Lake Como San Giovanni Festival

Every year, on the feast of St. John (June 24th), in Ossuccio and Sala Comacina is organised St John Festival.

On Saturday evening, spectacular fireworks show accompanied by music, food and dancing animation, in memory of the historical fire of the island in 1169 AD.

At Sunday morning, Traditional Procession from the parish church to the Comacina Island, in historical costumes and with local historical boats (“Lucie”) and Celebration of religious function in the ruins of the ancient Basilica of St. Euphemia.

Click here for the full program.

The witches of the pra de la taca

Once upon a time in Mezzegra lake Como lived a fisherman who was very keen to his boat, for this reason he assured it at the pier with a special knot that only he could do.
But one morning he found the boat moored at the usual place but connected in a different way …
Want to see that someone has used the boat during the night?
He took the boat went fishing. On his return he assured the boat with his special knot and went home. Unfortunately, the next day the boat was not tied as he had left it.
The fisherman decided to find out who and what used his boat at night, that night he hid under deck and waited, waited, waited so much that he was convinced that it would not reach anyone.
But at midnight he began to hear some voices, the boat swinging and different people take a seat on it.
Then a voice said boat parts to 1, boat parts to 2, to 3, to 4, to 5, 6, 7 …
The voice was that of a woman said, you see that one of us is expecting a baby … and so saying, he added … boat parts for 8 and the boat immediately rose up out of the lake and began to fly in the sky.
The poor fisherman knew happened to be in the midst of seven witches and decided to keep quiet deck to avoid being discovered.
The order of the first witch stopped the boat and landed in Torno lake Como , a village on the other side of the lake.
The seven witches descended from the boat and disappeared into the wee hours of the morning. They climbed back into the boat, the first witch said boat parts 1, 2 parts per boat, the boat flew back and landed in Mezzegra, the witches went down, secured the boat with a knot and disappeared.
The next night the fisherman hid below deck again, at midnight the witches came, got into the boat, the first witch said again for 1 boat parts, boat parts for 2 …. the boat set off and flew again until I’ll be back.
The witches went down and this time the angler followed them secretly.
They came to a clearing where they made a dance bewitched, gathered some twigs of a tree that grew only in that place; also our fisherman he picked up a stick and put it on the cap not to lose …. at first light flying back on the boat in Mezzegra, they bound her and they arranged to meet the next night to the PRA DE LA TACA, an ancient site located half mountain above Mezzegra, where once witches did their dances, their sabbah!
The poor fisherman increasingly frightened eyes widened with amazement when, peering, he recognized his wife among the witches of Pra de la Taca!
The next night he followed his wife and the other witches to the PRA DE LA TACA, the hid behind a boulder and peered witches dancing and throwing in the fire reciting incantations twigs.
The fisherman ran a sneeze and was discovered by witches who wanted to throw him into the fire along with twigs … but recognized his wife and thanks to the branch carrying on his cap was saved.
The witches made him burn the twig, in exchange for the promise that life would never tell anybody anything and that they, the witches, they could continue to use his boat every night.
So the fisherman saved his life!

The Carnival of Schignano

The carnival of Schignano, is one of the most famous carnivals in the province of Como.

Schignano still maintains the old character of this event, came to this day.

The performance takes place primarily with two famous people the the Beautiful and the Ugly.

Masks made of walnut, hand-carved date back about 200 years ago and are used solely for the Carnival of Schignano.

The mask of beauty has elegant features and the mask of the Ugly has a decidedly more grotesque.

The town’s main square, the alleys and streets that fold my various fractions are the stage of the Carnival.

Here are the players of the carnival:

The Mascarun: (beautiful) the mask representing the ” old gentleman “, dressed in colorful flamboyant costumes , with a big belly , elegant and rhythmic movements so by ringing the four” bronze “(bronze bells), which complete the disguise

IlBrut: (bad) form that is submitted to the poor gentleman, dressed miserably as opposed to beauty. His movements are clumsy and burlesque. Completing the mask 4 cowbells “Cioch”

The Sapeaur and The Sigurtà: Two masks that open the procession.
The Sapeaur dressed in sheepskin, his face painted black and with a mustache and beard long and white, abuts a hat always sheepskin. The figure of Sigurtà representing safety, dressed in a military-style hat, a gray-green cape and headband with the inscription Sicurtà.

The Cioca: mask representing the wife servant of Mascarun and is tied to a rope held by the same Mascarun for the whole time of the event., Dressed in women’s clothes of the old bill, mostly dark colors, her face painted black, with hand tools to spin (and a distaff to spin) and for the duration of the event curses her husband

The Carlisep: mask represented by a puppet that remains hanging in the square for a few days and then magically trasformed in a living mask which runs along the streets of the village to escape the fire that will declare the end of the carnival.

The procession is accompanied by fugheta a small complex of some members of the brass band of Schignano.
In the parade will add a series of other masks.

All Saints Day or Halloween memories and traditions

November 1 and 2 here in Italy, we celebrate all Saints day and the Dead.
This holidays weekend our traditions are mixed to that of our small foreign guests who celebrate Halloween 31.
Now it become part of our tradition too.
The memory flies when we were children.
For us, the pumpkin was just to make gnocchi!
These were the days of the turns in the cemeterys.
It started a few days before. The grandparents reminded parents to go to the florist and going to clean the cemetery graves.
On 1st of November we left early. We stopped in each village to bring flowers and candels at the grave of relatives.
We went to Mass at the cemetery here in Mezzegra. Then we returned to the grandparents house, the current Residence.
Around the large fireplace (which was kept in the apartment Angels) we ate the boiled chestnuts (belegott or pelee).
The grandparents left a bit of chestnuts on the table for the deceased and they pray holy rosary.
Yet, it was a feast for us children. It was because on that days we met all relatives, who sometimes took us some candy, or was it just because it was nice to be together.

Easter holidays offers on Lake Como

Celebrate Easter with us!

Spend your holiday on Lake Como at Residence Celeste and discover the traditions of the lake.

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Here are some ideas on what to do on Lake Como during your stay.

  • Reach Como by boat to avoid the traffic of Statale Regina and enjoy the lake view.
    Make a visit to the Easter fair to buy some clothes or treats for kids.
  • Go with the children to the Luna Park that comes to Como in this period.
  • Don’t forget the tradition! The holy procession on Good Friday or the Confession in the Chiesa del Crocifisso church.
  • On Easter Sunday let you groped by Italian culinary tradition: the “colomba” (dove), italian Easter cake, the chocolate egg with toy for children, the chocolate bunny, the lamb, …
  • We organize with the kids eggs hunt in the garden!
  • And what about a trip out of town? Where to go in Easter Monday?
    Visit the gorgeous flower gardens of Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo and feel the fragrance of spring, the “Camellia show” in Gravedona ed Uniti or simply walk along the Green Way of Lake Como.
  • Choose a trip to the lake or in the mountains or a picnic on the beach

We can help you to make unforgettable holidays with your family on Lake Como.

A proverb says: Christmas with your family, Easter with whoever you want!

The tradition of the bonfires in late January

Even today in many alpine communities are lit the local bonfires.

The “fire festival” is an ancient rite of Celtic origin.

The flame was solar symbol of regeneration and purification of nature, a main ingredient for magic rituals.

The bonfire as winter ritual symbolizes the light that illuminates the cold nights in late January and marks the turnning point between the cold season and the imminent arrival of the spring season.

The tradition of the bonfires of 31st January still lives in different villages on Lake Como, and nearby.

The best known is the “Giubiana” in Erba and Cantù, then there are the “Giunée” in Plesio and other “Ginée” in many villages.

During the three blackbirds days, was the custom in our villages, that the boys were playing pranks to the inhabitants.

The purpose was to get out of the house the victim, with an apology.
The victim was then teased shouting “L’è foo al Generon !!!” and the sound of cowbells (ciocc), playing on the double meaning “ended in January” and “is outside the naive” …..

The Christmas time on Lake Como in Tremezzina

Christmas holidays are coming!

Preparations are in full swing for the dinners and the gifts to the adults and the children.

This is the best chance to come and visit us, at Residence Celeste.

You can enjoy some relaxing days, have a promenade along the Green Way Lake Como, to snoop through the Christmas markets, to visit Christmas Nativity outdoor in the area, to buy something typical to take on the tables for Christmas or a gift for children.

A program full of events awaits you here on Lake Como.

It starts November 30th with the Christmas markets along the lake in Tremezzo. The kids can write a letter to Santa Claus and hand it over to him during the day.
On 5th December: opening day for the Nativity in one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, Tremezzo.
On December 7th the Christmas markets along the lake in Lenno.
In the same week-end special opening of Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo.
Then follow others local Christmas concerts, the choirs, bingo and lunch.
On 23th and 24th December, during the evening, Santa Claus arrives in children’s homes.
During Epiphany holiday there is “Chocolake”, market candy in Tremezzo and the arrival of the Epiphany Witch in different locations.

Do not forget the events here around!
On 20th and 21th December Christmas markets and “Red Night” in Menaggio.
“Como città dei balocchi” during December until Epiphany January 6th
“Le Cappelle”, a live Nativity scene in Argegno 1st of January.
The Living Nativity, Sora Val Cavargna, is opened every year from the Christmas Eve until the first week of the New Year.
“Natale in Grotta” inside the caves Rescia from December at the end of January.
“La Pesa Vegia” Bellano, 5th of January, antique scene betwin sacred & profane….

During the Christmas period there are several things to do on Lake Como !!!
Come and visit us, we are waiting for you at Residence Celeste!!

Tuesday market in Lenno Lake Como

Every Tuesday on the shores of the Lake in Lenno there is the appointment with the weekly local market.

Here you can find a bit of everything.

There are the stands with vegetables and fruits, different types of fresh fish, sweets, clothes shoes and accessories, underwear for men and women, house linens …

We often list the Tuesday market on our board of events and exhibition market. We have found that it is a pleasant walk very popular with our guests.

From the Residence Celeste is just 10 minutes walking along the Green Way Lake Como.

The market in Lenno Lake Como has a long tradition.

Already, in the thirties years of 900, on Tuesday, with the market, the inhabitants of the villages brought the butter to sell. All were warned by the sound of the bell.

This day is always dedicated to the business, but also to the meetings.

For tourists it is a way to know the habits and find local products, but for the people of Tremezzina is also the opportunity to meet, chat and have a coffee with friends.

Other markets in the region:
Monday Argegno
Thursday Bellano
Friday Mezzegra
Saturday Porlezza
Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday Como

The idioms and proverbs of Lake Como

Italian idioms,proverbs and the sayings are part of our culture, our way of life and our traditions here on lake Como.
We thought that tell them to you is a way to share our daily life, our customs and introduce you to an unusual feature of our area.
Time to time, then, you will find proverbs and linguistic expressions typical of our area … .Good reading !!!

11th November
San Marten, l’invernu l’è vesen.
San Martino, the winter season is coming

L’està de San Marten la dura trii dì e un cicinin.
The summer of San Martino lasts three days and a little

Lake Festival with Fireworks in Varenna

Lake Festival Varenna with fireworks……

In 1169, encouraged by the fail of Milan to emperor Frederick Barbarossa, the people of Como invaded the Comacina Island destroying fortresses, houses and churches, and forced inhabitants to flee.
The islanders crossed the lake and sought refuge at Varenna, naming it Insula Nova (New Island).

Even today, the people of Varenna celebrate the landing of the refugees, with a costume parade in which bloodstained escapees land on the Riva Granda from rowing boats.
They are met by religious figures and local people, who feed and confort them and provide hospitality in the Varennese community.
Follows a fireworks show on the lake.


Saturday, July 5th
19.30 start tasting dishes
22.00 Great re-enactment of the landing of the refugees from the Island Comacina and historical procession to the ancient church of San Giovanni
22:40 fireworks on lake Como