Nature & Surroundings  

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The culture of the lake of Idro is best expressed in its Medieval villages, churches, and military fortifications. The villages facing onto the lake were once fishing villages and retain their historic charm with narrow winding streets, porticoes and courtyards. Especially attractive in this respect are the villages of Anfo, Lemprato, and Crone. In Lemprato in 1980 in the "Castello Antico" area the remains of an ancient Rhaetian-Roman village were uncovered, and Roman gravestones were also found on the lake shore, now preserved in the old Santa Maria church in Undas di Pieve Vecchia built in 1200.

At Ponte Caffaro it is worth visiting the village of San Giacomo dating back to the IX century. The church of San Giacomo, once the object of pilgrimage, was run by Benedictine monks who taught the local inhabitants how to cultivate and drain the swampy Pian d'Oneda. Another marvel is the parish church of Bagolino, the church of San Giorgio from 1600 dominating the old centre of Bagolino with its bulk. Inside the works of great artists like Tiziano and Tintoretto can be admired. Bagolino is a particularly beautiful mountain village of Medieval origin characterized by its very tall buildings crowded together with porticoes, stairways, tunnels, wall frescoes, wooden ceilings, and alleys paved with cobbles and porphyry stone, a fantastic example of Medieval architecture.

From a historical perspective, the showpiece of Lago d'Idro is certainly the Roca d'Anfo, a military fortress built in the XV century by the Republic of Venice and restored in 1800 during the French occupation on the specific instructions of Napoleon Bonaparte. It was subsequently used as headquarters by General Giuseppe Garibaldi during the battle of Monte Suello in 1866. Testimony of the battle of Monte Suello is also found along the provincial road that climbs from S. Antonio up towards Bagolino where an ossuary was erected for the remains of Garibaldi’s soldiers killed in the battle and a small decorated pillar commemorates the wounding of Garibaldi in the thigh. Attractions in the Rocca d'Anfo include the Venetian and Napoleonic gun batteries, the old Venetian staircase of 600 granite steps, the long channels carved in the rock, and the observatory at the highest part of the fortress, a true gem of Napoleonic military architecture.

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