Dongo, Gravedona and Sorico, three ancient Roman settlements, became the centers from which Christianity expanded to the North Lake area in the 5th century AD. They established the domain of the three “Pievi” till the end of the 16th century.

They importance is widely attested by a rich display of religious and civil buildings of great artistic vale: in Dongo, behind Palazzo Manzi you can see the church of S. Maria di Martinico (11th c.). Just past the river Albano, near the lake, stands the church S. Stefano, one of the first in the diocese of Como, rebuilt in the 18th century. Behind the church, a lovely lake side walk starts leading in 1h to Gravedona. Here stands the church of S. Maria del Tiglio, one of the most important Romanesque buildings of the area. Built in XII century, it preserves precious frescoes and a wooden crucifix. In the upper part of the town there is an interesting church S. Maria delle Grazie with early 16th century frescoes and the church dedicated to the saints Gusmeo and Matteo. Directly on the lake stands the magnificent Palazzo Gallio with its towers and loggia built in the 16th century as the residence of Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio.

In Sorico you can admire the churches S. Stefano and S. Miro of Romanesque origins. The former is the parish church, the latter, with nice 16th century frescoes, stands on the slope above the town and can be reached only on foot (20 min). The isolated oratory of S. Fedelino (10th cent.) is situated on the shores of Lake Mezzola and can be reached by boat or by foot from Dascio (2hrs.)

DISTANCES: Dongo is 50Km away from Como, Gravedona 54Km, Sorico 62Km

CONNECTIONS: bus service from Como or Colico (www.asfautolinee.it) and boats to Dongo, Gravedona (www.navigazionelaghi.it)

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