LECCO: More Good Living on the Lake

The southeastern leg of Lake Como, Italy is actually named Lake Lecco, although this leg of the lake connects directly to Lake Como. At the southern tip of Lake Lecco is the town of Lecco, with approximately 48,000 inhabitants, is about half the size of the town of Como which is located nearby to the west on the southern tip of the southwestern leg of Lake Como. I suspect that maybe at some point in history, it was decided to give Lecco the same prominence as Como by having the southeastern leg of the lake named after the town. But then again, Lecco is located on the western side of the two lakes, and the western side was historically never as prominent as the eastern side. As I understand it, the western side was more popular and was more developed due to the fact that the ancient Roman road, called the Antica Strada Regina, from Milan to the south to Como and to the Alps to the north, was located along the western side of the lake.

sketch Lecco 2015
Lecco has a small but impressive and very picturesque historic center. Just adjacent is the River Adda which flows southward out of the lake. The old town center is worth visiting for its numerous large open plazas which are full of activity and café’s and restaurants which are very popular for outdoor dining, several fine churches and Cathedral, several museums, and especially a gorgeous lakefront that is flanked by a double row of large shade trees and spectacular views to the lake and the surrounding mountains, and lots of park benches for people watching. The lakefront is very active with people and children and tourists all throughout the day and evening. Add in a few fishing boats and ducks and geese, and it is a very pleasant place to spend some time.
One of Lecco’s main attractions is that it was the backdrop for the famous classic novel The Betrothed written by hometown novelist Alessandro Manzoni. This novel was “a masterpiece of Italian literature and an ‘epic’ story of the humble in which a love story between two peasants, Renzo and Lucia, is set against the historical backdrop of the Spanish occupation of the 17th century”. The story of the novel takes place in Lecco and the surrounding area. There is a tour available which starts at the Villa Manzoni, the writer’s home, now a museum. One of the old town’s main city squares is named after Manzoni and includes his statue.
Dominating the town center is the Basilica of San Nicolo, the town cathedral, which has a beautiful Romanesque interior with a fantastic coffered and frescoed vaulted ceiling. Its multi-tiered bell tower seems to soar excessively tall over the cathedral but, then again, seems reasonable as it competes with the surrounding soaring mountain peaks.
Speaking of mountain peaks, Lecco is blessed with numerous mountain hiking trails of all levels of difficulty nearby. The local tourist office in the town center has information and maps.
I was duly impressed with the local town center butcher shop, the Rusconi Machelleria Salmeria (see photos) located on the Piazza XX . With so many varieties of meat and cured meats, all displayed artfully, it is a meat lover’s heaven, and is just as worth a visit as any art museum, unless you are a vegetarian.
Unlike towns on the western shores of the lake, Lecco is located along a main north-south train route. Its modern train station is located within the town center and has easy connections to Milan and Bergamo to the south and, to the north, lake towns along the eastern side of Lake Como including Varenna and Colico.

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

IMG_3065 Lecco

Lecco Town Center

Lecco Town Center

Lecco Town Center

Lecco Town Center

Lecco Town Center

Lecco Town Center

Lecco Cathedral Bell Tower

Lecco Cathedral Bell Tower

Lecco Town Center

Lecco Town Center

Lecco Town Center

Lecco Town Center

Lecco Butcher Shop

Lecco Butcher Shop

Lecco Butcher Shop

Lecco Butcher Shop

Lecco Butcher Shop

Lecco Butcher Shop

Lecco Butcher Shop

Lecco Butcher Shop

Lecco Butcher Shop

Lecco Butcher Shop

Lecco Butcher Shop

Lecco Butcher Shop

Lecco Butcher Shop

Lecco Butcher Shop

Lecco Cathedralof San Niccolo

Lecco Cathedralof San Niccolo

Lecco Cathedralof San Niccolo

Lecco Cathedralof San Niccolo

Lecco Cathedralof San Niccolo

Lecco Cathedralof San Niccolo

Lecco Cathedralof San Niccolo

Lecco Cathedralof San Niccolo

Lecco Town Center

Lecco Town Center

Lecco Town Center

Lecco Town Center

Lecco Town Center

Lecco Town Center

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Waterfront

Lecco Cathedralof San Niccolo

Lecco Cathedralof San Niccolo

8 comments

  1. Desia Lanae Smith · · Reply

    I wonder if the residents release the beauty of their environment. Wonderful blog Gary. Thanks for sharing your travels!

    Like

    1. Awesome blog…what kind of camera is this you are taking wonderful pics!

      Like

  2. Amazing lake area and region of Italy!

    Like

  3. Annette Mannino · · Reply

    This was great, really helpful for me to decide to stay in Lecco for three nights coming up in October 2016. The pictures are amazing. I can’t wait to be there! I am however in need of suggestions for where to stay. Do you have recommendations? We will need to be walking distance to the train station and want to be in the historic town center with lake view if possible.. And of course for a reasonable rate.. Thank you so much for this wonderful blog.

    Like

  4. Hi, glad you like my blog!
    Lecco is a beautiful town on the Lago di Como. While in Lecco, I stayed at the Hotel Alberi, it is about a 10 minute walk from the train station and is right on the water. It is run by a very friendly family, has a good breakfast, and very reasonable rates. The building is very modern, it is well maintained. I suggest you get more info and photos of the hotel on one of the hotel search websites, I use Booking.com, Venere.com, Trivago. Have fun!!!

    Like

  5. Annette Mannino · · Reply

    Thank you so much for your reply. I have more parts of this trip I could use help with!! I hear so many horror stories telling me “you don’t want to drive in Italy”… I wondered what your opinion would be to renting a car or using train travel between Florence, Lecco, Fano and ultimately back to Florence again to fly from there. We will have already been using the train between Civitivecchia cruise port to Orvieto and then Orvieto to Florence. While in Florence for 3 days before heading off to Lecco I will not have need of a car and I know parking would be difficult anyway so we would pick up the car upon leaving Florence at the airport so we could then leave it there to fly home. I know I have free parking in Lecco and Fano however for two days before leaving Florence for home I hoped to spend them in a small village in Tuscany or Chianti so I’m thinking without a car that is not going to be possible. How intimidated should I be about driving between the areas mentioned? On the map they look direct enough!! With the itinerary I presented what would your advice be?? Thanks again for your thoughts.

    Like

    1. Hi,
      It sounds like you have a fantastic trip planned. As for driving in Italy, I am not the best source for info being as I never rent cars on my trips. Over the many years I have been traveling in Europe, I always use trains, buses, planes, or my feet. The main reason is that I travel alone and renting is a bit over my budget (for one person) and I would rather not have to hassle with all the issues on my own such as navigating, finding parking, finding gasoline, etc. But I know many people who do just fine with renting. And especially, if you wish to explore the country and smaller towns, renting is the best way. You might do some research on the subject through some of the travel gurus, such as Rick Steves—you should be able to access his info on renting (gererally) on his website, and I know his guidebooks are good at giving tips to drivers for each city/area. Also, you might try Lonely Planet.
      Of course, renting can give you a lot of freedom in when and where you go. But in large cities, they are more of a problem due to traffic and parking.
      Have a wonderful trip!

      Like

    2. Adding to my previous comment to Annette:
      You can check on train routes and timetables on Trentalia.com or italiarail.com. You can also purchase tickets online from these sites—I have done so many times. I do know that there are a lot of trains serving Florence and Lecco, but you will need to change trains in Milan. To check the possible timetables for Florence to Lecco, type in Florence (Firenze) as the departing station and Lecco as the destination and the date and time you are looking for and the website will give you a list of possibilities and the ticket prices. And if you are 60 or older, you get a senior discount, be sure to click on the box that asks about travelers.
      Have fun!
      Gary

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: