Picturesque military outpost used since the time of Queen Teodolinda as a watchtower, the Vezio Castle dominates the town of Varenna and Lake Como offering an extraordinary panorama.
Castello di Vezio History
The Castello di Vezio is located in a small village that, at the beginning of its existence, was to be a Ligurian-Celtic settlement, if not even Etruscan, to which another lineage was superimposed during the great transmigrations of transalpine peoples who succeeded from the VI the II century BC When the Romans extended their dominions in Lombardy, they found themselves having to defend the routes of communication from the barbaric attacks that pressed on the borders. Therefore, barrier works were carried out throughout the region and also the eastern part of Lake Como, an important junction of roads such as the Retica Valtellinese, Retica Chiavannesca, Val Varrone and the Riviera, saw a fortification rise whose perimeter presumably extended from Foppa to the overhanging spur on which the castle stands. Within this perimeter stood the warehouses and houses whose foundations are still visible today. Little is known of the fortress and the village in the early Middle Ages, but what is certain is that it could not escape the destruction that accompanied the descent of the barbarians, with the Lombards first and then with the Franks.
The building that we know today was built according to some by some exiles of the Comancina Island arrived in Varenna after being defeated by Como in 1169, while according to other studies the Comancini were the authors of a large building intervention that affected the town and the castle. Theater of various sieges and battles, the castle became the property of the parish of Varenna, then de conti Sfrondati and the Serbelloni, owners until the nineteenth century.
The entire building is surrounded by an olive grove of over a thousand plants and looks like a quadrangular fortification with high walls and a central tower, accessible only from the drawbridge. The basements, open to the public since 1999, probably date back to the First World War.
Particularity of the castle is the presence of a falconer, sometimes dressed in period clothes, who runs a breeding of birds of prey by training and caring for them. At some times the public can then attend these evocative flights and appreciate the noble art of Falconry, widespread in Europe since the Middle Ages.
Inside the castle some armours are exhibited, partly found during the restoration works of the 50s carried out by the current owners of the building, while other finds are exhibited in the tower.