The Festival of San Giovanni (Sagra di San Giovanni) with its spectacular fireworks, music show and solemn procession to the Comacina Island by boat is the most famous and unmissable event of Lake Como.
In this area of the lake, the shores form a sort of an inlet, right in the centre of which lays Isola Comacina, the only island of the lake. The village of Ossuccio spreads right in front of it, from along the shores up on the slopes of the surrounding mountains. This is how the Comacina Island becomes the stage where the fireworks display will take place, the waters surrounding it will be the parterre and the slopes of the mountains will become the bleachers from where to admire the show. Hundreds of boats and many steamers will position themselves in the forefront, in the bay right between the island and the village, illuminating the stage of this natural theatre.
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Historical notes about Isola Comacina
Isola Comacina and all the Lake Lario municipalities sided with Lombardy’s capital during the Ten Years War, begun in 1118 because of the rivalry between Como and Milan for the supremacy and control of the main communication line and alpine passes. Despite of two defeats, Milan conquered Como in 1127. Como, taking advantage of Federico Barbarossa’s expedition, joined forces against Milan. Isola Comacina was quickly invaded, burnt and destroyed in 1169. The island never returned to life and some survivors moved to Varenna, known as “Insula Nova”