Pescarenico: fishing hamlet which has kept intact its charm over time.
Pescarenico is the only place that Alessandro Manzoni precisely indicates in The Betrothed and Pescarenico is really a lovely place if you look at it from the opposite bank of the Adda river framed by Lecco.
Pescarenico was a fishing hamlet and today still retains the charm of the past: the narrow streets around the central square and the boats along Adda’s shore. Walking through Pescarenico means savor images and scents of the past. With a bit of imagination you might meet Renzo and Lucia on their way towards the mouth of the Bione river, flowing creek near Pescarenico, ready to take the boat to escape from Don Rodrigo.
Famous and heart rending “Farewell, ye mountains, source of waters!”, which Lucia cries in her heart as she leaves Lecco by boat along Adda, looking her beloved and dear country.
Cover image: illustration darft for the edition of The Betrothed dated 1840 Library Braidense
Pescarenico – Chapter IV
Pescarenico is a small hamlet on the left bank of the Adda, or, rather, of the Lake, a few steps below the bridge; a group of houses, inhabited for the most part by fishermen, and adorned here and there with nets spread out to dry.
(…)The sky was clear and serene. As the sun rose behind the mountain, its rays brightened the opposite summits, and thence rapidly spread themselves over the declivities and valleys; a light autumn breeze played through the leaves of the mulberry trees, and brought them to the ground. The vineyards were still brilliant with leaves of various hues; and the newly made nets appeared brown and distinct amid the fields of stubble, which were white and shining with the dew. The scene was beautiful.
Addio Monti Sorgenti – Chapter VIII
Farewell, ye mountains, source of waters! farewell to your varied summits, familiar as the faces of friends! ye torrents, whose voices have been heard from infancy! Farewell! how melancholy the destiny of one, who, bred up amid your scenes, bids you farewell! If voluntarily departing with the hope of future gain at this moment, the dream of wealth loses its attraction, his resolution falters, and he would fain remain with you, were it not for the hope of benefiting you by his prosperity. The more he advances into the level country, the more his view becomes wearied with its uniform extent; the air appears heavy and lifeless: he proceeds sorrowfully and thoughtfully into the tumultuous city; houses crowded against houses, street uniting with street, appears to deprive him of the power to breathe; and in front of edifices admired by strangers, he stops to recall, with restless desire, the image of the field and the cottage which had long been the object of his wishes, and which, on his return to his mountains, he will make his own, should he acquire the wealth of which he is in pursuit.
Ph. di Mino Martignano