduced on a smaller scale, was given to him as a memento, as if to symbolize the beauty of the faith of the people of Como across the centuries.

It is considered by scholars an item of great artistic and historical importance. In 2005 it was included in the new coat of arms and banner of the Province of Como. A smaller reproduction is preserved in the church, in a painting exposed on the counter-façade.

Contacts

Comunità Beata Vergine del Bisbino, Tel. 031.511487

Chiesa di S. Michele

Church of St. Michael in Rovenna

Information

Location:the church overlooks a wide churchyard – that surrounds its left hand-side, too – and is located at the crossroads between via della Libertà and the start of via Umberto I.

Paving: the churchyard is paved with concrete flags.

Architectural barriers: access to the church is by a double leaf metal door (the one on the right is usually open) on the left hand-side of the building, which was made in 1982, on the occasion of don Giorgio Pusterla’s 25th anniversary as a priest, and 15th as parish priest; the space available for getting inside the church is 45 cm. Here you find a small 2m x 1m atrium, paved with Moltrasio stone slabs. By crossing the atrium you will find a 60cm x 2cm wide double leaf wooden door, with a small 1cm threshold, which opens onto the outside.

Access: entrance is normally through the door on the left hand-side of the church. The main portal on the façade, which is preceded by two steps, is generally closed, except during particularly important feasts and celebrations.

Services: there are parking places in the area, and an automated teller machine in via IV Novembre.

Leisure and food: there is a bar in the area.

Description

(Silvia Fasana)

The church of St. Michael (S. Michele) in Rovenna, already in existence in the Middle Ages, was reconstructed in 1670 in the Baroque style, at the time when Carlo Perti Bonini, and his nephew Defendente Perti after him, were parish priests. The very simple gabled façade was redesigned in 1856 by engineer Antonio Amadeo; its only ornament is the imposing 17th century stone portal transferred from the suppressed monastery of S. Marco (St. Mark) in Borgovico: according to tradition, as many as fourteen oxen were needed for its transportation from Como to Rovenna.

There are statues on each side, placed in niches, attributed to Switzerland’s Canton Ticino sculptor Cristoforo De Rossi; the statue to your left represents the archangel St. Michael crushing the devil and holding a scale; the one on your right the Archangel Raphael with Tobias (a figure that some authors prefer to identify as the Guardian Angel). The interior has a single nave covered by a barrel vault, with four side chapels, the oldest of which are the ones next to the presbytery, while the others, smaller, were probably added in the first half of the 18th century. The floor is made ??of Moltrasio stone slabs (1872). On the opposite wall left of the main entrance (when facing the altar), a plaque commemorates the consecration of the church by the bishop of Como Giambattista Mugiasca of 29 September 1785, and a painting includes the reproduction of the precious “Rovenna Cross”, in memory of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Como in 1996.

The first chapel on the left hosts an altar surmounted by a mosaic of Our Lady of Bisbino (shown standing, like the marble statue that is currently being kept on the Shrine’s main altar), attributed to the painter Filippo Andina (1853); it is followed by the chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary, with a marble and stucco altar by the great Baroque sculptor Giovanni Battista Barberini of Laino. A seventeenth century statue of Our Lady of the Rosary, surrounded by fifteen ovals representing the Mysteries of the Rosary, is located inside the niche at the centre of the altarpiece. The scagliola antependium carries at the centre a picture of the Madonna and Child. At the sides of the altar, two niches host one statue each, once again attributed to the Barberini: St. George killing the dragon and a warrior Saint, perhaps Saint Firmus or Saint Victor. A painting of the Madonna and Child with Saints, attributed to the realm of 17th century Emilian painting, towers from the left wall. From this chapel it is possible to access the Oratory of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, now a winter chapel, the construction whereof was financed by remittances sent by people of Rovenna who emigrated to Bologna (where, among others, the painter Michelangelo Colonna lived and worked during the 17th century).

The church is dominated by the main altar’s magnificent wooden altarpiece, carved and gilded by Andrea Redaelli of Como and Paul Felice Cassina of Cernobbio, based on a drawing by Barberini (1692). It is “6.5m high, 3.60m long, and 1.60m deep”. There is a statue of the Archangel Michael on the left, and one of the Archangel Raphael on the right: “ten little angels and other small statues of saints and bishops, as well as tiles reproducing biblical subjects, complete the complex figuration” (I. Fossati, Cernobbio. Guida ai luoghi e alle cose) (Cernobbio. Guide to places and things). The vault of the presbytery, which is divided into segments, is painted with Evangelists surrounding the allegorical representation of Faith, the work of painter Vincenzo De Bernardi of Claino and his pupil Antonio Rinaldi of Tremona (1866). Below the image of Faith, a scroll bears the following inscription: “Plenary indulgence granted by Pope Pius VI @ 6 May 1779, also applicable to the deceased”, with a use of @ well ahead of its time, to say the least! The chapel of St. Catherine, on the right side of the church (for those looking in from the entrance), is decorated with a stucco altar, again attributed to the Barberini, as are the statues flanking it, which depict Saint Agatha and Saint Lucy, which may however have been made with the aid of other artists. The scagliola antependium, which, too, dates back to the 17th century, carries Saint Catherine at the centre, with Saint Sebastian and Saint Roch on either side. The late 16th century altarpiece depicts the Madonna and Child with Saints Sebastian, Roch and Catherine of Alexandria, attributed to painter Giovan Pietro Gnocchi. The painting located on the right wall of the chapel, with the Crucified Christ between Saints Martha, Mary Magdalene (?) and Michael the Archangel would, too, appear to be a late sixteenth century work. A chapel dedicated to St. Joseph, with an eighteenth century altarpiece dedicated to him, follows; however, the mosaic inscription “Mater Dolorosa” at the entrance of the chapel would lead one to think of a connection with the cult of Our Lady of Sorrow, an idea confirmed by the presence on the altar of a small statue of Our Lady of Sorrow, and a wooden statue of the Dead Christ preserved under the altar table. On the opposite wall, to the right of the main entrance (when facing the altar), a marble baptismal font was placed in 1938.

Contacts

Comunità Beata Vergine del Bisbino, Tel. 031.511487

monumento ai caduti

Rovenna War Memorial

Information

Location: on the right, at the beginning of viale delle Rimembranze, leading to the cemetery.

Paving: concrete cobbles.

Architectural barriers: the actual memorial is located inside an open green flower-bed, approx. 3m wide, within a small 5m x 8m concrete cobble square, limited on the right by a 50cm wall surmounted by a 50cm railing.

Approx. one metre to the left of the flower-bed, still inside the square, there is a granite slab with the names of the war dead, which is an integral part of the memorial.

The square is limited on the front and side by a chain held by iron bars, approx. 60cm high. On the left, a 5cm step connects the square to the road surface.

Access: access to the monument is by turning to the right from the beginning of viale delle Rimembranze.

Services: there are parking places in the area, and an automated teller machine in via IV Novembre.

Leisure and food: there is a bar in the area.

Description

(Silvia Fasana)

The Rovenna War Memorial represents an eagle with outspread wings, made ??of welded moulded iron plates, with its head facing forward and claws resting on a support. The support, in turn, rests on a low concrete base that bears the inscription: “Rovenna to its fallen soldiers”; concrete slabs are placed in the shape of mountains at the rear.

At about a metre’s distance, to the left of the flower-bed, two iron plates lie on a double granite slab as if on a book-rest, the left-hand one bearing the names of the dead in the First World War, while the one on the right bears those of the Second.

The sculpture is the work of artist Salvino Marsura, who Paolo Migliavada entrusted to build a memorial dedicated to the Alpines of Desio (his hometown in the territory of Brianza, not far from Milan) who died in the wars. Following disagreements about the location of the memorial – as reported by Giuseppe Salvioni in his book Cernobium Cernobi Cernobio Cernobbio. Storia e territorio (Cernobium Cernobi Cernobio Cernobbio. History and territory) – the statue was “parked” in a private garden. Upon Migliavada’s death in 1975 (who was buried in the cemetery of Rovenna), his widow Lina, to honour his memory, gave the statue to the Alpines of the Bisbino Group of Rovenna, a location where he loved to spend his summer holidays. In order to fulfil Paolo Migliavada’s wish, the Alpines prepared the base of the monument, upon which the sculpture was placed in 1980. The memorial, together with the nearby viale delle Remembrance, was restored in 2005 by the Alpine Group, on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of its laying.

Contacts

Municipality of Cernobbio Via Regina 23, 22012 Cernobbio (CO), Tel. 031.343253/234

I.A.T. of Cernobbio iat@comune.cernobbio.co.it

Stage 3 – From Rovenna to the church of St. Nicholas in Casnedo

Risorgimento SquareSaint Vincent’s churchChurch of The Most Holy RedeemerChurch of Our Lady of Graces in ToldinoArt and Craft SchoolVilla d’EsteThe Garden ValleySt.Nicholas’s church in Casnedo

Piazza Risorgimento vista da Rovenna

Risorgimento Square

Information

Position: The place has an irregular extended shape and a linear development of approximately 100 meters. It is situated on the lake shore close to the mouth of the torrent Greggio

Paving Material: Gravel flower beds form a part of the external side and are delimited by a stone curb; then you find a cobbled strip and finally the central part is made of porphyry.

Architectural Barriers: Stone curbs. The square is also closed to vehicular traffic in the north-west by a bar flanked by vases of flowers that surround narrow side walkways.

Access: It is possible to reach the place from Via Erba and also from the lake using the boats.

Services: Fee parking in Erba Street; navigation wharf

Entertainment and Catering: Hotels, beach, Cafés, restaurants, Marina.

Description

(Silvia Fasana)

Square Risorgimento of Cernobbio, the “Riva”, by definition, was an alluvial plain formed by the debris carried and deposited by the torrent Greggio.

Until 2 centuries ago, it was a sand plain better known as “Punta de Gera”- where the working activities of the inhabitants took place:the fishermen left their boats and laid fish nets, the women washed the laundry, the conveyors docked the “comballi” (a typical boat of the lake Como, used to transport goods).

During the 19th century, when the tourism on the Lario increased, the original sand plain underwent some practical and aesthetical transformations. In the second half of the century, a wharf was created, and many business and tourism companies were started. During the twentieth century the square was restored and underwent some improvements. The last one took place during the thirties and made the square not only the center of the social life of the city, but also a true business card for the tourists coming from the lake.

Contacts

Comune di Cernobbio Via Regina 23, 22012 Cernobbio, Tel. 031.343253/234

I.A.T. of Cernobbio iat@comune.cernobbio.co.it

Chiesa di S. Vincenzo

Saint Vincent’s church

Information

Position : The church stands in front of the place Tolomeo Gallio

Paving Material: The place is made of porphyry with decorations of stone and a paved strip in front of the church steps

Architectural Barriers: Three low steps on the main entrance

Access: the main door of the church leads to a compass with side doors which allow the entrance to the church. Alternatively the left side door (normally closed) is equipped with a ramp for disabled.

Services: parking available in the area

Entertainment and Catering: Hotels, Cafés, Restaurants, Marina

Description

(Silvia Fasana)

The Church of St. Vincent , patron of Cernobbio, is located in the historic part of the town. It was the ancient parish house; in 1935 the title was given to the new church of the Holy Redeemer. Already mentioned in a document of the year 1183, in the records of the pastoral visit made by the bishop Feliciano Ninguarda (1593) and described as “little and dark”. It was renovated between the year 1757 and the year 1775, and consecrated by the bishop Giambattista Mugiasca ( as mentioned in a internal plaque over the side door ). In the year 2005 the bell tower, the façade and the vault , on which cracks appeared to collapse, were restored. The façade, gracefully moved by a convex flow typical of the Baroque style, is characterized by the chromatic alternation among the bright beige of the plaster, the soft pinkish of the granite base and the red of the terracotta decoration, an unique example of that kind throughout the Como region.

It was accomplished in 1861 thanks to the drawings of the architect Giacomo Bussi of Milan and to the large donation of Costantino Gianorini, Canon of S. Ambrogio of Milan, who loved to spend his vacations In Cernobbio.

In the lateral niches of the main door with its angel characters, were represented St. Constantine (to remind the benefactor) and St.Hippolytus (patron of the benefactor’ home country). The other statues represent the symbols of the Virtues with their iconographical features. The interior has a single nave with 2 side altars in polychrome marble, slightly standing back and delimited by balustrades. In the niches, at the left side of the entrance, where a statue of the Holy Heart is placed, there is the ancient Baptistry; it dates back to 1570, is well preserved and was built thanks to the donations of the inhabitants as mentioned in the plaque of the strip.

The altar at the right side features a statue in plaster of the Madonna Addolorata, dating back to the early years of the 20th century, coming from the new Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, which replaces an older one. The surface of the arch is painted with The Seven Sorrows of St.Mary.

The altar, at the left side, dates back to the 18th century and is dominated by a fine wooden simulacrum representing St. Martha of the 1st half of the 19th century, whose worship was locally widespread because it was connected to the important activity of the confraternity of the same name.

Contacts

Comunità Beata Vergine del Bisbino Tel. 031.511487

Chiesa del SS. Redentore

Church of The Most Holy Redeemer

information

Position : The church stands in front of Piazza Don Umberto Marmori, it is a wide and shady place not far away from Regina Street

Paving Material: The place is made of porphyry

Architectural Barriers: You can enter the church by 4 steps which bring to a wide landing followed by other 3 steps. There is a double handrail which points at a wide central entrance and two side entrances. You can enter the church from a door situated on the left side of the building (for those who see the façade) endowed with a slide and a handrail for the disabled.

Access: The façade has thrree portals, that placed at the right side is normally open.

Services: Parking available in the area

Entertainment and Catering: There are many entertainment and restaurants facilities in the surroundings in particular along the nearby Via Regina.

description

(Silvia Fasana)

The new church of Cernobbio was built in 1908 with the large donation of Luigi dell’Orto, former mayor of Cernobbio, who wanted to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his marriage to Elisabetta Lucca by offering his own lands and resources and by giving the community a new and large place of worship. The project was followed by the engineer Cesare Formenti of Seregno, author of many churches of the Como region, like that of S. Brigida in Camerlata. His churches usually merge the Lombard Romanesque style with the space conception of the Byzantine architecture. The death of Luigi dell’Orto delayed the construction. The building was completed only thanks to his heirs, in particular to the son Alfonso and his wife Amalia Guggiari; it was blessed by the bishop Alfonso Archi in 1924 and consecrated from the bishop Alessandro Macchi in 1935. In the year 1999 the area of the presbytery was rebuilt, and its aspect changed to a large extent. The building in Romanesque Revival Style is totally covered by cement, imitating a stone wall. The façade alternates small arcs, in Romanesque Revival Style as well, and ends up in a small loggia made up by five arcades containing the statues of St. Stanislaus, St. Ambrose, St. Abbondio, St.Louis, St. Anthony of Padua. The Statue of St. Stanislaus was a gift to the Priest Stanislao Cazzaniga, abbot of the monastery of the Oliveto Benedictine Order of Seregno. The priest was very fond of Cernobbio and also a friend of the architect Formenti. You can enter the church from a main door flanked by two side doors, in the upper part there is a painting of Christ Redeemer teaching to the crowd. This painting, with a golden background imitating a mosaic, was accomplished by the painter Enrico Volonterio of Milan. The interior, of three naves, the central one being higher than the side ones, is very essential. On the side of the vault of the third bay (starting from the back) are the images of four prophets. On the upper part of the apse stands out the Father, with St. Ambrose on the right side and St. Abbondio on the left; on the vault is the Holy Spirit with the four Evangelists. On the side walls of the presbytery are painted two evangelical scenes on a lake background, highlighting the strong link between Cernobbio and the lake of Como, Peter saved from the water (on the left side) and the Multiplication of the bread and the fishes (on the right ). These paintings were made by Enrico Volonterio; with his son Edoardo, he painted the side chapels as well. The central chapel shows the Death of St. Joseph, flanked at the left side by St. Louis Gonzaga ( painted in order to celebrate Luigi dell’Orto, realized in 1928 by the textile workers of Cernobbio) and at the right side by St. Elizabeth of Hungary (with a reference to Elisabetta Lucca dell’Orto). In the middle the chapel at the left side has the Mercy, with St.Anthony Maria Zaccaria (devotion of Amalia Guggiari dell’Orto) on the left, and St. Therese of the Child Jesus on the right. The side altars are made of white marble with carved and gilded elements in the Byzantine Style.

Contacts

Comunità Beata Vergine del Bisbino Tel. 031.511487

Chiesetta di Toldino

Church of Our Lady of Graces in Toldino

Information

Location:the Church currently looks upon via della Libertà, the carriage road built between 1915 and 1917 to link the centre of Cernobbio with the hamlet of Rovenna. However, before the carriage road was built, one would have seen it standing beside the old track, via Monte Santo, in the hamlet of Toldino.

Paving: asphalt (via della Libertà)

Architectural barriers: access to the church is by a step, approx. 8 cm high, having the same gradient as the road, and covered by a flower pot when the church is closed.

Access: the façade has a stained glass door protected by a grating which opens in half. Two small steps lead to another entrance on the side of the church, giving access to an enclosed concrete yard, also accessible from the roadway by an 8 cm step. The church is normally closed, and is only open for religious functions.

Services: a handful of parking spaces are located in the immediate surroundings; there is a bus stop for the C28 Rovenna – Como on the side of the church (Como direction), and one on the other side of the road (for Rovenna).

Leisure and food: a restaurant is located in front of the church.

Description

(Silvia Fasana)

The small church of Our Lady of Graces (B.V. delle Grazie) in Toldino has a simple gabled façade, approx. 6 metres long and 5 metres high, with a stained glass door protected by a grating and two upper round arched windows. The Church is embellished by two pilaster strips and by the colour contrasts of the tympanum, beige over pale ochre. The side that was added later is visible on the left, in a slight recess; on the rear, stands the small belfry.

The first mention of the small church of B. V. delle Grazie in Toldino can be found in the description of a pastoral visit by Mons. Giovanni Francesco Bonomi, bishop of Vercelli, in 1578. The «country chapel», as it is called in the document, was in a very bad condition, and such was its decline that, by the end of the century, even celebration of Holy Mass was prohibited. It is believed that Como nobleman Giovanni Ambrogio Carcano saw to the reconstruction of the sacred building in the early 17th century. We may infer this from his will, drawn up in 1617, where the small Church which he reconstructed was granted a bequest to be used for the celebration of a Mass on Our Lady’s birthday and another on the octave. According to popular tradition, on 19 July 1691 a violent storm hit the territory of Rovenna and the villagers turned to Our Lady of Toldino, obtaining grace.

At first, the church was probably formed only of the right nave, while the sacristy on the left hand-side was added at the end of the 18th century. The building was completely restored in 1984.

(information drawn from Communitas, magazine published by the Comunità Pastorale Beata Vergine del Bisbino, summer 2012)

Contacts

Comunità Beata Vergine del Bisbino Tel. 031.511487

Chiesetta di Toldino

Art and Craft School*

* edificio scomparso

Description

(Silvia Fasana)

Rovenna’s primary school building (now demolished and replaced by a private home) once stood next to the church of Our Lady of Graces in Toldino, and was the historic location of the Art and Craft School of Rovenna. This institution was established in 1901 by the “Workers’ Society of Mutual Aid and Instruction” of Cernobbio, and in 1905 its management was transferred to the newly constituted Rovenna section of the “Society of Mutual Aid and betterment of Builders, Unskilled Workers, Message Boys and the like in the Art of Building”, backed by important professionals, such as entrepreneur Giovanni Bandel, professor Fausto Baragiola, and notary Carlo Mira, who acted as its director for fifty years and to whom the school was later dedicated.

As reported by Irene Fossati and Vittorio Daviddi in the volume Cernobbio “picciola terra”, “Lessons by local or visiting experts were held on Sundays and at weeknights in the public school rooms, between November and March, making the most of the long idle winter evenings” to grant builders – masons, painters, stucco workers, marble workers, stonecutters, sculptors, decorators – practical and theoretical knowledge capable of enhancing their professional skills, particularly in Countries to which they emigrated”. Notwithstanding the school’s financial problems (it had no government subsidies and relied only on private patronage), pupils came from all over the local area and, gradually, they came to include apprentice blacksmiths, mechanics, carpenters, and any category of workers and artisans who needed information on the fundamental elements of technical drawing and decoration. “The school adapted to the social change brought about over the years by introducing courses in painting and ceramics, always relying, until the early Eighties, on voluntary contributions of teachers and benefactors. Following the change in the laws on vocational education and training it became a Cultural Association”, the Circolo Culturale Artistico “Carlo Mira”, which still organizes courses in painting and sculpture, true to its long history in the field.

Contacts

Circolo Culturale Artistico “Carlo Mira” via Regina 5, Cernobbio. Orari di apertura della sede: lunedì ore 21.00-23.00; martedì ore 15.00-17.00; giovedì ore 21.00-23.00.

cernobbio_citta

Villa d’Este

Information

It is not located along the walking route of paths 1 and 2, but can be admired from vantage points in Via Monte Grappa and Via Monte Santo.

Position: Villa d’Este overlooks a restful bay of the Como lake; the access is from Via Regina

Paving Material: asphalt

Architectural Barriers : -

Access: Villa d’Este is a prestigious hotel, accessible only to clients

Services: Private parking available in the park for clients only

Entertainment and Catering: Villa d’Este offers entertainment at the highest level and excellent restaurants

Descripton

(Silvia Fasana)

The villa was built during the sixteenth century by the cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, born in 1525 from a family of Cernobbio, who was a career diplomat and secretary of State with pope Gregorio XIII. According to the tradition, the original project of the building belonged to the architect Pellegrino Tibaldi of Valsolda; the residence was called “Il Garrovo”, named after the torrent flowing nearby. At the end of the 18th Century the villa was sold by the heirs to the count Ruggero Marliani, and later to his grandson Bartolomeo Calderara, who restored the palace and the garden with his wife Vittoria Peluso. At the death of Calderara, the widow married the Napoleonic lieutenant count Domenico Pino. In order to celebrate the victories of her husband in his campaigns in Spain, lady Victoria built some turrets and forts in the park, still visible today, according to the drawings of the strongholds conquered by the general. In 1815 the countess Pino sold the Villa to Carolina of Brunswick, wife of the Prince of Wales and future George IV. The princess made some changes to the villa making it more sumptuous and changed its name to “Nuova Villa d’Este”, in honour of one of her presumed forefathers Guelfo d’Este. For approximately 4 years , from 1816 to 1820, Carolina gathered a cosmopolitan and convivial court, accumulating huge debts. She created the street connecting Como to Cernobbio and Cernobbio to Villa d’Este. In 1820 the princess returned to England where she died the following year. She was forced by her large amounts of debt to sell the Villa, which in a short time changed many hands, remaining almost abandoned for some years, until when Gaetano Ippolito Ciani, a rich baron, bought it. He rendered the villa fashionable again, organizing parties. The villa was also the seat of Anti-Austrian conspiracies. In 1856 he built a palace in Romantic style, called also the Castle (Il castello). The castle was dedicated to the Queen of England and became an hydrotherapeutic establishment. The heirs of Ciani, no more able to face all the expenses, turned the building into the current Grand Hotel, known all around the world for its beautiful structure, beautiful furniture, the magnificent park with the scenographic cypress alley flanked by water games and ending with the sculptural group of the 17th century representing Ercole and Lica. The park, introduced by a long horse-chestnut alley, is constituted by a garden parallel to the building, while a long perspective alley, lined with water jets and cypresses, opens up on the scenografic background of the English-style garden embellished by large plane trees.

(tratto da Chiese, ville e giardini, Città di Cernobbio)

Contacts

Comune di Cernobbio Via Regina 23, 22012 Cernobbio, Tel. 031.343253/234

I.A.T. di Cernobbio iat@comune.cernobbio.co.it

Link con il sito dell’Hotel Villa d’Este

Giardino della Valle

The Garden Valley

Information

Position : The garden is placed at the end of the valley of the torrent Garrovo, and extends itself about 250 meters

Paving Material: The route of the Giardino della Valle is partly cobbled, partly unsurfaced; most of it runs on steps.

Architectural Barriers: There are several steps along the route climbing up the garden; there is also a wooden bridge used to cross the torrent Garrovo.

The full path inside the garden includes two other bridges, not considered in our itinerary.

Access:It is possible to enter the Giardino della Valle either from Via Adda (as suggested by path 1), through a wrought iron gate with two steps going down, overlooking a little platform, followed by two steps on the left side, or from Via Plinio / Via Monte Santo (the exit mentioned in our route), through a wooden gate followed by nine steps going downhill

Services: -

Entertainment and Catering: -

Description

(Silvia Fasana)

In the early Eighties of the last century, the final part of the valley of the Garrovo, bordering the large park of Villa d’Este, was a mess of briars, left to negligence and degradation. To make the situation worse, a big amount of rubbish had been piled on the right side of the torrent, making it a sort of garbage dump open pit. A sensible and gentle lady, Ida (Pupa) Lonati Frati (better known as “Nonna Pupa”) who lives in the surroundings, looked with sadness at that shame every time she went home, walking down Via Plinio. She decided to do something. She asked the city of Cernobbio the permission to clear up the area, by taking away the briars and the rubbish, helped initially by her grandchildren Michele and Giulia, and later by other relatives and friends. Then she began to dig up the barren, dusty and rocky ground, enriching it with the soil picked from nearby woods and with the compound she got from the vegetable rubble, coming from maintenance works of public parks, and given her by the waste collectors. Step by step she transplanted shrubs, flowers and some fruit trees, partially bought and partially donated by friends and acquaintances.Taking advantage of the conformation of the ground, Pupa shaped a route, trod several paths, built alleys, steps, flower beds, little bridges and also a rock garden. In the central area she created a little pond with goldfishes and water plants. Nonna Pupa was able to save and re-use different plants replaced by the municipal administration in the flower beds because they were withered. Old thrown-away benches, adequately repaired and re-painted, offer an enjoyable break to the visitors walking in the garden. Pupa’s example has involved some of her friends, who helped her to clear up other areas in the surroundings; thus in several stages the Garden Valley (Giardino della Valle) was created. Today it is embellished with nice wooden sculptures made by the local sculptor Giosue’ Aramini, also known as “Gio”. An association with the same name of the place was founded in 2001, to grant preservation, upkeep and improvement of this little green area; it organizes every year, inside the garden, several events, educational activities, cultural and art events with the participation of painters, poets, writers, musicians and photographers.

Contacts

Associazione “Il Giardino della Valle” Via Monte Santo 5, 22012 Cernobbio, Tel. 031.510714

Comune di Cernobbio Comune di Cernobbio Via Regina 23, 22012 Cernobbio, Tel. 031.343253/234

I.A.T. di Cernobbio iat@comune.cernobbio.co.it

Link website of The Garden Valley

download the garden map

download the essences list

tappa1_sannicola_a_rovenna_1

St.Nicholas’s church in Casnedo

Information

Position: the church prospects on a small square

Paving material: Cobbled

Architectural Barriers: It is possible to reach the churchyard with ten steps and the church with two more steps

Access: The church is normally closed, except for religious services

Services: Parking available in the area

Entertainment and Catering: -

Description

(Silvia Fasana)

The church of S. Nicholas in Casnedo, once dedicated to San Carlo, was built on the site of an oratory named after the patron saint of Milan, and owned by the noble Perti family (owner of the villa next door). The dedication to St. Nicholas derives from the usage of small communities to attend functions in the chapel, situated in the old monastery of the Assumption in Cernobbio, suppressed in 1784. The building probably dates back to the late eighteenth-early nineteenth century, and in 2001 underwent a major restoration work. The rectangular façade shows baroque-inspired rounded shapes . Crowned by a simple tympanum, opened by a central rectangular window and by an elegant entrance gate, the decoration is based on the contrast between the mouldings and the frames made of gray stone and the plaster, of an intense mustard color. The interior has a single nave, with two side altars. The furniture comes in part from the original oratory and in part from the monastery of the Order of Cluny. From the monastery comes the beautiful seventeenth-century painting placed on the left wall of the nave, depicting the Assumption, attributed to the school of the painter from Crema Gian Giacomo Barbelli, as well as the eighteenth-century Via Crucis framed in gilded wood. To the previous oratory belonged instead the current altarpiece of Our Lady of Sorrows with Saint Charles, Nicholas and Anthony of Padua, dating from the first half of the eighteenth century, and probably also the valuable eighteenth-century altar in polychrome marble. On the sides of the altar, in the apse, you can see two windows with wrought iron grating, eardrum and a marble balustrade; probably the Perti family attended the celebrations from thse windows. The left altar has an altarpiece in gilded wood containing a copy of the Baptism of Jesus by Gaudenzio Ferrari, while in the altar step the Child Jesus and S. John the Baptist are depicted. The right hand altar has a wooden altarpiece, dating from the mid-seventeenth century, containing a statue of the Madonna.

Contacts

Comunità Beata Vergine del Bisbino Tel. 031.511487