«Pescarenico is a small pot on the left bank of the Adda, or I could say the lake, not far from the bridge: a small group of houses, most inhabited by fishermen, and decorated here and there with trammel nets and nets stretched to dry. »
Pescarenico is the only place in Lecco explicitly mentioned by Alessandro Manzoni in Promessi Sposi. In Pescarenico the writer located the Capuchin convent in which Fra Cristoforo and Fra Galdino and from this village lived, in the vicinity of the mouth of the Bione, a small local stream that flows ending in the Adda, he will go away in boat Lucia to escape from the sights of Don Rodrigo. Also from Pescarenico is the pesciaiolo who will bring news of their hometown to Agnese and Lucia when they were refugees in Monza.
In the XVII century it constituted a village whose inhabitants were granted the right to fish in the river stretch overlooking the town, rich in fish fauna. The fishing boats were pulled ashore into the landing near Era Square, which was the neighborhood square. In 1576 in the presence of the Spanish governor Mendoza, knight of Sant’Jago and governor of the plain of Lecco, a Capuchin convent was built to fulfill their request to have another convent in addition to their convents in Bergamo, Domaso and Como, according to the historian Cesare Cantù the governor himself.
« … went around with the basin to collect alms for that building. And the custom was perpetuated that each year the parishes of the territory, to the rogations and to Saint Francis, were to processionally to the convent to make an offer, and to hear the mass sung by the provost of Lecco; until one of these, who said little with the friars, interrupted the custom ».
Next to the convent was the convent church, dedicated, like the convent, to St. Francis. The complex was entrusted to the Franciscan friars, who used it as accommodation for the confreres. With the arrival of Napoleon Bonaparte, in 1810 the convent was suppressed and the church was restored, especially in the facade, attributed to the architect Giuseppe Bovara, and dedicated to San Materno, later associated with Lucia, presumably in homage to Manzoni. Among the documents of the Duchy of Milan, Pescarenico is part of the municipality of Lecco since 1757.
Even today, walking through the alleys, with the lights lying on the shore you can breathe the “air of history” and the view, if you look at Pescarenico from the other side of the river Adda, with the background of the Resegone is really special.