Visit Isola Comacina and Chiesa San Giovanni… The morning couldn’t have started better at La Locanda del Cantiere. The plan for today has taken shape: we drive to Ossuccio to visit the (only) island of Lake Como. No matter how unsightly small in the 146 km² water surface, Isola Comacina has conquered its place in the history books.
We could swim across perfectly. Isola Comacina is located more than a hundred meters in Lake Como. By the way, we did it so many years ago during youth summer camps.
Despite the lovely weather, we don’t put on our swimming trunks. At the jetty in Sala Comacina a small motor boat takes us to Isola Comacina for 7 euros. Five minutes later we set foot ashore the island. About six hundred meters long and two hundred meters wide, it doesn’t get any bigger.
In the Roman period and in the Middle Ages, various churches pop up like mushrooms on the island. San Euphemia is considered one of the most important basilicas from the 11th century. You can also find remains of the Santa Maria del Portico, San Pietro in Castello and the Santo Faustino. The strategic location is of course no stranger to this. In short, anyone who loves history and archeology should definitely visit Isola Comacina.
The Church of San Giovanni is the only building still intact and more or less in use today. The baroque white church stands on the tip of the island, partly on the remains of other buildings. Traditionally, fireworks are shot into the sky from the island every year on June 24 to celebrate San Giovanni.
As Belgians, we know the North Sea coast all too well for a weekend away. It wouldn’t have made much difference if we could all go to Isola Comacina. The wealthy mayor of Ossuccio Augusto Giuseppe donated the island to the Belgian King Albert I in 1919. Simply, out of sympathy for the courage shown by the Belgians during the First World War.
“Give me fresh North Sea shrimp,” Albert thinks and he in turn donates Isola Comacina to the Italian State a year later. The Brera Academia is given the task of preserving the archaeological and natural science heritage.
In 1939, Pietro Lingeri built three modern houses on the island where artists could gain inspiration. Today the island is managed by the Fondaziona Comacina, but the inspirational houses are still there – after renovation. During the summer months, Belgian and Italian artists inhabit the island. And so the Belgian bond is preserved.
And so today we reconnect… We buy an entrance ticket for 6 euros per person in the small hut. With such a ticket you can also visit the Antiquarium Museum in Ossuccio where you can admire archaeological finds, among other things.
We follow the walking path that meanders across the island. The serenity of the environment. The beautiful views of Lake Como and its villages. The tranquility of the morning. The sun that colors this beautiful autumn day. Fan-tas-tic. We enjoy it to the fullest.
In the meantime we walked around the island. We have another aperitif with a portion of Gazetto dello Sport on the sun-drenched terrace of bar La Botte. Every now and then a ferry boat docks, but few get off. Today the island is especially charming because of its tranquility. We can therefore imagine that Isola Comacina would become less attractive if it were overrun by tourists. It’s up to you to discover!
You can also eat on Isola Comacina in the restaurant Locanda dell’Isola Comacina. We read on TripAdvisor that eating here takes time and is quite expensive. Restaurant running on an island… You won’t walk far!