“Lecco, the main town, giving its name to the territory, is at a short distance from the bridge, and so close upon the shore, that, when the waters are high, it seems to stand in the lake itself. A large town even now, it promises soon to become a city. At the time the events happened which we undertake to recount, this town, already of considerable importance, was also a place of defence.”

Alessandro Manzoni, Chap. 1, The Betrothed

In the first chapter of “The Betrothed,” Alessandro Manzoni describes Lecco as an ancient village on the lake that once boasted a castle: evidence from the Middle Ages.

Today, Lecco still displays some traces of its past: find out which remains of medieval Lecco you can visit!

City Walls: Once, the city was a fortified village: in 1336, Azzone Visconti, lord of Milan, built the walls, the castle and the Visconti Tower. Today, parts are still standing: each brick tells a story that will take you back in time!

Azzone Visconti Bridge: Also called “Ponte Vecchio” by the locals, this bridge was built between 1336 and 1338 to connect Lecco to Milan. Over the centuries, it was extended to eleven arches for a total length of 131 metres and a width of 9 metres. Today, it is a symbol of Lecco and the point where, according to Manzoni, the lake flows into the River Adda. When the light hits the bridge at sunset, it creates a magical atmosphere!

Visconti Tower: Built by Azzone Visconti in the 14th century and later restored by Giuseppe Bovara in 1816, the Visconti Tower was used as the city’s prison. It can still be visited: nowadays, it is the Civic Museum and hosts temporary exhibitions that bring this ancient tower back to life for an even more interesting experience!

Clock Tower: Built in the 15th century using the village’s circular tower as a base, the bell tower was once part of the fortifications. Today, the Bell Tower of San Nicolò is one of the symbols of the city and, with a height of 96 metres, it is one of the tallest bell towers in Europe.

The atmosphere of medieval Lecco lives on today and continues to charm visitors from all over the world who come to journey back in time. Whether you are a history lover or simply seeking beauty, Lecco is the perfect place for your visit!

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