On the eastern shore, in front of Gravedona, is the Piona peninsula and Mount Legnone, the last mountain in the Como area before the beginning of the Valtellina. Of pre-Roman origin, Gravedona was a prosperous town in the Middle Ages, allied to Milan during the ten-year war.
In 1335 Gravedona, like all the Larian territory, became part of the Lordship of the Visconti and then of the Sforza (1450), who contributed generously to the construction of the church and convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, and had the road that led to it rebuilt Switzerland through the Sant’Jorio pass.
In 1500 it constituted the capital of the Tre Pievi Superiori of Lake Como, which then passed into fief to Tolomeo Gallio, managed to maintain a certain autonomy even under the Lordships of the Visconti and Sforza families.
The town of Gravedona is characterized by the presence of numerous churches, twelve to be exact, among which some are true masterpieces of art. Among the palaces rises the Palazzo Gallio – imposing on the lake shore which today presents the venue for exhibitions and cultural events, as well as the offices of the Valli del Lario and Ceresi Mountain Communities.
The most famous monument of Gravedona is the church of S. Maria del Tiglio, originally a baptistery (5th century) transformed into a Romanesque church between 1150 and 1175, covered with white and gray marble, and with partly Nordic architectural features. The Church of S. Vincenzo, built around 1050 on a previous 5th century chapel, was rebuilt between the 17th and 18th centuries. Below the present church are the remains of the previous Romanesque construction, the so-called crypt of Sant’Antonio, where Mass is celebrated every January 17th, the day of Saint Anthony. Here we also find the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, a former Augustinian convent, consecrated in 1496. Today it is used as a place of worship, while the convent premises house the municipal library.
In Gravedona there are also other small churches, mainly scattered in the various hamlets. The historic center is perfectly combined with modern infrastructures such as the renovated accommodation facilities and dynamic commercial activities. In Serenella there is a top-notch sports center with tennis and soccer fields, a sailing club, an athletics track as well as a communal swimming pool by the lake. From here there is also a cycle-pedestrian itinerary that runs alongside the lake, connecting Gravedona to Dongo and Domaso.