Κυριακή 21 Ιανουαρίου 2024

The Gauls in Varenna, Italy

Varenna is an Italian comune in the Province of Sondrio, in the Lombardy region.
It is built on the eastern shores of Lake Como, about 20 kilometers north of Lecco and 60 kilometers north of Milan. 
The coast between Mandello del Lario and Varenna is known as the "Golden Coast", considered the absolute best, with the best weather and panoramic views of Lake Como. shore of Lake Como Due to its importance, the wars for the conquest of this shore of the lake were numerous and lasted for decades, even between the armies of Milan and the Serenissima.
Founded by the Gauls, the town of Varenna was rebuilt urbanistically by the Romans, who made it their own castle reorganized into housing units about 15 meters on each side, arranged in a checkerboard pattern.

Named as a fishing village in 769, in the age of the Municipalities it was allied with Milan and, for this reason, in 1126 it was destroyed by the Como. He received the exiles from the island of Comacina, which suffered a similar fate in 1169: it was destroyed, its castle and churches destroyed.

The neighborhood where they took refuge was called Insula Nova, a name that was later extended to the entire village, which quickly became one of the richest on the lake. The islanders were responsible for the establishment of the patriarchal rite, which was celebrated in the churches of Varenna until the inhabitants agreed to the transition to the Roman rite requested by the bishop of Como. Among other things, during the medieval period, the Varennes declared themselves the seat of a political parish.

Even today, the departure of the Comacini and the welcoming of the Varennes is celebrated every year on the Saturday and Sunday of the week in which June 24, the feast of San Giovanni, falls. The lake is brightly lit with thousands of lumagit, floating lights abandoned in the water, as if to remember the abandoned souls who sailed from one shore to the other, escaping their burning homes.

Having passed, like Valsacina, under the control of the Torriani, it then came into the possession of the Visconti, not without conflict, from the end of the thirteenth century. In 1480 the county of Riviera with Varena together with Mandello del Lario and Bellano and the following year Dervio, Corenno and Monte Introzzo were added., was given as a fiefdom to Pietro II Dal Verme, Count of Bobio, Vogera The Castel San Giovanni and the whole of Val Tidone, Pieve di Incino, and Valsassina, who died poisoned by his wife in 1485, and the fief with others on the Riviera was assigned, not without controversy by the citizens concerned, to Chiara Sforza, daughter. of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, widow of Dal Verme. Despite frequent expropriations, Sforza managed to maintain control of the situation until her death (1530), while Fregoso's heirs preferred to cede Varenna and the other fiefdoms to the Sfondrati in 1533. From 1533 to 1788 the town was important part of the Sfondrati manor of the Riviera.

Varenna contested Lierna militarily with Mandello for more than 250 years, in 1375 Lierna became an integral part of Varenna, then Lierna managed to end the strife by gaining its administrative independence in 1743.
Symbols
The municipal coat of arms and banner were granted by decree of the President of the Republic of August 14, 1964.

"Argent, on a mountain with three verdant peaks, proceeding from a natural lake, with a boat halted on the right side of the shield: the mountain supports a natural, open and windowed half-ruined tower of the field, flanked to the right by a natural cypress and to the left a blue viper twisted on a pole crowned with gold. External decorations from the Municipality.
The banner is a blue cloth.
Leonardo da Vinci's Madonna of the Carnation is painted at the Vila Monastero in Varenna

Sights of the municipality are:
Villa Cipressi
Villa Cipressi, which owes its name to some monumental plants preserved in its park, is the result of various reconstructions between the 15th and 19th centuries.

Of the original late Renaissance building, a 15th-century room still survives, dating from the time when the complex was the residence of the Serpondi family. With the disappearance of this family, in 1802 the complex was bought by Carlo Innocenzo Isimbardi, director of the Milan mint, who ordered the enlargement of the villa.

In 1838, the villa hosted Queen Victoria for a holiday.

In 1864 ownership passed to Enrico Andreossi, who ordered the renovation of the villa in a neoclassical style.

After some changes of ownership involving, among others, some British noblemen, in 1980 the complex was taken over by the Municipality of Varenna: the park was turned into a public garden, while the villa was turned into a hotel

Other villas
Villa Monastero
Villa Venini
Villa Capoana Sfondrati Galimberti, in Fiumelatte, was built in the 16th century but renovated in the following century.

Military architecture
Vezio Castle
Religious architecture
Church of San Giorgio, late Romanesque building with some Gothic elements
Church of San Giovanni Battista, whose origins date back to the Early Middle Ages
Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which preserves a baroque wooden altarpiece created by Giovan Pietro Capiago and originating from the dismantled oratory of Santa Maria di Villa Monastero
Former Church of Santa Marta (1604)
Cemetery church
Natural areas
Fumelate

More
Andrea Brenta's painting and commemorative plaque, outside his birthplace (called Ca' dei Brenta)
Walk along the lake (lover's walk)