Moltrasio is a small pretty town located on the western shore of Lake Como.
It is one of the many villages that follow one after the other along the perimeter of the lake. For its famous villas, also home to illustrious personalities, its gardens, the mild and sunny climate and the enchanting panorama, is called one of the pearls of the Lario. It is made up of many characteristic hamlets that from the lake rise up to the mountains including Borgo, the administrative, religious and commercial heart, San Rocco is on the lakefront and Tosnacco is at a higher altitude. A copper ax and two Gallo-Roman tombs, dating from around 2000 BC shows the human presence already in those distant times.
The first known document that presents the town as a municipality dates back to 1058. Immediately after the year 1000, Moltrasio experienced its age of greater splendor. It is in this period that the oldest monuments in the country are made. After the last war, Moltrasio and its valleys, given its proximity to Switzerland, were visited by dozens of men who carried sacks with smuggled goods to supplement their meager salaries. Some very picturesque escapes are still told by spalloni hunted by financiers.
Una frazione, una chiesa.
Moltrasio is famous for the ancient quarries of Moltrasina stone still visible along the Sentee di Sort. Moltrasio stone, the pride of the Maestri Comacini, was used in Moltrasio to build churches, splendid villas and numerous crotti, where good local wine was kept fresh and sparkling. The characteristic terracing made with dry stone walls, are still present today, although in smaller numbers due to the building growth, also used as vegetable gardens or private gardens.
The most important villa in Moltrasio is Villa Passalacqua, built by the Odescalchi family on the site where once the monastery of the Humiliate once stood and then ceded to Count Andrea Passalacqua. The villa is located on the top of a large terraced park, with a fantastic view of the lake. Between 1829 and 1833 it hosted the famous composer Vincenzo Bellini, habitué of the place since in those years he also lived in the neoclassical Villa Erker Hocevar.
Villa Fasola is also interesting in the hamlet of Vergonzano, Villa Pizzo with its waterfalls and fountains, Villa Le Rose, famous for its gardens and for having hosted the British statesman Winston Churchill on holiday on Lake Como and finally Villa Fontanelle, the residence of the late stylist Gianni Versace who had recreated the original atmospheres of his creative style in the halls of the sober eighteenth century building.
Along the avenue that overlooks the lake, not far from the landing stage, there is a monument to Vincenzo Bellini, the great musician who spent a long time in Moltrasio, where he composed some songs from La straniera and La sonnambula.