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fatti a mano (il giorno stesso della sagra), le salamelle vengono cotte sulla pietra ollare e i famosi missoltini sono serviti con la polenta. Tutti gli anni l’appuntamento è per il 16 agosto in occasione della festa di San Rocco. Non solo gnocchi negli appuntamenti gastronomici di Pognana. Il 6 luglio una serata a base di pesce di mare con gli Alpini, il 19 la festa della pastasciutta con vari tipi di sughi organizzata dal Cif (Centro Italiano Femminile) e il 30 agosto per la festa di fine estate l’associazione Genitori di Pognana inviterà residenti e turisti a gustare il “Buscel”: una sorta di focaccia, dolce povero tradizionalmente a base di farina, acqua e sale che nel corso degli anni si è arricchito con zucchero, cipolle, mele o uvette. LA STRADA REGIA È una mulattiera ben fornita di ponti e gradoni che seguiva la sponda orientale del ramo di Como dal capoluogo a Bellagio. Gli esperti della Società Archeologica Comense con il contributo della Comunità Montana del Triangolo Lariano, prima attraverso le mappe catastali e poi sul terreno, hanno rispolverato il vecchio tracciato di 35 km, ora sostituito dalla Provinciale 583. Chiare indicazioni sono apposte sul percorso, un’esperienza unica per chi volesse intraprendere questa splendida passeggiata che collega Pognana a tutti gli altri piccoli centri dei dintorni attraverso boschi e vallate in una suggestiva cornice tra cielo e lago.

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Pognana Lario

A Village to experience on Foot A little Municipality of 860 souls perched on Monte Preaola, Pognana Lario is a splendid balcony overlooking the lake where tourists will be given a simple welcome and can discover a real treasure trove. Pognana’s a village to be walked in, climbing up and down the alleyways and stone flights of steps joining the lake to the mountain. Walking’s a good way to get a feel for one of the most typical and evocative hamlets on the Eastern Shores of Lake Como. “Our strength is being able to offer tourists and locals a village not yet overwhelmed by concrete”, explains the mayor Luigi Ballabio.

“We have few roads and you can only get down to the lake on foot, but rest assured it’s well worth going down the steps to our wharf and walk along Via S.Fedele or down to our lovely little beach called Quarzano, a cut-off part of the shore where you can bathe”. Visitors who patiently climb up to the top of the village to the locality of Canzaga will come across the church dedicated to San Rocco. It has one nave with a short transept covered by cross-braced vaults, and on its left-hand side bears the remains of an early 16th century fresco ‘Madonna with Child’ attributed to Bartolomeo Benzi, a painter who was also active in Torno and Nesso, as were the Doctors of the Church painted as frescoes on the first bay vaults. Going down towards the lake through the tortuous little streets crowned by the fine mosaic chapels of the via crucis (1973), you reach the parish church dedicated to the mystery of the ‘Most Holy Trinity’. Founded in the early 1600s it was commissioned by the affluent Rebay family; it has one nave, beautiful altars and balustrades sculpted from magnificent black Varenna marble, as well as an altarpiece on the right-hand altar with San Domenico’s vision, attributed to the Nuvolone studio. By crossing the ‘Ponte delle Capre’ you can go over the Strada Regia road and see Pognana’s jewel in the locality of Rovasco, the little church dedicated to a famous lake saint San Miro. The current building dates back to restoration work undertaken in the

1400s, but the bell tower is the original one from the first decades of the 11th century. Inside it’s a one-hall construction, split into two bays by horizontal arches. The structure’s ancient origins are confirmed by the fresco ‘Madonna of the Milk’ on the left-hand side of the first bay, as well as those on the outer wall beneath the evocative porch depicting San Cristoforo and two saints dating back to the early 13th century. Art and Pognana live happily side by side even today thanks to Pognana sculptor Bruno Luzzani, an internationally acclaimed artist who has sculpted such creative and evocative works as the stars for Fabio Casartelli in Albese con Cassano, the Perla del Lario in the foyer of Pognana Town Hall, and the Vergine Velata donated to Pope John Paul 2nd on his visit to Como. In 1986 thanks to Luzzani and an international symposium various works of art were showcased in evocative corners of the town. Pognana’s hamlets (Canzaga, Sigiano, Riva di Pognana, Rovasco and Quarzano) are also part of George Clooney’s view from the windows of Villa Oleandra in Laglio. So the midlake stretch between Faggeto and Nesso is partly responsible for the actor’s love affair with our area. THE FEAST OF GNOCCHI It was back in 1974 when Pognana’s newly-born Pro Loco came up with what was destined to become one of the most renowned summer festivals on Lake Como and even further afield. After 34 years of operational glory and ever increasing fame, the gnocchi are still

rigorousy made by hand (on the same day as the festival), the horseshoe-shaped salami are barbecued on a thin baking slab, and the famous missoltini (typical salted lake shad) and polenta are enjoyed. The feast always falls on 16th August to mark that of S.Rocco. But Pognana’s gastronomic extravaganzas aren’t just about gnocchi: on 6th July the Alpini are holding a seafish evening, on the 19th it’s the turn of pasta plus various sauces organised by the CIF (Italian Ladies’ Centre), and on 30th August at the endof-summer festival the Pognana Parents’ Association will be inviting holiday-makers and locals to sample some ‘Buscel’ – a kind of focaccia, a peasant sweet traditionally based on flour, water and salt which over the years has been vamped up with sugar, onions, apples or raisins.

Da sinistra, la Strada Regia, una scalinata che porta al lago e una alle frazioni a monte, un giardino nei pressi del cimitero, il pontile della Navigazione e uno scorcio del lago Left to right, the Regia Street, a stairway leading to the lake and a stairway to the upstream fractions, a garden near the cemetery, the sailing jetty and a peep of the lake

THE STRADA REGIA This is a mule track with bridges and terraced-steps which used to go round the eastern bank of the Como branch from that town to Bellagio. Como Archeological Society with a grant from the Comunità Montana of the Lariano Triangle (first by referring to land registry maps and then via on-site studies) has managed to trace and reinstate the 35-km track, now replaced by the 583 provincial road. The route is well-signposted; enjoy the unique experience of going on this splendid walk connecting Pognana to all the other surrounding hamlets through woods and glens to the evocative backdrop of the sky and the lake.

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Magic Lake summer 2008  
Magic Lake summer 2008  

Magic Lake #10

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