Welcome to Mandello del Lario, a town of 10.000 inhabitants spreads out on the eastern shore and is famous all over the world for being the Italian motorcycle Guzzi manufacturer.
The village has roman origins and has had a turbulent past that started in the Middle Ages as a fortified town and has always been in the middle between Milan and Como. From the 16th century it had almost a peaceful life and in the 19th century it developed an industry with twistings and spinning mills.
Low Mandello that extends along the east side of the lake is a village with the characteristic atmosphere of alleys, typical architecture of the area and a little dock and in the inlet of the lakefront there are some nice pebble beaches that are very appreciated, especially the well equipped town beach, situated after the mouth of river Mera.
From Mandello you can reach in more or less three hours the Pian dei Resinelli, while the climb up to the Grigne is more tiring.
Mandello del Lario – What to see
The Church of San Lorenzo, in the centre of Mandello, dates back to the Paleo-Christian Age, it was rebuilt in the 9th century and renovated in the roman age. The bell tower has the bottom part which dates back to 1100 and the changes (like the choice of only one nave) that overcome the church date back to 1600. Inside there are 17th century paintings belonging to Giacomo Antoni and his scholars, while the elegant baptistery and the altar date back to the 16th century.
The church of San Giorgio dates back to the year 1000 but its aspect is due to restoration work which began in the 14th century. A holy-water font decorated with a geometrical twisting floral motif is the only element preserved from the original building. The main interest in the building is given by the paintings which decorate the walls of the nave. There are numerous votive frescoes dating back to the 15th century; like the Crucifixion in the presbytery .
Another church that is worth mentioning is the Santuario Madonna del Fiume containing paintings from Giacomo Antoni Santagostino.
The ”Grotta Ferrera”, in the little village of Acqua Bianca, is composed by a a cave long 175m and wide 50m. Inside there is a little stream that forms a waterfall, you can enter the cave but have to be very careful as the floor is muddy and cracky.
Maggiana is a typical hamlet overlooking Mandello that certainly deserves a visit. In the centre there is Barbarossa’s tower, where he stayed in the 12th century, inside there the agricultural tools museum, that can be visited only by request and during June’s celebrations.
Mandello del Lario – Cuisine and Restaurants
Here listed are some good restaurants in Mandello del Lario and nearby:
Agriturismo La Selvaggia
Via Santa Maria, Località Somana – 23826 Mandello del Lario
Tel.+39 338 1740083
Agritourism with traditional products (quail, goat meat, cheeses) on set menu. This farm is only reachable by foot along a footpath, in less than 10 minutes.
Osteria Sali & Tabacchi
Piazza S Rocco 3, Frazione Maggiana – 23826 Mandello del Lario
Tel.+39 0341 733715
The protagonist is the lake fish prepared in various ways: shad and whitefish marinated or in green sauce, noodles with Missoltino (dried lake fish), rice with perch, whitefish with butter and sage, also pike, Danube roach, tench and burbot.
Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi 10 – 23826 Mandello del Lario
Tel. +39 0341 700487
An elegant and romantic atmosphere awaits diners who can choose dishes among the local specialties such as freshly caught lake fish and local pasta dishes as well as seafood, locally sourced meats and vegetarian courses, and desserts all made in house. Upon reservation we can also offer tasty gluten-free dishes for celiac disease sufferers.
Closed on Mondays.
trada Statale 165 – 23826 Mandello del Lario
Tel. +39 0341 700585
A family run Restaurant that offers traditional cuisine and specialties of the lake.
Closed on Mondays.
Piazza XXV aprile, 5, Mandello del Lario
Tel. +369 0341-70-03-36
Offers local traditional cuisine of the lake, like missultit served with traditional polenta, risotto with perch fillet, or the shad freshly caught in the lake. Located in the old town centre on the lakefront.
Ristorante Mamma Ciccia
Piazza Roma, 1 – Mandello del Lario
Tel. +39 0341 733358
Serves lake fish dishes in a lovely location with possibility to eat outside.
Mandello del Lario – How to get there
From Malpensa, Linate Milanese and Orio al Serio you have to make your way to the centre of Milan. Here you have to take the train direction Sondrio-Tirano. From Orio Al Serio airport it’s best to catch a train directly from Bergamo Station.
From Milan central station you get to Mandello in an hour taking the train in the direction Lecco-Sondrio-Tirano.
From Bergamo station, instead, you have to get to Lecco and there change train for Mandello (train timetables www.ferroviedellostato.com).
From Milan leave from Viale Zara a follow the Nuova Valsassina SS36 Lecco-Sondrio. When you arrive at Lecco, go always straight on for about 4km in the direction Colico and then take the exit for Abbadia Lariana-Mandello Lario. You will arrive in the village centre after approx 2km.