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.
Andrea Vitali introduces himself in the following manner: Since I was young I felt the need to write, to use the written word as a means of communication with other people. I realize that this is not a great confession, but there is no other way to try to explain how I managed to arrive to tell certain kind of stories. At the beginning, writing was not conceived as a solitary exercise – no childhood diary nor at an older age for that matter – but it was rather an experience to share with others. In short, someone needed to read what I was writing.
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.
Tommaso Grossi was born in Bellano on the 23rd of January 1790. He graduated from the University of Pavia and lived most of his life in Milan. He was friend to Carlo Porta — whose death was recalled in his poems with truly moving sextuplets in Milanese (dialect of Milan) of good poetic quality entitled “In morte di Carlo Porta” (In death of Carlo Porta) — and to Alessandro Manzoni who inserted a verse of Grossi’s as yet unpublished poem “I Lombardi alla prima crociata” (The Lombards in the First Crusade) into “I Promessi Sposi” (The Betrothed).
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.
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