Let’s Go: Isola Comacina – Part Two

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Described as among the most interesting archaeological sites in northern Italy in the early middle ages, the island held an important political, economic, and military position from its founding to its destruction in 1169, after siding with Milan in a 10 year war against Como (1118-1127), that they lost.

The island was also one of the most important religious centers and that probably helps to explain why the number of churches built on this tiny island seem out of proportion to its population during the middle ages.

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Our walk through over 2000 years of history is on a variety of trails and terrains.  Around the perimeter the paths are mostly some kind of stone.  Up & down the stairs can be stone or dirt held in place by staked lumber with either metal or wooden rails.  And there are plenty of simple, natural paths.

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The few trails seem appropriately identified:

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Along the Sentiero archeologico one finds the Chiesa di Santa Maria col portico, a church mentioned in documents dating back to the 12th century, along with the walls of an earlier building from the Early Christian era (5th century) that also were discovered during excavations.

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DSCN8756Information signpost are at each point of interest & are printed in Italian and English.  Succinct data regarding the ruin as to the discovery, description, basic information about the site and more, along with architectural drawings & overhead photo are provided.  (See narrow stand left of ruin.)  Continuing along, one then comes to the Chiesa di San Pietro in castello.
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This is the highest point on the island and is referred to in old documents as the castle.  The digs here also revealed an older structure from the 5th century, as indicated by the areas colored yellow in the drawing.
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The views all around are spectacular:
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Going down along the west side of the island on the Sentiero degli artisti, the contrast is dramatic when first confronted with the sight of the houses designed by Pietro Lingeri for artists in the rationalistic style.  The locals, a little while ago, determined that the island should also be a home of fine art & the building of these 3 homes was commissioned they are occupied from time to time by artists.

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~ by mylakecomo on October 1, 2013.

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