Lecco 6 hours to all on foot
Visit Lecco in 6 hours
Discovering Lecco: the historical center and Lake Como
Tourist itinerary in Lecco down town
If you are in Lecco and like to feel the soul of the city, we suggest you an itinerary to discover its most characteristic aspects, retracing its culture and things must to see.
We will move through the old town center on foot, strolling along the lakefront of “that branch of Lake Como”, made famous by Alessandro Manzoni in The Betrothed, to the streets of the old town, once the fortified hamlet of medieval Lecco, whose some remains are still visible: the Vallo delle Mura, the Viscontea Tower and the tower where the Basilica’s bell tower was built on.
The historic center of Lecco extends parallel to the shore of the lake Como offering 19th-century architectures, well visible in the porticoes featuring Piazza XX Settembre and in some buildings. Just in this very central square Palazzo delle Paure is worth a visit: it is a museum complex hosting the Art Gallery and Lecco Mountaineering Observatory, a technological and interactive museum that tells us the history of the alpinism of Lecco and the figures that have made it worldwide famous, starting from the enterprises of the red sweaters of Lecco Ragni.
From the central squares there are streets and alleys characterized by the presence of fashion shops and family residences. Two squares open and close the historic center, distinguish Lecco in a different way: piazza Manzoni with the monument dedicated to the illustrious writer and piazza Cermenati with the monument to Mario Cermenati, founder of the Civic Museums of Lecco. Close to Piazza XX Settembre, there is Piazza Garibaldi where the Teatro della Società is placed. It is the emblem of the neoclassical style, project of the Lecco architect Giuseppe Bovara.
When you are strolling in Lecco we are sure your eyes are captured by the tower bell of the Basilica of San Nicolò, standing on Lecco with its 96 meters. Just the same height of the London’s Big Ben. Due to its particular shape, here in Lecco we call it “matitone” i.d. big pencil. We recommend you a visit, possible by reservation on a few days of the month.
The Basilica of the city is dedicated to the Patron Saint of Lecco, San Nicolò or Saint Nicholas. Walking along the lakefront, you see the golden statue located in Punta Maddalena, near the Gerenzone’s mouth and in front of the monument to Antonio Stoppani, father of the italian Geology and Paleontology.
Another site of interest is the Nostra Signora della Vittoria Sanctuary, dedicated to the First World War Fallen and hosting some great artworks. It is located in front of the monument to Alessandro Manzoni, at the other side of Lecco downtown.
Easy to get walking from Piazza Cermenati, passing through Piazza XX Settembre and then straight on along Via Roma.
We suggest you a tourist route to discover the historical centre of Lecco on foot.
You may visit it upon your needs and tastes.
In any case… welcome to Lecco: a city to discover and love!
Vallo delle Mura
Azzone Visconti rebuilt Lecco during 1330-1340. The visible part of the city walls near Via Bovara are traces of the fortified village he wanted and then the Spanish strengthened in the sixteenth-century.
Basilica of San Nicolò
The basilica of St. Nicholas (Basilica di San Nicolò), patron saint of Lecco, sailors and boatmen, is placed close to the lake promenade, at the eastern side of the historic center of Lecco, just behind Piazza Cermenati.
It was built on the remains of the old town walls surrounding Lecco since from the 13th century. Nowadays some parts are still visible if you are in the near basilica’s parking.
Symbol of the basilica of St. Nicholas and of Lecco town too is its neo-Gothic bell tower
Piazza Cermenati overlooks lake Como, especially the Gulf of Lecco, which in the medieval times represented the port of the fortified village.
In the middle we find the statue of Mario Cermenati, founder of the civic museums of Lecco and tied to the figure of Antonio Stoppani. The square is close to Palazzo delle Paure, a museum center, hosting the Lecco Mountaineering Observatory and the Art Gallery.
Palazzo delle Paure
Local and International contemporary art at Palazzo delle Paure (Palace of Fears) in Lecco, hosting a section of photography and graphics too.
It has a Neo-medieval eclectic style and was built at early 1900 on a part of the old town wall of the fortified village and until 1964 it was the office of the Customs House. Lecco’s citizens came there to pay their taxes, due to this its name of Palazzo delle Paure (Palace of Fears).
Piazza XX Settembre
Ancient historical center and symbol of the fortified village. Here there was the castle of Lecco, until it was destroyed by the will of the Habsburgs, as well as the whole city wall. Piazza XX Settembre was called piazza del Mercato before assuming its current denomination in 1895. The actual appearance of the square is due to the work of the Lecco architect Giuseppe Bovara. In a house overlooking this square, at the current civic 43, the geologist Antonio Stoppani, author of the Bel Paese, was was born in 1824..
Viscontea Tower is in Piazza XX Settembre and it’s the visible trace of the old castle of Lecco, built in the fourteenth-century by will of Azzone Visconti, who wanted Lecco to be a fortified village.
Monument to Alessandro Manzoni
In the city of The Betrothed for sure the monument to Alessandro Manzoni cannot miss. Inaugurated on October 11, 1891, it was strongly desired by Antonio Stoppani, who constituted a promotional committee and made a national appeal.
A bronze statue with 4 high reliefs on a granite base, three of which depicting the emblematic scenes of the novel: the kidnapping of Lucia, Renzo at the Lazzaretto and the marriage of The Betrothed.
Nostra Signora della Vittoria Sanctuary
Nostra Signora della Vittoria Sanctuary was wanted by the citizens of Lecco to commemorate the fallen people of the First World War, to whom the crypt is reserved to, in fact there the mortal remains of officers and soldiers, coming from the cemeteries of the front, are preserved.
It’s a Marian Sanctuary, consecrated by Cardinal Schuster in 1932, and a penitential church as Cardinal Martini indicated in 1997.
Every night at 7 o’clock the bell of the Sanctuary tolls to remind the fallen of the war.
Teatro della Società
The Teatro della Società is placed in the central piazza Garibaldi. Designed by the Lecco architect Giuseppe Bovara it was inaugurated on October 23, 1844, with “Anna Bolena” opera by Gaetano Donizetti.
The neoclassical building was built upon the request of a small number of families of Lecco, belonging to the nobility and the high middle class, but was immediately open to all citizenry.
A nice walk from the Monument to the Fallen to the road to Mandello. Great views of “that branch of lake Como” surrounded by mountains, moving your gaze to the Alps on the horizon. San Nicolò blesses us in the most exposed area of the lakefront, just opposite the monument of Antonio Stoppani. Here it is great to admire the sunset.
Statue of San Nicolò
San Nicolò is the patron saint of Lecco, and the Basilica was dedicated to him. December 6th is a special day for children who receive apples to remember the gesture of the saint to poor girls.
The statue hosted in the Basilica depicts him with three apples. The statue of San Nicolò is located into lake Como, just in front the monument dedicated to Antonio Stoppani and near the mouth of the Gerenzone creek.
It is believed that in this area there was the dock of the port of Lecco, where numerous boats landed on the market days.
Monument to Stoppani
Certainly Lecco could not miss to remind the figure of Abbot Antonio Stoppani. He was born in Lecco and love so much the mountains of his land. He is considedered the father of Italian Geology and Paleontology, and was Cermenati’s master and inspirational model for so many naturalists of Lecco, who gave birth to the Civic Museums.
Author of the Bel Paese, he wrote a national appeal for the realization of the monument to Alessandro Manzoni in Lecco.