When visiting Lake Como most people forget about those hamlets that are a bit up, farther from the lake. Like Stazzona and Brenzio, hamlets of Dongo. On 18th August and 3rd October 2015 Cooperativa Imago organized a visit of these beautiful forgotten hamlets, lead by a local guide, Paola. In about two hours and a half, Paola showed us the church of S.Giuliano in Stazzona, then we walked to Brenzio. The route was at the foot of Valle Albano, with a view on Piona.
In Brenzio we visited San Giovanni Battista (S. John)’s church but more importantly an old house, probably built in the 17th Century and inhabited until not many years ago, maybe the 50s.
The house is now a small ethnographic museum, a museum where you can find clothes, objects and tools typical of the area. Among the others, a zangola, a wooden cilinder that was used to separate cream from milk.
After quickly visiting a masun, the reconstruction of an ancient stable, we finished our trip at a farmhouse where we were offered local products.
Thanks to this visit we could learn more about the history of the lake.
Stazzona and Brenzio, like many other lake towns (especially the Northern side of Lake Como), were subject to massive migrations, especially towards Southern Italy. Hints of this history were everywhere: from San Giuliano represented as a warrior (as it is typical in the Sicilian tradition), to the relic of Santa Rosalia in San Giovanni Battista’s church.
This North to South migration is very peculiar. Later on people started to migrate to all Europe, not to escape poverty but to look for improvement and growth. It was mostly well-off people who decided to move abroad. They made their fortunes and sent them home to renovate their churches.
Caterina, Land Ambassador