Villages often seem to come to life only after the collective imagination identifies them as the dwelling of famous people. This is the case of Laglio where a well known celebrity from Hollywood (George Clooney) lives for most of the year. But the fame of Laglio goes back to the first human settlements first Ligurian and then Celts. The origin of the toponym aims even higher: to the nobility of the Holy Roman Empire (Lalius, a patrician from Gens Pallia who settled in this area) or even higher to the Olympus (Aio, a “minor” god greatly worshipped by the ancient Romans because of his skill in interpreting premonitory dreams; it is said that his supernatural “voice” warned the Judges thus saving Rome from the Gallic invasion).

With these fascinations in mind we walk through the cobbled paving of small streets which from the lake take us to the mule tracks in the mountains. The village is divided into several hamlets: Ponte on the border between Carate and Laglio. Soldino which first appears as a housing cluster in Third century’s records. The name comes from “solidus” which means non ploughed and uncultivated soil. Domenico Bernasconi was born on the 7th November 1902 in Soldino. He was an internationally renowned boxer who was three times European champion in the bantamweight category.

He is still remembered because of a serious injustice he suffered during the match versus Al Brown valid for the world title on the 19th March 1933. After several episodes of misconduct from the American Boxer the referee decided to disqualify him and give the title to Mr. Bernasconi but a Fascist hierarch member of the jury opposed because he found that a world title obtained in this way dishonorable. So the disheartened champion from Laglio went on with the match and lost on points. Some consolation: that world crown he only got for ten minutes… In 2003 the municipality of Laglio dedicated a street to him.

Other hamlets of unquestionable scenic interest are: Ticee (difficult to find the origin of this toponym), Ossana (whose name seems to contain the root “ausa” o “auser” from pre-Roman meaning water); Fermanello (another historical hamlet also called Caramello in the past); and finally Torriggia: the most extended and populated hamlet which could almost be considered an independent village. The origin of its name comes from “Turris Regia” an age-old tower on Via Regina.

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