Historic centre of Pescarenico
Once you arrive in Lecco, start your sweet tour from Pescarenico, the only district of the city expressly mentioned by Manzoni. An ancient fishing village, today it retains much of its original structure, with alleys that unravel around the central Era Square and along the Adda River.
Here, during the summer, on the occasion of the Festival of Pescarenico, the suggestive Regatta of the bathing boats and lights takes place, the typical wooden boats of Lecco, while all year it is possible to book a ride on one of these historic boats. Right in this pretty village on the left bank of the Adda River, is located the former convent of the Capuchin friars, residence of Fra' Cristoforo. Here, you can also read the passage of the novel in which Lucia makes her farewell to the mountains.
Turning then around the city center, you will come across Villa Manzoni, a neoclassical building located in the Caleotto district, which today is a literary museum that traces the life and works of the famous Italian writer, poet and playwright. At one time, however, it was the residence of the family of Alessandro Manzoni who, as he himself writes in the introduction, spent all his childhood, adolescence and youth here. Also worth a visit are the Viscontea Tower and the Palace of Fears. The first, also known as the Medieval Tower, is the only visible evidence of the ancient castle fortress that surrounded the village, while the Palace of Fears is a building today used as a museum and periodically offers truly unmissable exhibitions.
To reach Lecco from Milan or Bergamo, it takes about an hour, whether you travel by car or train. If you leave Bellagio, you will need a little more than half anhour by car.
From the historic center we move into two neighborhoods with an authentic Manzonian soul, Acquate and Olate. Here, in fact, are the two alleged houses of Lucia Mondella: presumed because it was never possible to identify with certainty where Manzoni imagined his female protagonist lived. In both cases they are very simple homes, in the classic local style.
Lucia's house in Acquate now houses an osteria: you can find it in Via Lucia. From the courtyard you can also see the Colle dello Zucco, where the Palazzotto di Don Rodrigo stood. There is no doubt, however, about the church where the fearful Don Abbondio was supposed to celebrate the wedding of the two lovers, that of San Giorgio a Acquate.
If instead the views are your passion, focus on the Basilica of San Nicolò and book a visit to the bell tower: with its 96 meters it is among the highest in Europe. It can be a bit tiring, but it will undoubtedly be worth it: from here you can see all of Lecco and beyond. You won't regret it.
From Acquate, after about 10 minutes of walking following Viale Tonale, you will arrive at Olate. The second, presumed, house of Lucia, is located right here, but it is not visitable.
On the other hand, in Olate you will find the Church in which, after so many vicissitudes, the wedding of Renzo and Lucia were finally celebrated: the Church of Saints Vitale and Valeria. Crossing Corso Bergamo you reach Vercurago, where the Rocca dell 'Innominato is located.
Taxi boat for a tour of the Gulf
It is time to return to the lakefront, for a truly unforgettable and evocative experience. Here, in fact, you can decide to live a truly folkloric activity: a tour of the Gulf on a taxi boat, available from April to September.
The excursion lasts about thirty minutes and touches some of the most suggestive corners of the Lake: you skirt the Canottieri Lecco and touch the point where the lake meets the Adda, until you reach the lakefront of Malgrate with the Rocca in the background, the "two unbroken chains of mountains" of Manzonian memory, with the peaks of the Grigna and the Resegone.
Lungolago di Lecco
The lake, of course, can also be appreciated from the ground thanks to a walk that touches different points of the city and offers very suggestive views.
Depart from the central Piazza Cermenati, which overlooks the Gulf, and continue to the Santo Stefano area, passing by the pier and Piazza Stoppani: here is the statue dedicated to San Nicolò, patron saint of the city. It is a strategic point, from which you can enjoy a beautiful view, framed by the Alps on the horizon.
We have arrived at the last stage of our day, ready to enjoy a beautiful sunset: it will make everything even more romantic!