The hamlet of Vezio is a small village perched above Lake Lecco that, despite the passing of the years, has managed to preserve its old features, especially in the architecture of its stone houses.
In origin it was probably an Etruscan settlement whose inhabitants, due to the migrations of the people from beyond the Alps, were forced to move to less hospitable areas such as the pre-alpine valleys.
To oppose the raids that followed and facilitate the flow of armies and supplies, the Romans built a fortification that would facilitate the control of the banks of the lake below, on whose headland had meanwhile risen Varenna, docking point of the commercial and military traffic in the area.
The central tower, twenty meters high, had functions of sighting and warning, and within the fortress walls there were dwellings and warehouses whose foundations are still visible today.
The discovery of weapons and human remains from various eras and origins testify that around the tower bloody and fierce battles were fought.
When in 1244 Varenna was destroyed for the first time by the Como inhabitants they had rebelled to, the population took refuge in the castle, that due to its location was impregnable. In it, the fugitives restored their minds and strength to rebel again, four years later. On this occasion Varenna was put on fire, but the castle withstood.
Vezio experienced the Lordships Visconti and Torriani, was dominated by the French and Spaniards, suffered the decrees of the Lords of Venice and Bergamo. With Varenna it became a bishop feud until it passed in 1778 to the Serbelloni family, who kept possession of the tower until the 19th century.
The castle was destroyed as a result of various wars and today it is surrounded by thick walls in medieval style.
You may reach the tower peak by a stone staircase after crossing a drawbridge. From there, the 360-degree view of Lake Como is really beyond comparison. The castle is embedded in a century-old olive grove, where it is possible to meet the castle falconer who will be happy to show you his birds of prey: owls, buzzards, hawks and others. At certain times you can also attend spectacular flight performances.
Although private ownership, the Vezio Castle is open to the public all year round. usually from April to October daily from 10am to sunset and in the winter months from 10am to sunset only on Saturdays and Sundays.
The management of the Castle is entrusted to the “Associazione Turistica Castello di Vezio”: a non-profit organization that is responsible for its maintenance and promotes various events.