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Alserio

Green Land

is a municipality of about 1300 inhabitants in the Province of Como, in Lombardy.


The small village of Alserio is named by its unique geographical position. The analysis of the topo-nym lexemes allows to understand which scenery awaits where you arrive there. It is possible to break up “Alserio” into Alb = upland and Ser = water: upland above the water. Water is the element around which the life of the village develops, placed at the foot of morainic gentle hills, especially for the economic asset: the water power of the close lake was used to activate silk factories and mills. To testimony the importance of the lake, the marvellous lavatory and the Mill stand out: the first is one of the points of interest of this small village; the Mill, today become a didactic mill, is in the neighbourhood of the gardens ot the lake. Walking on the banks is possible to admire the different docks, meanwhile not far from there you can gamble into the spectacular walk of Buerga, a route that allows to come into contact with pris-tine nature of the lake and the wood. Above all, Lake Alserio is a Site of Community Interest, which is a natural oasis born to protect animals and flora. During the walk of few kilometres of the banks there are educative-didactic panels able to give information about rare and protected species present in the zone.

Free Tour

LAVATORY AND MILLS

From the city centre go to Via Carcano and reach the Lavatory. Then continue on the same street to enter the gardens at the Lake and to the Mill.

LAVATORY AND MILLS

“Water is life”, in Alserio everyone knows that. The life of the small town above the banks of the wild lake is been always marked by the flowing of the water. Men and women were employed in different jobs, where the water was essential. Going to the centre of Alserio to Giardini al Lago, you can stop at the Lavatory. The structure, recently restored, shows its wooden roof in origin held up by eight supports. The original one was, during the time, replaced with a stone structure, and today is composed by a wooden roof with terracotta tiles.
The stone tank is completely covered, where women immersed and strongly washed clothes and linen. The women of the town, helped by their husbands or young men, brought the clothes to wash at the lavatory. When they arrived there, women greeted to men and continued through the countryside or along the bank of the lake. Today, following the same route, you can reach Giardini del Lago, where you can admire, not only the pure nature of Lake Alserio, but also another important point of interest of the town: the Mill. Completely restored and operative, today it is used with a didactical aim. The building is dated back to 1860, but the wheel was joined only in 1895. It is totally made of cast iron and it has boxes which are filled up of water that gushes out from an underground spring. The wheel, for its weight, does not use the flow, but just the water weight: filling the boxes in the upper part of the wheel, this one rotates and makes an half rotation. Started up the mill, cogwheels, pulleys and belts begin to work and they transmit the movement to the heart of the mill. The last step is the flour milling. Part of the energy produced by the mill was used also to activate pumps for bringing water to Villa Tassera.
End the day’s work, men went back to their homes with the flour. There, they found wives and mothers who took care of the house. After giving the rough flour to the animals, the rests were used for cooking polenta. The pure part of the flour were held for Sundays, when the family brought back together and tasted fragrant biscuits!

GARDENS AT THE LAKE

Going in the gardens at the Lake is possible to visit the five docks located on the Lake Alserio, such as the environmental education centre “Casin del lago”, become a didactic and sci-entific laboratory. Duration of the visit: about an hour.

GARDENS AT THE LAKE

It is a common thought consider the pure nature a privilege of the most remote localities of Italy, as the highest peak of the Alps or the rocky bays reachable only by the sea. Sometimes you go far away, because these “heaven on earth” are gone. The human hand arrives everywhere, but some small realities still exist, not far from home. One is Lake Alserio and its incredible biodiversity, also named as Site of Community Interest (SIC) by European Union. Walking through the trails of the Gardens of the Lake, you can discover how human has conserved and enhanced this heritage.
Starting from the centre of Alserio, in few minutes you can reach the Lake banks and start to walk around it. Lake Alserio is characterized by a nature that seems to keep and guard the banks. As soldiers to defend their king, long lines of reeds stand their spears to protect the Lake, while a carpet of lilies seem a Roman defence to keep pure the surface. The typical game to throw stones on the water is almost an injure to this strong protection of Mother Nature. To testimony of the power of nature on this place, a story talks about Barbarossa, while he was breaking out to Montorfano Castle, he lost the way through reeds and marshes and only his faithful squire saved him from the water. The naturalistic evidences make rare the natural accesses to the lake. Walking along the banks you can find five old docks, where fishers left at the dawn to return with nets full of perch. From XIII to XV cent. there was the obligation to the inhabitants of Alserio to give to Milan Market more than 90kg of fresh fish, during the Lent, every Fridays. For this reason in that time there were lots of boats sailed from the docks.
Opposite of the docks there is the Centre of Environmental Education “Bambini di Beslan” of Casin del Lago: it is the best way to discover the biodiversity of Lake Alserio. Thanks to the laboratories and didactical activities, kids can know flora and fauna which live in the lake and in the surrounding, also by thededicated electrical boat.
The most important lesson to teach to the new generations is: the nature is not only a place to visit, but it is our home and so we have to learn to respect and protect it.

WALK INTO BUERGA

From the gardens at the Lake get Via Papa Giovanni XXIII and go back Via Carcano. Continue to the crossing with Via Don Guanella. Crossed the street, go in Via della Buverga and continue along the naturalistic route. Duration of the walking: at the discretion of the visitor.

WALK INTO BUERGA

On the South-East side of Lake Alserio there is Buerga Hill, where its wood goes nearby the lake. From the car park of the Alserio cemetery, it is possible to enter this suggestive forest, following the old mule track that divides the wood from the lake. Before to start the excursion into the wood you can find the Ghiacciaia del Pizzo, where in the past was conserved ice useful for the transportation of the fish to Monza or Milan.
the naturalistic route of Buerga starts not far: it is well indicated with cartels witch describe to the visitors the characteristics of local flora and fauna. Following your senses, it is obvious that the trial flows into an unconventional environment. Everyone has strolled in a mountain forest knows the typical smell of ground and musk. The wood of Buerga has a different fragrance: to the cortex and the leaves are also summed the wet scent of water and lilies. This mixture becomes more particular thanks to the pungent smell of wild garlic which ties the trial, highlighting the route with its star-shaped small white flowers.
During the excursion you find two impressive trees: a poplar and a willow which seem to control the life of the forest. The variety of flora and fauna of this place takes the visitor to another change of the nature, from the secular trees to a static pond. In its apparent static nature, the pond is full of life. It is the natural habitat of different species of animals, as amphibians, rarer because of their fragility: the presence of frogs is an example of an unpolluted environment.
If you want give up the main path, the wood is a maze. After the mule track and if you get a trail into the wilder forest, you can easily return on the main path following the slopes to the lake. The trail branches to the lake and to the Centre of Environmental Education “Bambini di Beslan” of Casin del Lago, place created to teach to new generations the value of the nature of this area.

HOW TO REACH ALSERIO

By Bus:
ASF Bus service
C 92 Erba – Orsenigo

By Train:
Trenord railway service from Milano Nord Cadorna Regional Train R16 Asso – Seveso – Milano, stop at Erba then continue by C92 bus service in direction to Orsenigo

By car:
From Como: get SS 342 in direction to Lecco

From Lecco: get SS 36 in direction to Milano, until to exit at Como/Erba

From Milano: get SS 36 in direction to Lecco and exit at Nibionno SS 432

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