Dongo – a Lively Town on the West Bank of Lake Como
Cari Amici, dear Lake Como friends, I would like to introduce you to the small, vibrant town of Dongo on the north-western shore of Lake Como.
The place is located on a plain that was created by the Albano River in the course of the earth’s history and is framed by a mighty mountainious scenery. On the lakeshore there is a small bay with a boat harbor.
You can walk along the beautiful water front from Dongo to Gravedona and enjoy the majestic panoramic view. The view goes across to the mighty Monte Legnone on the east bank, to the Valtellina in the north and the Swiss mountains. From the Larian triangle in the south Bellagio is greeting you.
The Iron Industry
Already in the 15th century, furnaces were glowing in Dongo, in which iron ore from nearby mines was converted into pure iron. Even today there is still an iron processing factory in Dongo on the Albano Ufer, but it does not disturb the cityscape.
Places of Interest in Dongo
At the crossroad that goes up from the Via Statale to Stazzona, you will find the Sanctuary of the Weeping Madonna – Santurio Madonna delle Lacrime. It took fifty years from 1553 to 1603 to complete this church with its richly decorated and painted interiors. The weeping Madonna is venerated by the faithful as miraculous.
A hiking trail begins in the Barbignano district and takes about half an hour uphill to another pilgrimage church with the name of the patron saint of Dongo, San Gottardo. From there you have a wonderful panoramic view on Lake Como.
In addition, the 12th century Romanesque church of St. Maria di Martinico should be mentioned. One of the valuable sacred objects inside is a procession cross made of gilded silver, which was created in 1513. The church is located near Piazza Giulio Paracchini with the town hall.
Palazzo Manzi – the Town Hall of Dongo
The classical facade of the Palazzo Manzi dominates the piazza of Dongo. The building serves now as the town hall. It was built from 1803 to 1824, during the Napoleonic rule on Lake Como.
The interior is decorated with magnificent frescoes and there is a golden hall, the Sala d’Oro, which is very worth seeing. Today it is a worthily setting for exhibitions, events and vernissages.
Equally impressive is the Capella dell’Immacolata, which is also magnificently furnished.
Palazzo Manzi also houses a historical library with over 4000 volumes, kept in beautiful old walnut wood cabinets. These include rare 18th century geographical works and valuable old prints.
Museo della fine della guerra – Museum of the End of the War
Some rooms of the town hall are dedicated to the Museo della fine della guerra. It reminds the visitors of the events that here, on Lake Como, meant the end of the 2nd World War. Among these was the arrest of Mussolini and his companions, which took place in Dongo on April 27th, 1945.
The museum is intended to be a place of reflection and commemoration of the victims of fascism. It is also a reminder to preserve peace and freedom.
Tasty Food from Dongo
At the end of Dongo, directly on the main road towards Gravedona, you find the Latteria Alto Lario. Here you can buy fresh milk, many types of delicious cheese from the region, butter and other regional dairy products. In addition, olive oil and herbs from regional organic cultivation and very tasty salami.
You also must try the delicacies that are offered in the Panificio Pasticceria Galli Walter. In addition to dolci and cakes, there is also a wide range of bread. You find the shop in Via Tre Pievi 34.
The Weekly Market in Dongo
Every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month the weekly market takes place in Dongo on Via Cavour. From 8.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m., you can buy clothes, shoes, household items from potholders and pillows to pots and dishes, special sweets, fresh regional food such as fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese, wine, milk and much more.
Camping in Dongo Directly on Lake Como
I would particularly like to recommend Dongo to our camping friends.
Right on the lakeshore you will find 5 camping grounds* with an overall good standard and ratings. Two of these places also rent rooms or apartments.
As you can see, amici, Dongo is a very versatile and interesting town, perfect for a varied vacation on Lake Como.
Tanti saluti e a presto
Rosa Maria Lamberti
*Camping La Breva, Camping Alla Vigna del Lago, Camping Magic Lake, Camping Miralago, Camping Panorama.