Antonio Balbiani was born in Bellano the 8th of October 1838. Attained the teacher’s degree in Milan, he intended to live teaching and writing, but historical events and his huge patriotism made him participate to the garibaldian revolt, that he had to abandon because of his precarious conditions of health. Became a widow and with the only daughter locked up in a monastery, he devoted himself utterly to journalism at first, then in Como, to the education. To a last short term stay in Milan follows the definitive return to the shores of the Lario, to Tremezzo where he established and supervised “Il Nuovo Lario”, newspaper that collected events happened in all the villages of the Lario and free of any political interference. His literaly production is enormous but inversely proportional to his ability to manage the profits made by the publication of his writings to the point that, to make ends meet, he accepted to work as a tourist guide and to write sonnets, songs and odes for commission. He spent the last years of his life, with his elderly mother, in Bellano, where he died on the 9th January 1889 in an anonymous way. There isn’t any trace of his burial, but the pages of “Como and its Lake (Tourist guide)”, one of his fifty works, is still shining for the accurate and severe touristic promotion of the whole Lario and also of Bellano.
Currently considered one of the youngest and most interesting Conductors of the new generation, he starts in a short time period important collaborations with orchestras all over the world who repeatedly invite him to direct in the USA, Russia, Mexico, Austria, France, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Brazil, Venezuela, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates .
Carlo Borlenghi was born in 1956 in Bellano, on the shores of Lake Como, where he started his photographer career following the local regattas. Every year he publishes many books and calendars which are always related to the sea, and he collaborates with the most prestigious nautical newspapers and magazines. His enthusiasm brings him to always be open and available to any adventure or innovation and to continually update both in the field of photography and technology.
Giancarlo Vitali is born on the 29th of November 1929 in Bellano on the Lake Como from a family of fishermen. He begins painting at the age of fifteen, after having worked for the Institute of graphic arts in Bergamo. In 1947, he exposes his first work at the “Angelicum” in Milan, on the occasion of the Biennial Exhibition of Sacred Art.
Bellano, is a municipality of about 3300 inhabitants. Its conformation is characterized from the presence of the torrent Pioverna, dividing in two the town: the oldest part, holding the old port and the provostal Church, and the modern part with the train-station. Behind the town, the inland is characterized by numerous hamlets, and by many ancient and populous areas. Currently the most developed sector is the service sector, however, in the last century, the writer Antonio Balbiani rightfully called it the “little Manchester on the Lario” given its large textile plants.
Facing the Parish Church is the Church of Saint Martha, former site of the St. Martha’s Confraternity and today the parish centre. There are documents indicating that the school has been there since 1387 while the church was first mentioned in a pastoral visit by Gabriele Sforza in 1455. Except for a late Gothic Pietà on the façade and a fragmentary Saint James in the first chapel on the left, mentioned by Bartolomeo Benzi of Turin, the altarpiece and paintings described in that text have since disappeared.
Pesa Vegia is a must see during the Christmas holidays when, each year, an event steeped in over 400 years of history is re-enacted for visitors on January 5th, keeping the legend and magic intact. Many are the legends and assumptions that have arisen over the years regarding the birth of this centuries-old event. Recent research by Antonio Rusconi — published in the book entitled Pesa Vegia tra leggenda e realtà (Pesa Vegia: legend and myth) — has found documentation indicating that the origins most likely date to about 1605, the year in which the Governor Pedro Acevedo, Count of Fuentes issued an edict abrogating a previous reform of 1604 and reinstating the old units of measure (and hence the name Pesa Vegia or old weight).
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