is a municipality of about 4300 inhabitants in the Province of Como, in Lombardy.
Albese con Cassano was born from the fusion between two independent villages, Albese and Cassano, in 1928. The old traditions relive in the ancient lavatory, today renovated and turned in a youth hostel, which is dated back to 1822 and represents the living proof of a collective ancient memory. It represented the vital centre of the city, the place of social aggregation: not only clothes, but sharing, comparison, dialogue, singing. The attention to the memory is represented by the monument created by the sculptor Bruno Luzzani: dedicated to Fabio Casartelli to keep alive forever the memory of the lamented Olympic champion. If you choose to visit Albese con Cassano, it is impossible to miss the Romanic church of Saint Peter with its characteristic pending bell tower, which its interior is not always available for visit. By few dozen meters it is possible to admire the beautiful garden of Villa Santa Chiara in Via Menni, artistic and naturalistic heritage with two majestic monumental trees. Not far from there is one of the entrance to the trail that brings you to the Cosia Springs, a route suitable for all. There, the meeting with the nature is very impressive for the visitor: it is not rare to find several roes which live there.
SAINT PETER CHURCH
Reach Via Roma at number 96. The church is not always available for visit the interiors.
SAINT PETER CHURCH
Albese con Cassano is a town characterized by a double personality, the symbol of two souls living together in harmony. The eastern part abounds with ancient villas, once belonging to wealthy owners, surrounded by immense parks and majestic buildings, whereas farmers have always inhabited the western side that still preserves the simplicity of a rural landscape. What merges these two different, yet similar worlds is the church of San Pietro (St. Peter), an outstanding example of arte povera, literally poor art: located on the road to Como and surrounded by nature, the church is linked to the park of one of the town monumental noble villas by a long and elegant boulevard of cypress trees. Its internal structure is simple and features one Romanesque nave with walls of undressed hewn stone. The walls are adorned with frescoes, some of which were realized by De Magistris, an artist from Como. They are considered fine examples of popular art, and are complemented by a painting dating back to 1646 and depicting Christ on the cross between Saint Peter and Saint Francis.
During the plague pandemic in 1630, the locals used the church as a leper hospital and this may explain why the central fresco behind the altar shows the Holy Virgin between saints Roch and Sebastian, who were usually appealed to for protection against the plague. However, the church peculiarity is on the exterior: the bell tower is the most ancient part of the building. Tall and narrow, it was once used as a watchtower. Nowadays, as a structural failure caused its slight inclination, the bell tower is considered Brianza Leaning Tower.
VILLA SANTA CHIARA GARDEN
From Via Roma, reach Via Menni. Duration of the visit: about 40 minutes. Appointment required for the visit.
VILLA SANTA CHIARA GARDEN
If trees could talk, the garden of Villa Santa Chiara in Albese con Cassano would make the ideal venue for a lecture about the history of this small town and the noble families once living here.
This building is located a short distance from the church of San Pietro (St. Peter) in the oldest part of the town, where beautifully-preserved aristocratic villas may still be admired today. Its history can be traced back to the eighteenth century. Through the years its owners have always taken care of the surrounding green landscapes by making nature the central element of the villa itself. Nowadays the villa houses a nursing home reserved for clergywomen, but access is free to its stunning garden. Today as in the past, visitors will appreciate the unspoilt beauty of its well-preserved park. The garden, developing along the provincial road to Como and reaching the hill at its back, is ideally divided into three areas: the flat side, near the entrance of the villa, is the home to an English garden and an exuberant cluster of purple beech trees, hornbeams and towering centennial willows, leading visitors along the paths to the upper area of the garden; in this second area, extensive terraced fields surround an exquisite neo-Romanesque stone staircase; finally, an elegant boulevard of cypress trees leading to the church of San Pietro, and a path vanishing into the distant mountains define the borders of the park.
Reach Via ai Monti from Cassano or Via Monte Grappa from Albese, go on up to Cosia Springs passing through Madonna del Cepp cave. Duration of the naturalistic route of the Springs: about 2 hours.
The sunlight, passing through the dense leafy branches of the trees, splits into a multitude of beams, thus making the trail look like a soft spotted carpet. The asphalt of the town centre gives way to a soil path covered in leaves, which initially challenges hikers with its short but steep climb. The lively colours of the greenery surrounding the path on both sides have now replaced the pastel colours of farmsteads. It takes just a few steps to be captivated by the loving embrace of the surrounding woods freeing oneself from the traffic and noises of the city. The path is gentle and thus walkable for anyone. Mostly even and sheltered from sunlight, it winds across meadows and hills, thus offering a number of scenic views. Past the Alpini shelter, which looks like the houses described by the brothers Grimm, you will come across a cave with a small sanctuary inside, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. At this point, nature has already overwhelmed every sense. The scents of herbs and moss blend with the sounds of the numerous birds inhabiting the area and with the suggestive light at any moment of the day. The climb gradually relents and the steep hills leave room for the Cosia river, which flows peacefully over its stone riverbed. This extraordinary ambience creates the ideal conditions for an encounter, which would be nearly impossible anywhere else. By walking softly and keeping your eyes open, you may spot one of the several roe deer living here. A quick exchange of looks with these quiet inhabitants of the woods is a touching experience. The source of the Cosia can be seen at a short distance like a crack between huge rocks, which provide the ideal location for enjoying a well-earned rest before coming back to reality from this short enchanting fairy tale journey.
HOW TO REACH ALBESE CON CASSANO
ASF Bus service
C 40 Como – Erba – Lecco
C 46 Como – Merate – Bergamo
C 49 Como – Erba – Asso
Trenord railway system from Milano Nord Cadorna Regional Train R16 Asso – Seveso – Milano, stop at Erba and continue by C40 bus service
From Como: get SS 342 in direction to Bergamo
From Lecco: get SS 36 in direction to Milan, exit at Como/Erba and continue to Via Provinciale in direction to Como
From Milan: get A8 to Varese/Como/Chiasso/Svizzera, exit at A9/E35 to Como/Chiasso, exit at A59 and then get SS 342
Discover Green Lands
Explore the Green Land of Lake Como!
A Project by
Comune di Erba capofila, Comune di Albavilla, Comune di Albese con Cassano, Comune di Alserio,
Comune di Eupilio, Comune di Inverigo, Comune di Lambrugo, Comune di Lurago d’Erba,
Comune di Merone, Comune di Montorfano, Comune di Orsenigo, Comune di Ponte Lambro, Comune di Pusiano,
Sistema Turistico Lago di Como, Lariofiere Como Lecco, Confcommercio Como.
The project “Distretto dell’Attrattività Turistica Expo Green Land” is born thanks to the Regional DDG “Distretti dell’attrattività turistica e commerciale” 14 July 2014. Project n. 52574412.