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Brianza
Adda river

The Brianza region connects Milan to Lake Como. Bordered to the east by the Adda River, it is considered a transition area par excellence between the Alps and the Po Valley, the natural world and the metropolis. Its beautiful landscape attenuates the rugged outline of the Alps as it alternates between hills and slight slopes dotted with meadows, woods and small towns ("Brianza" derives from the Celtic word "brig", meaning hill or upland). The Brianza region has a continental climate: sweltering summers and cold, foggy winters. This region is one of the most inhabited and industrialized territories in Europe, an aspect that is rather unenviable given the uncontrolled urban development. Surprisingly enough, the same green spaces exalted by Stendhal
can still be found today in the so-called "Lombard megalopolis".

The so-called "Passeggiata Voltiana" (Volta walkway) starts off from Como’s southern urban area, near the
Cosia River. It ends in Camnago Volta, the hamlet where Alessandro Volta breathed his last.

The woods of Camnago Volta.

Alessandro Volta’s tomb is located inside a neoclassical temple erected in 1831; Volta died in 1827
in his own country-house, just a few miles away.

Como: small textile mills along the Cosia River. This picture is emblematic of Como’s notable manufacturing history (on the decline today) and its bonds with the silk industry.

Southern Como: the Valbasca area.
Mount Orfano (Montorfano) can be seen
in the background.

A classic view of the Brianza countryside near Alzate Brianza (Fabbrica Durini).

Fabbrica Durini: the very ancient Durini castle villa, today a luxury restaurant and wedding location. Erected over the remains of a Roman tower, the earliest evidence of this building dates back to the year 860, when Tadone - native to Fabbrica Durini - became Archbishop of Milan. Upgraded and renovated over the centuries, the villa was taken over in 1748 by the Durini Counts, feudal lords of Monza. Many famous writers and musicians sojourned here, such as Parini, Rossini, Verga, just to mention some, besides the Savoy Monarchs.

The old station of Brenna-Alzate with its early 1900s architectural features. In the year 2000, the American film director Marleen Gorris chose this villa for shooting several scenes of her movie The Luzhin Defence,
set in Cernobbio in 1926.

Casiglio Castle near Erba. Originally built as a military outpost in 900 A.D., it was expanded in the 16th century by Cardinal Beltramino, Bishop of Como and Bologna, Apostolic Nuncio to the King of Aragon and Governmental Nuncio to Pope Benedict XI. The property was taken over by the Parravicini family.
Today it is a luxury restaurant.

Montevecchia: a summer storm over Milan.

Autumn at the Fontana del Guerc (Carugo), with the natural resurgences.

A meadow near to Oggiono (Lecco), with the spectacular Larian Mountains.

A view of the charming lakes of Brianza, a sequence of blue eyes that pop up before you as you travel along the stretch of road between Como and Lecco. These lakes form the imaginary "fourth branch" of Lake Como
(once supposed to exist) and depicted by Giovanni Segantini.

Lake Annone. View from Oggiono and Galbiate.

On the road Como-Erba-Lecco, next to the Lake Pusiano, with Mount Resegone on the background.

Lake Pusiano, Cipressi Island
and Mount Resegone.

The small Lake Segrino is the most typical of all the Brianza lakes. It is remarkable to note that
Antonio Fogazzaro chose this site as the setting for his novel Malombra. The villa described in his novel is
Villa Pliniana in Torno, even though the lake, in the writer’s imagination, is Lake Segrino.

The animal reserve of the Lake Segrino.

Right: the frozen Lake Segrino.

As you travel north of Lake Segrino along the Canzo-Asso road, which leads to Bellagio after crossing the Valassina Valley, you arrive at the Vallategna waterfalls. Stendhal visited this place on the
12th of August 1812 and wrote:
"The boundary between Brianza and Valassina is uncertain; this place is not defined and neither is the waterfall or those hills over there; however, it is engraved on the heart and as such, is inerasable."
Today, the charm of this place is obfuscated by a heavily trafficked road and a filling station. Plans for a new supermarket (blocked in 2011) shows a total lack of sensibility on the part of certain municipal administrators.

Walking on the frozen Lake Montorfano.

An autumn evening on Lake Alserio with a view of the rough peaks of the mountains that surround Lake Como.

October along the shores of Lake Alserio.

Adda river