Dubbed the ‘Matitone’ by locals (literally ‘big pencil’), the bell tower of San Nicolò was built after the construction of the Basilica, using a tower of the ancient city walls as its foundation. It still dominates the landscape of the city with its neo-Gothic spire, which resembles a pencil soaring into the sky. 

At 96 metres tall, the bell tower of San Nicolò is one of the highest in Europe and offers a unique and stunning view of the town, the lake and the surrounding mountains. There are 400 steps to the top but a breathtaking panorama rewards all the effort. At the top of the bell tower, visitors can enjoy the shimmering hues of Lake Como and the mountains that encircle the city. 

Construction began in 1882, under the guidance of the engineer Gattinoni. After a brief interruption in 1894 due to a lack of funds, the people of Lecco managed to raise the money required to complete the project in 1903, when the cross was placed at the top.  

The following year, in 1904, the work was finally completed with the arrival of nine bells, each dedicated to a sacred figure. The first, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, weighed an impressive 30 hundredweight. In the middle of Christmas night in 1904, the festive sound of the nine bells of the ‘Matitone’ rang out for the first time in Lecco. 

The Bell Tower of Lecco is a must-see on a tour of the historical centre: the effort of climbing its 396 steps will be rewarded by the marvellous view from the top!

Details

Accessibility

The Bell Tower has no lift. This visit is not recommended for people with heart disease, vertigo or claustrophobia. Children under the age of six are not permitted to visit the tower.

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