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February 11, 2021 8 min read

THE 7 MOST FAMOUS LOVE STORIES ON LAKE COMO

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Ph. Infinityweedings                                                                                                         

"When you write the story of two happy lovers, choose the shores of Lake Como as your setting [...] The freshness of the waters tempers the heat of the sun; voluptuous nights follow splendid days “.

These were the words of the Hungarian composer and pianist Franz Liszt in describing the atmosphere breathed on the Lake Como, the place where he stayed with Marie D 'Agoult in the ‘30s.

The countess-writer, met in Paris in 1833, abandoned her husband and two daughters for him and embarked on a long journey-escape of love between Switzerland and Italy, from which were born two literary works (the Album d'un voyageur and Années de pèlerinage) and three children Blandine, Daniel and Cosima, who later would have married the musician Wagner.

What Liszt did not know was that before him someone had already weaved the praises of the lake, seducer of the most brilliant and passionate minds of the past centuries: from Virgil to Pliny the Younger, from Napoleon to Mazzini. To a certain Alessandro Manzoni, who decided to open his main work in this way:

“That branch of the lake of Como, which extends towards the south, is enclosed by two unbroken chains of mountains, which, as they advance and recede, diversify its shores with numerous bays and inlets. breasts and gulfs, depending on the protrusion and return of those [...] and the Adda again begins—soon to resume the name of the lake, where the banks receding afresh, allow the water to extend and spread itself in new gulfs and bays.”

The tormented love story of The Betrothed, during the plague of the seventeenth century, starts right around the Lario, setting of many romantic stories, not only fruit of the imagination …

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Ph. Meteorit                                                                                                                                                

UGO FOSCOLO AND FRANCESCA GIOVIO

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Ph. My lake como

In the area called "Grumello" on the road to Cernobbio and a stone's throw from Villa Olmo, many noble families built magnificent residences overlooking the lake starting from the 15th century. Among them Villa Celesia, built in the 16th century at the behest of the banker Tommaso d’Adda.

One of its owners was Giovan Battista Giovio, an intellectual who loved to surround himself with artists and illustrious men. In 1809 he hosted the poet and writer Foscolo, already known as a romantic protagonist and political militant.

The latter, persecuted by the absence of a religious faith, believed himself unable to find happiness in the love of a woman. But the heart, as we know, cannot be commanded: the poet fell in love right here, with the youngest daughter of the count Francesca, niknamed “Cecchina”.

A story full of doubts, throbs and glances, which became more and more intense:

[returning] one evening at Grumello and looking at the lake, the hills and the house where I had seen you the first time, and thinking that I must soon leave them, my desire to always live there did not distinguish you from the places and people who had become so dear to me.

A "very delicate, eternal" love that did not have a happy ending due to the hostility of the Giovio family: "I need to tell you that I love you, to tell you that I can never be yours". Her "relatives" had in fact promised the girl to a nineteen-year-older French colonel, whom she reluctantly married the following year.

EMILIO BARBIANO BELGIUMJOSO AND ANNE BERTHIER

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 Ph. Wikipedia

In Torno, on the right bank of the west coast of the lake stands the solitary Villa della Pliniana, built in 1573 starting from a more modest building. A magical and ghostly place, due to its isolation and dark past. The first owner was the Piacenza aristocrat Giovanni Anguissola, who arrived in Como after having participated in the murder of his fellow citizen Pier Luigi Farnese, Duke of Piacenza.

According to the legend, the count was haunted every night by the ghost of the murdered, until one day, in an attempt to capture him, he slipped into the water and never re-emerged.

A few centuries later, the lake's most talked about love story took place in this same place.

It all began in 1843, when the owner Emilio Barbiano di Belgiojoso d'Este went to a party in Paris and met the noblewoman Anne Berthier, already married and the mother of a child. The two of them fell madly in love and suddenly ran away together, causing an enormous scandal.

And here, in a villa with "rooms full of shade, which look like mute burial chambers of a castle of vanished sovereigns" they lived for 8 years, devoting themselves solely to pleasure.

It is said that every evening at the toll of midnight the lovers threw themselves from the top of the loggia into the lake wrapped in a white sheet. The inhabitants of the opposite shore, believing they saw a ghost, immediately thought of Count Anguissola or his victim Duke of Piacenza.

The two lovers rejected any attempt to reunite with Paris or the Risorgimento court, until one day Anne abandoned the prince in his sleep and fled the villa. However, legend wants that she bought a house on the other coast of the lake, not to forget the place of her greatest passion.

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Ph. Lakecomo ville - Altervista

ALBERT EINSTEIN E MILEVA MARIC

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Ph. Enciclopedia delle Donne

 

"You must absolutely come and see me in Como, my little witch. You will see for yourself how lively and cheerful I have become and how all my frowning is over".

In April 1901, Albert Einstein invited Mileva Maric, an intellectual known at the university, to a short vacation on the lake, to be forgiven for having neglected her.

They met on May 5 at the railway station to stroll through the streets of the center "admiring the gothic cathedral and the old walled city" and take, like so many other couples, "one of the magnificent white boats that go back and forth from one bank to the other ".

They went to Villa Carlotta to admire Canova's copy of "Cupid and Psyche" and then, after spending the night in an inn, they left for a hike in the mountains, finding snow "up to six meters high". So they hired a sled "of the type in use there, which has barely enough room for two people in love, while the driver is in the back, standing on a tablet, chatting all the time and calling you 'lady'", Maric later wrote to a friend: "Can you imagine something more beautiful?"

Mitza Maric was Einstein's greatest love and something more, the woman who inspired and encouraged him to create the formula that would change the world.

She was sickly and limping, she was different from other girls: more interested in numbers than in marriage.

In that summer of 1901 she became pregnant with her first daughter Lieserl and she could not pass the exams at the University of Zurich, thus giving up the dream of becoming a scientist.

However, she participated decisively in the work of the one who became her husband in 1903. Einstein himself said in that year "I need my wife. She solves all my mathematical problems."; "How happy and proud I will be when we will have successfully completed our work on the relative motion! When I observe other people, I appreciate your qualities more and more!".

THE CRIME OF THE ERMIN: PIA BELLENTANI AND CARLO SACCHI

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Ph. Vanilla Magazine

It would be nice to believe forever in the happy ending ... but at least once in our life we have all been struck (or attracted) by complicated love, so difficult and so involving that it even interests those who have never lived it.

This story is a clear example.

Pia Bellentani was born in 1916 in Sulmona, in the province of L'Aquila. The youngest of six children, she was educated, catholic, lover of romance novels and poetry. She dreamed of prince charming.

Over the years, her family achieved a good place in the middle-class of Abruzzo, and she was able to afford a luxury granted to a few of the time: holidays in Cortina d'Ampezzo.

During one of these stays Pia met Lamberto Bellentani, a 40-year-old bachelor and a cured meat manufacturer who fell in love with her blue eyes and raven hair. They married that same summer with all the pomp, and in 1941, during the war they moved to Cernobbio with their daughters. A quiet and monotonous family ménage for Pia, who, often alone in the house, fell into the arms of another man, the Como-based industrialist Carlo Sacchi, in turn married to a former Austrian dancer.

He was a serial seducer, she was a melancholy dreamer, there was an engaging story between two opposites, not destined to last: while she fantasized about romantic escapades, he immediately began a new relationship. Passion, jealousy, threats, until that evening of September the 15th in 1948 at the Grand Hotel Villa d'Este in Cernobbio, in the occasion of a fashion show. The Bellentani couple found themselves at the same table of the Sacchi, accompanied by Mimì, Carlo’s new lover. After watching them dancing together all the evening in Pia increased exasperation. Before leaving the evening she confronted him one last time at the bar, taking her husband's revolver with her, hidden under the ermine fur.

He taunted her and insulted her indignantly, until her pride took over her and he fired a sharp shot in his chest, killing him. She then turned the gun against herself, but her trigger jammed, leaving her in hysteria.

The trial of Pia Bellentani monopolized the chronicles of the time and ended with a sentence of ten years in prison, three of which were condoned and other three were spent in a nursing home. On the 23rd of December 1955, the countess was pardoned by the President of the Republic and she returned to Abruzzo, where her mother and two daughters were waiting for her. Her husband Lamberto, who always remained by her side, died shortly after in Montecarlo.

VIP STORY IN TREMEZZINA

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Ph. GHT

Love stories set on the Lario certainly did not end in the last century. Even today we can continue to dream ... Silvio Vettorello, General Manager of the luxurious Grand Hotel Tremezzo, a unique location in the Como area, gives us an excellent hint.

The protagonist of his story is a guest, who was flying to Scotland on his private jet in the company of his girlfriend. "Error" wants that the pilot landed instead in Milan, where the couple was waited by an helicopter direct to Tremezzina. The surprise destination was in fact the splendid Hotel Liberty GHT, inside which a beautiful suite was ready for them together with a corner called "tell me yes" with a private table immersed in the garden and a breathtaking view of the crystal clear waters towards Bellagio and the peaks of the Grigne. Right here the guest made his marriage proposal, which displaced the fiancée (who was ready for Glasgow and the Highlands). As in a last minute fairytale of the new millennium, they came to get married right there in that same setting, where they still love to come back with their two children every now and then.

Do you have a love story or a precious tale of yours, set on Lake Como? Don't hesitate to write to us, the next story could be yours ❤️



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