Carenna – Lecco
Castello di Vezio in Perledo di Varenna
Overlooking Lake Como, between Queen Teodolinda and falconry
Are you looking for a scenic view of Lake Como? The Castle of Vezio is certainly one of these: it stands out in the municipality of Perledo on the terraced and sunny slopes on the top of the hill of Varenna.
Thanks to its privileged location, in the past the castle of Vezio was used to control the communication routes towards the North.
Different people settled here in Vezio:
- Ligurian-Celtic one in the period between the centuries II and IV BC
- at the fall of the Gauls, driven out by the Roman legions of Claudio Marcello together with the orobic, insubrious and cenomani allies in 196 BC
- the Romans erected a line of fortifications along the eastern shore of Lake Como, and among this most probably the Vezio castrum as well, to protect the Lario and the road from Bellano to the Val d’Esino.
Where does the name Vezio come from?
There are several theses that give feedback to the term of Vezio. In fact, the name could:
- derive from the Latin “pagus Vetus”, which means “village, or group of houses, ancient, pre-existing”
- refer to the dialect name of the place “Vesc”
- descend from “Vescia”, a small town in Lazio, currently Sant’Agata dei Goti. This is the country of origin of the Roman legionary of the V legion, Vescinus, who had the command and direction of the works for the construction of the “castrum” of Vezio.
Architectural structure of the castle of Vezio
It is a walled castle structured by an irregular pentagonal curtain with a fortified square tower with battlements and a real drawbridge.
Its history is very closed to Varenna’s one, in fact castle’s walls embraced the hamlet of Varenna until the lake and its citizens took refuge during the attacks by Como’s citizens in Middle Ages.
Here the Queen of the Lombards Teodolinda strolled admiring Lake Como
The legend told by Anton Gioseffo of the Torre di Rezzonico in his book “Larius” (1779) tells how the construction of the castle is linked to a will of the Lombard queen Teodolinda who spent the last years of her life in these areas. The Lombard queen would have built the church of San Martino with the ancient tower-shaped bell tower and the oratory of St. Anthony as well to leave a visible trace of herfaith in Christianity.
Even if she died and has buried in Monza, it is said that her heart and soul are here within the walls of the castle of Vezio.
It is said, in fact, that in the moonless nights her spirit wanders through the corridors of the castle. There are also authentic testimonies as shown by the ghosts’ casts of papier-mâché made by the managers of the fortress.
The castle of Vezio and the art of falconry
Nowadays the castle of Vezio hosts falconry with a care and training center for birds of prey. Thanks to it you can admire the spectacular flights of birds of prey guided by falconers vintage dressed.
Inside the castle’s tower there is a standing exhibition of different specimen of Lariosauro with reproductions of fossils found in Perledo neighbourhood, Lake Como,Varese and all around the world.
Opening: all days from March to November
Closed if raining days.
Pets not admitted.
March: Monday – Friday: 10 am – 5 pm / Saturday – Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm
April – May: Monday – Friday: 10 am – 6 pm / Saturday – Sunday: 10 am – 7 pm
June – July – September: Monday – Friday: 10 am – 6 pm / Saturday – Sunday: 10 am – 7 pm
October: Monday – Friday: 10 am – 5 pm / Saturday – Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm
- Full-ticket: € 4,00
– children – from 6 to 12 years: € 2,00
– groups (more than 12 people): € 3,00
– elderly people (over 65 years): € 3,00
– touring Club Members: € 3,00
– CAI members: € 3,00
– students (con student card): € 3,00
– inhabitans of Varenna e Perledo: free entrance
– handicapped people with guide: free entrance
– children under 7 years: free entrance
How to get to the Castle of Vezio
- by train: from Milan take the train to Sondrio/Tirano, stop Varenna/Esino Lario.
As soon as you are out of the station, turn left and when you are near a phone box, take the starway to the carriage road. Turn right and go along walking on the path on the riverside. Keep the left side and cross the bridge until you arrive to a hotel. Here take the path on the left leading to Vezio. It takes about 15 minutes.
Follow the signal “Castello di Vezio”. Go walking to pass the Church of San’Antonio and the cemetery. Here in the square there is a green gate. Open and go ahead till to reach the Castle of Vezio.
To come back to Varenna we suggest you the Scabium or Sentiero degli Alpini. You take it in Vezio’s square, near the church. Along the path you pass under a stone bridge. When you are at the first cross-roads, turn right on the downhill to arrive to Varenna.
- by car: from Milan, drive along SS 36 to Lecco. When you are in Lecco, keep your right and take Abbadia Lariana exit. Go on to Varenna turning left (don’t take the tunnel). Here drive along the old town of Varenna. When you are at the end of the downhill take the road on your right to Esino Lario (just when you are on the bridge area). After some hairpin bends turn right to Vezio/Castello di Vezio. Go ahead to reach to carriageable road and park in the parking area.
Here go on walking to the ancient hamlet of Vezio, firstly turning right and then left to arrive to Piazza Belvedere. Go straight on to via al Castello and you’ll arrive in the square of Sant’Antonio Church. You see a green gate, open and take the path to the Castle of Vezio.
Accommodation in Varenna
Castello di Vezio Via per Perledo- 23829 Perledo – Lecco