If Bellagio is the “Pearl of the Lake”, Gravedona can be considered the “Amethyst of the Upper Lake” first of all when at nightfall the sunset makes it purple. A precious village but a bit “saint” too (it is the seat of one of the three Pievi) because of its (still or no longer existing) churches: the parish Church of San Vincenzo; Santi Gusmeo and Matteo with the two martyrs’ relics; Santa Maria delle Grazie with a fresco called “Madonna del cifulett” (deriving from the dialect “luciferétt”=small devil) where the Virgin with a stick in her hand tries to send away a little devil who is trying to harpoon a scared baby hiding under the Virgin’s mantle; the church of Sant’Abbondio and the church to Santa Maria Maddalena and the Convente of the Humilated. These are only a few then it is up to you to look for the others and once you find them go there for a prayer.

Towards the end of the 16th century Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio had a palace built in the village as a representation of the power of the squire on the area; when needed it could also be used as a fortress. Gravedona (the etymology of “gravatona” indicates the gravelly area) is apparently a compound word made up of an adjective and of a verb. The village is the seat of a hospital and it is comforting to imagine that the verb helps the adjective.

Certified that Gravedona is one of the lake beauties has the village any lacks? They say that everything is forgiven to beauty. But the word pardon still hurts the inhabitants of Gravedona who can’t forget what Frederick I Barbarossa said: “I will forgive everyone except the perfidious islanders and the Gravedonesi”.

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