Chosen by actors, writers, characters of the international jet-set for the sense of tranquility, peace and relaxation that they transmit, the waters of the northern Italian lakes often also bathe villages with enchanting charm.
In Laglio, on Lake Como already made famous by Alessandro Manzoni’s Promessi Sposi, Hollywood star George Clooney has practically moved his summer residence. Love nest during her intense flirtation with the Italian showgirl Elisabetta Canalis, in her luxurious Villa Oleandra today the face made famous in the Bel Paese by the television series E.R. Medici in Prima Linea, he shares the wide spaces of his home with his wife, the beautiful Amal Alamuddin. Fans and onlookers stay near the property for whole days in search of a shot to steal.
The village of Laglio, chosen by the Clooney but known thanks to their frequentations also by Michelle and Barack Obama, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, has Roman origins. Since then it housed military and customs garrisons, as evidenced by the ancient tower of Torriggia.
Laglio is an excellent starting point for walks on the shore of Lake Como and on the surrounding hills from which you can admire a panorama of rare beauty. The slopes above the town are rich in vineyards, olive groves and laurel trees, from which the medicinal Laurin oil was once extracted.
On the mountains of Laglio, at about 600 meters above sea level, there is the cave of the Bear’s Hole, caves and siphons rich in fossil remains of the extinct cave bear.
Then, in almost all his novels the writer Andrea Vitali speaks of Bellano, who was born and lives here and who has worked here as a doctor of the town for many years. Recognized as a national monument, here is the church of Santi Nazaro e Celso. It dates back to 1348 and is a Gothic-style building although it has been restored several times. Every year, on January 5, the Pesa Vegia is held here, an appointment for the Christmas holidays with over 400 years of history. The procession of the Three Kings, the Pese race through the streets of the town and the bonfire on the pier are staged.
Near Bellano, Orrido is worth a visit, a natural gorge where you can walk on footbridges between roaring water and gigantic rock potholes, and the Wayfarer’s Path, a pleasant panoramic walk of medium mountain, ideal for trekking a day.
The picturesque harbor of Torno also overlooks the waters of Lake Como. It was the site of an important textile business, the land of tapestry and pannilan production also exported to the heart of Europe, Germany.
It overlooks the waters of Lake Garda, so much so that to reach it there is also a cable car that goes up to Mount Baldo, the town of Malcesine. In its historic center, do not miss a visit to Palazzo dei Capitani and, of course, to the ancient Scaliger castle. During the summer the village has a lively cultural activity with numerous concerts in the Lacaor theater, a suggestive natural arena.
On the Lombard side of Lake Maggiore, among botanical parks full of centuries-old trees, Angera stands with its Rocca Borromea, the crenellated walls and the medieval garden. The view of the landscape from the ancient defensive manor is enchanting.
On Lake Iseo, reachable only by boat, Siviano, the capital of Monte Ischia. It is the largest lake island in Europe. It is full of colorful houses with arches and loggias. Among its narrow streets you can even get lost and then find yourself taking as a reference point the Martinengo tower which dominates the Town Hall square.
Not far away also Sirmione where the poet Catullo sang the magic of the place or where Dante stayed there during his Veronese exile or where, again, Giosuè Carducci stopped his poetry by writing: “the green Sirmio in the shiny lake smiles flower of the peninsulas”.
Also nearby is the thermal complex of the Catullo caves, once a place of representation for the emperor and for all the great political figures traveling north. They were the first travelers of the fifteenth century to baptize the caves, buried by dense vegetation, and to use them to rest and recover from the fatigue of the journey.