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Menaggio

Menaggio


Menaggio is the most important centre on the west coast of Lake Como, situated in a central position, at the beginning of a wide valley that climbs towards Lake Lugano.

The town occupies the promontory formed over thousands of years by alluvial deposits of the Sanagra River and is urbanistically made up of a center and three hamlets, Croce, Loveno and Nobiallo.

Thanks to its central position, between the lake and the mountains, Menaggio is an ideal starting point for any type of excursion: by boat you can access the sumptuous villas of the Lake Centre with their beautiful gardens, by bus or by car you can travel the many valleys with their rural settlements and ancient roads, on foot or by mountain bike you can discover the paths of Parco Val Sanagra, a large lung at the gates of Menaggio. Sportsmen and women can venture on the Via Ferrata of Mount Grona or on the climbing wall located between Menaggio and the frazione di Nobiallo.

The municipality of Menaggio boasts the presence of an exclusive 18-hole golf course, founded in 1907, and of Il Lido di Menaggio with its beautiful swimming pool and beach with a spectacular view of the lake. The village also has a public beach with free access and several sports facilities .

Menaggio is an ideal place to rent a motor boat or a kayak. Families can have fun on the minigolf course located on the beautiful lakeside and in the playground located in the heart of the village.

The tourist office of Menaggio, located in Piazza Garibaldi, 3, offers itineraries for all seasons and for all needs.


The Hamlets

Loveno, lying at noon, is a place of particular charm. In the small village in the mid-nineteenth century loved to stay artists and personalities in prestigious villas among which stands out, Villa Mylius Vigoni, bequeathed by Ignazio Vigoni to the Federal Republic of Germany, now home to a cultural association that organizes high-level conferences.

Nobiallo is a picturesque fishing village, whose narrow streets and stairways lead down to the lake. It is grouped together at the parish church of St. Bartholomew and Nicholas with an unusual 13th century leaning Romanesque bell tower. The inhabited centre is crossed by the ancient Roman road Regina which was one of the most important transit routes, since it allowed a rapid connection between the Po Valley and the Oltrealpe.

Croce is the highest village in the municipality. Its structure is typical of agricultural villages: in the centre of the ancient nucleus there is a characteristic square, with paving on the raised level of the 17th century, where the rites of haymaking, beating and harvesting ended. In the Parish church of SS. Peter and Paul you can admire reliquaries and important paintings. From Croce, with a comfortable walk you can reach la Crocetta, a panoramic point from where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Lake Centre.

Archaeological finds indicate that the area of Menaggio was already inhabited in prehistoric times. Towards the end of the fourth century BC the Gallic tribes settled, which were subjugated by the Romans from 196 BC and through the construction of the historic Via Regina began the Romanization of the territory.
During the Middle Ages the town was equipped with a castle.
Menaggio, thanks to its privileged position on the Via Regina, right at the point where it intersected with the route that, along the Val Menaggio, reached Bellinzona and then the Ticino valley, was of great strategic importance.
The Via Regina was one of the most important transit routes, as it allowed a rapid connection between the Po Valley and the Oltrealpe.
In 1523 the Grisons, having already conquered the Valtellina, set Menaggio on fire and the castle was destroyed. In 1525 the Spanish domination begins with a considerable worsening of the living conditions, which will last until 1714. Under Austrian rule and Duchess Maria Theresa life improved. In 1805, after the creation of the Italian Kingdom, Menaggio became the seat of the Viceprefecture and, in 1859, centre of the Como insurrectionary movement against the Austrians.
With the advent of the unified state, the tourist vocation of Menaggio was clearly affirmed with the construction of large hotels and villas especially in Loveno (Villa Mylius Vigoni and Villa Garovaglio Ricci, now owned by the Federal Republic of Germany, home to an Italian-German cultural center).
Important for the development of tourism was the construction of the railway Menaggio-Porlezza, in operation until 1939 and the founding of the Menaggio Golf Club in 1907.
During the First World War, on the surrounding mountains of Crocetta and Galbiga, was built by the Italian Army a defensive system that was part of the Cadorna line, which is now an interesting historical testimony.
In 1945 the town witnessed Mussolini’s attempt to escape, before ending up as a prisoner of the partisans in Dongo.

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