Path 1. On the trail of ironworking and the making of world history

This path starts from Piazza Paracchini in Dongo, a square of crucial importance in the events that in April 1945 led to the end of the Second World War, which hosts Palazzo Manzi, a palace in neoclassical style, and the Museo della Fine della Guerra (End of the War Museum). History has ran its course and nowadays the square is an elegant showcase for tourists visiting this delightful village on Lake Como. The itinerary then penetrates the ancient hamlet of Martinico, where, amidst narrow streets and old courtyards, a small secluded square hosts the Romanesque church of S. Maria (St. Mary). After bordering a stretch of the Albano river, along which stand the various buildings of the historic Ferriere di Dongo (Dongo Ironworks) which later merged into the “Acciaierie e Ferriere Lombarde Falck” (“Falck Steelworks and Ironworks of Lombardy”), holding the memory of the significance of the mining and steelworks tradition of the area, you reach the Shrine of the Madonna delle Lacrime (Our Lady of Tears), built after the miraculous event of the tearing of an effigy of the Virgin Mary. The adjoining Franciscan monastery hosts a famous library filled with approximately 18,000 volumes, including about thirty incunabula and over 600 16th century editions. The final destination of the itinerary is the magnificent 18th century archpriestal church of S. Stefano (St. Stephen), on the banks of Lake Como, which was already in existence as a parish in the twelfth century.

Path details

Point of departure Dongo, Piazza Paracchini

Point of arrival Dongo, archpriestal church of S. Stefano

Path type urban route (stages 1 and 2)

Environment urban area

Total length approx. 2 km

Travel time on foot 45 min (excluding visits)

Difficultytourist (stages 1 and 2)

Access see single descriptions

Other recommended means of transport

Overlapping / Intersections with other paths



Click here to download further information on this path


Silvia Fasana, Alessandra Mutti of Cooperativa Turistica Imago

We would like to thank the researcher Dr. Rita Pellegrini and Cooperativa Turistica Imago for their invaluable collaboration.


Giorgio Costanzo, Mauro Corradi, Cooperativa Turistica Imago, Adriano Folonaro, Marco Leoni, Comunità Montana Valli del Lario e del Ceresio

Further information on the path

Rise: approx. 20 m

Maximum height: 220 m

Paving: porphyry cubes, asphalt, stone slabs, cobbles

Public transport to the point of departure: bus service (see bus company website)

Public transport from the point of arrival: in the surroundings bus service (see bus company website)

Parking at the point of departure: yes

Want to know more?

Historical figures

Gian Giacomo de’ Medici (Medeghino)

Giulio Rubini

Mons. Carlo Romanòò

Giorgio Enrico Falk

Benito Mussolini


P. M. Sevesi, Il Santuario e il Convento di S. Maria del Fiume in Dongo, Tip. Divina Provvidenza, Como 1914.

A. Giussani, La storica borgata di Dongo, Rivista Archeologica Antica Provincia e Diocesi di Como, Fasc. 121-122, Como 1939.

M. Zecchinelli, Le Tre Pievi. Gravedona, Dongo, Sorico, Sampietro, Menaggio 1995.

D. Pescarmona, M. Rossi, A. Rovetta, G. Virgilio, Guide della Provincia di Como – Alto Lario Occidentale, Amministrazione Provinciale di Como, Istituto per la Storia dell’Arte Lombarda, Nodo Libri, Como 1992.

G. Foglia, Santuario Convento “Madonna della Lacrime” Dongo, Attilio Sampietro Editore, Menaggio 2002.

G. Della Fonte, Dongo 1892-2003, Libreria “L’Agorà”, Dongo 2004.

Cooperativa Turistica Imago, La chiesa di S. Stefano a Dongo, Associazione Iubilantes, Como 2007.

Cooperativa Turistica Imago, La chiesa di S. Maria in Martinico e palazzo Manzi a Dongo, Associazione Iubilantes, Como 2009.

R. Pellegrini, Dongo. Oltre il conosciuto. Mille anni di storia, Edizioni Nuovaera, 2012.

A. Folonaro, S. Fasana, Sui passi di don Luigi Guanella. In cammino con il Santo tra Fraciscio e Como, Lyasis, Sondrio 2013.

E. Blotto Colturri, Il giardino del merlo. Seguendo i passi di don Guanella, Studio 22014, Dongo 2012.

G. Petrella, “L’oro di Dongo” ovvero per una storia del patrimonio librario del convento dei frati minori di Santa Maria del Fiume (con il catalogo degli incunaboli), Leo S. Olschki, Firenze 2012.

S, Fasana, The Church of S.Maria del Fiume or Shrine of Our Lady of Tears, Associazione Iubilantes, Como 2015

Booklets available at the Tourist Office


Municipality of Dongo website

Dongo Parish website

“Cooperativa Turistica Imago” website

Dongo on Wikipedia <a