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Porto Ceresio-Italy | Where a Tranquil Lakeside is Pure Poetry.

Porto Ceresio is a very peaceful and fascinating town in Italy where a tranquil lakeside is pure poetry lies on the magnificent southern shore of Lake Lugano, a fairytale place highlighted by magnificent views coast to coast towards Switzerland from a charming harbour on a fascinating bay often frequented by swans, a scenic presence which is a further appealing detail adding a touch of true romantic atmosphere to that divine environment.

With its approximately 3,100 inhabitants that centre situated in the province of Varese in a splendid Northwestern corner of Lombardy just one hour driving from Milan, the capital of the region is nestled between scenic verdant hills and that superb waters basin in front of the town of Morcote, a pleasant Swiss centre considered a sort of twin despite it is part of another country but sharing together a historical past rich of chronological episodes and events which made the history of that enchanting geographic area.

Surrounded by small picturesque municipalities such as Cuasso al Monte, Besano and Brusimpiano perched atop of inspiring hilly crests  part of the more than captivating local frame immediately bewitching every visitor, the town is located in the green and wonderful Valceresio, a very attractive valley which shows in all its true splendour a sublime scenery with inspiring high plateaus at the foothills of the Alps.

That  marvellous image highlighting the boundaries of that centre which in addition boasts spectacular lakeside promenade of over 2, 0 kilometres in length lining calm blue waters is a marvellous invitation to stay hours and hours contemplating the beauty of a site extremely captivating all year.

The views from the local waterfront are simply fantastic with a wide opening of that stunning extension of water bathing a jagged coast with a marvellous panoramic sight of several scattered villages along the opposite shoreline in a setting totally surrounded by intact forests which seems painted by a talented landscape artist.

The formation of the local bay is just like a wide hallway simply stupendous also for its magic sunsets when the sun rays reach as lasers the banks of that tiny port illuminating the entire gulf generating stunning reflections and colours and also that is something of extremely fascinating.

Porto Ceresio is a perfect destination for romantic couples searching a relaxing heaven to enjoy unforgettable holidays delighted by those fabulous landscapes and highly appropriate  for tourists who are looking for a wonderful oasis of serenity, no stress, traffic and noise features highly appreciated by many people searching to recharge batteries in a peaceful Eden.

Water sports on the Lake Ceresio as it is also called that marvellous waters basin is another great opportunity, sailing, diving wind surfing and rowing are activities which found there a natural habitat with an excellent tradition well known since a long time ago just like trekking and cycling in a land which offers a multitude of trails and itineraries of immense fascination with different coefficients of difficulty.

Comfortable accommodations, a genuine and healthy local cuisine are other aspects delighting the visitors next to a cultural and historic tourism with an endless list of beautiful places to visit in the immediate surroundings, a further highlight with the opportunity to plan day by day several significant routes in an area which boasts also a network of communications simply excellent.

Switzerland with the wonderful Canton of Ticino is very close by lake and road, the appealing city of Varese with its Sacro Monte, that height characterised by a stupendous path with historic Chapels listed in the UNESCO Patrimony sites, the other wonderful Campo dei Fiori mount with its beautiful Nature Park and a small scenic waters basin with the same name is located at just 11,0 kilometres away.

Other notorious destinations as Como with its striking lake and the outstanding Lake Maggiore can be reached in less than one hour, all places with a more than considerable natural and cultural patrimony as well as as well as the eternally trendy Milan located at only 52,0 kilometres of distance.

The local Valceresio next to the nearest valleys Valtravaglia,  Valcuvia, Val Marchirolo and Val di Rasa os packed by enchanting small towns, villages and hamlets with several historic monuments and attractions boasting Medieval, Baroque, Renaissance and Liberty masterpieces apart a superb natural charm with landscapes to immortalise in an endless collection of pictures.

That resort apart its superb marvels in its boundaries and immediate surroundings also has a long history to narrate highlighted by several civilisations which marked its culture, traditions, gastronomy and identity.

According to archaeological excavations the area was inhabited since prehistoric times but the first recorded ancient settlement was founded by the Celtic Insubri who populated that land later also settled by the Ligurians probably forming in the course of one century a unique ethnic group.

Those tribes also had numerous pretty friendly contacts and relationships with some Tuscan Etruscan colonists who moved in that area of Lombardy establishing camps and villages a short distance from the local lakeside.

All those settlers were protagonists of an intense cultural interchange developing in addition trades which created a prosperous life for both communities before the land was colonised by the Romans in 196 BC during the campaign led by Claudius Marcellus with those former inhabitants assimilated and with the Latin used since then as official language.

The former village was transformed in an important cross point in Northwestern Italy and thanks to a pioneer navigation network from one shoreline to another of Lake Lugano linking the Italic Peninsula to Swiss territory across that waters basin it became a notorious market village.

The Roman Empire in addition created some trails called Calzate Romane, cobbled paths to develop mercantile activities connecting that land to other centres.  

One in particular was developed crossing the nearest Val Marchirolo, a green valley north of the current city of Varese connecting Lake Lugano to Lake Maggiore in proximity of Luino, a very significant axis which became year by year very relevant, elevated as a strategic gate with an open door to the other coastline corresponding to the Piedmont coastline.

The name of the town is closely related to those ancient times and it has been object of some debates and controversial opinions by several eminent historians.

One of them is the ancient Latin denomination Portus Ceresium. The word Portus could be linked to the local port but according to other historical versions it is in addition mentioned as passage for a route developed by the Romans across the local valley while Ceresium derives from the presence of several cherry trees in that specific area.

A further but pretty remote is connected to a centre of the Iberia, the current Spain called Ceresos with colonists with the same heritage who perhaps occupied both places in different periods while another is from the Classical Hellenic period deriving by a Greek expression due to the noise of the waters waves impacting on the rocks of the local coast.

The former settlement after the fall of the Roman Empire lived times highlighted by several incursions and raids by different tribes coming from North such as Goths, Ostrogoths, Alamanni which never developed there a fixed residence having as main priority an  incessant hunger of depredations than the establishments of flourishing or consolidated villages.

A brief Byzantine period of rule endured just 16 years in the 6th century re-established in that territory a return of the Roman Empire of Orient before the advent of an  influential occupation by the Lombards, a Germanic tribe who created a small centre which at the beginning was mainly devoted to agriculture and farms.

An activity which had a renaissance during that era was the navigation reusing  as in the past vessels transporting goods restarting to have a solid trade relationship with the present Swiss Canton of Ticino, operations which were previously largely interrupted due to continuous invasions.

Other remarkable aspects were an improvement of the defence of the territory with watchtowers placed in strategic areas and the communications inheriting the traced Calzate enlarging and prolonging them permitting an easier transit of caravans of several merchants.   

Other invaders of different provenance undermined that land such as Burgundies, Anscarians, Hungarian and Franks and only the latter in the 8th century were able to conquer that Lombard stronghold starting there a pretty long domain highlighted by those famed and historic centuries with the ascent of the iconic Carolingian dynasty.

Those times were probably among the most relevant in the Middle Ages for Porto Ceresio which was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire with the entire population embracing the Christianity, a positive stage in terms of unity inside a solid and well identified Reign.

The Franks organised a marked political territorial subdivision with a consequent defined profiles of villages with the nominations of local governors with a growth of agricultural and commercial activities next to the presence of many artisans who started to work for that Empire increasing several productive processes.

Apart that flourishing network which formed an organised society, there was also a negative aspect afterwards inherited in the following centuries by the successors as the establishment of a pretty rigid and authoritarian feudalistic system.

It brought in the major part of the cases a wealthy life to the highest social class leaving the humble population in a shade with a very anonymous condition of life, a total lack of opportunities to emerge and without a determined autonomy.

Some centuries later Porto Ceresio was protagonist in its boundaries of numerous battles between the Duchy of Milan and the city of Como which constantly fought to obtain the domain of that very strategic land.

In the case of the first contender related to the notorious figures of the Dukes Visconti before and later Sforza family, the design of influential expansion was aimed to increase the communications between their domains in southern Switzerland expanding them  all around the entire Lake Lugano keeping the monopoly of the commerce on that waters basin just like they made with successful results on Lake Maggiore.

Como, historical, eternal rival of those Milanese nobles was always hostile to that constant and progressive enlargement and it desired to create a similar project with its lake and Porto Ceresio as a stronghold on another water basin. In that way as the enemy also the city of the Lario could have two frontiers on two different lakes with notable gates  in the Prealps.

After clashes which endured approximately 30 years, the victory of Milan was the epilogue which marked that period with an authoritarian  feudalistic regime established by aristocratic families who continued for a long time to govern the local territory as loyal vassals of that powerful Duchy.

At the beginning of the 16th century the village was attacked by the Landsknechts, German  mercenaries and the troops of the famed Swiss League led by Matthaus Schiner.Bishop of Sion.

That was a period corresponding to several disputes between Catholics and Protestants which had as focal point the Canton of Grisons but expanded to other geographical areas in Switzerland and Northern Italy.

The advent of the Calvinism related to that Swiss Institution which generated the birth of the current Confederation with capital Bern was focused to release those lands by the influence of foreign rulers deleting the Feudalism and with the intention to create autonomous Cantons.

That influential Religious figure conquered a big part of the current Canton of Ticino including Bellinzona, Blenio culminated with the conquests of the entire areas of Lugano, (in the case you are interested I wrote a post about that city) 

He reached Morcote leading his troops to Ponte Tresa one of last bastions of Milan which fell determining the access in the Italic territories of that former ruler.

All that was the prelude of the fall of that Duchy which lost all its domains in Switzerland and furthermore with the presence of a belligerent enemy at home. It was something of unthinkable for that noble House which had in an organised army and several impenetrable fortifications established as a shield in that geographic territory a symbol of power elevated since centuries before.

To conserve the interests of the Papal State and the Catholicism, France always loyal with a Kingdom strongly linked to the Roman Church sent a troop division to release that land.
The French soldiers who fought there saw a very difficult reality because in many occasions they were in notable inferior number than the enemy which continued to launch massive attacks.

With several attempts trying to stop the Swiss invasion they used a strategy of total destruction of the local environment, burning mills, houses, farms and most of the villages of the Valceresio including the current municipality suffered that sad event.

The result of that operations to avoid the establishment of camps and an use of structures as headquarters with sources of food supply for the Swiss League was militarily positive to restrain the incursions but the local territory was completely devastated remaining in extreme poverty in a total status of desolation.

Under French rule the former village had a very slow recovery, it was pretty marginalised and practically excluded by the most relevant traffics despite the population lived more tranquil times and  in 1796.

In that time it was renamed Porto Capolago meaning port on a cape of the lake for its geographical position on a promontory of Lake Lugano and with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte all the nobility lost their influences and territories.

The advent of the Hapsburg House with the fall of that famed leader from Ajaccio replaced in 1815 France as local ruler and all that was another stage of Porto Ceresio with protagonists many new changes.

The Austro-Hungarian Empire with the creation of the new Reign of Lombardy and Venetia depending from Vienna incorporated the town in that large sub-Kingdom in the Northern Italian Peninsula and once owner of the entire land restarted the communications on the lake with Switzerland which were largely abandoned during previous times cause notorious clashes, conflicts and frictions between Bonaparte and Switzerland.

Despite some tense disputes of lands between those two countries which had as epicentre the territory of the Inntal, the Inn valley which was occupied by the Austrian troops for a long period the Hapsburg House treated to renew good relationships with that Nation along that lake shore.

Some concessions were donated to Swiss merchants who could have easy access to the local harbour with privileges of transit, a strategy to keep a climate of serenity apart a good economic revenue from both sides.

The Imperial Sovereign Francis II who was also well known to be the last Holy Roman Emperor furthermore changed the name of the settlement in Porto Morcote giving more resonance that town of Switzerland facing Porto Ceresio, an event which the locals did not like at all as a humiliation.

Due to a harsh regime and all those mutations, those years generated several riots, revolts and the formation of some partisan movements born in Valceresio with attacks to military barracks and customs stations the Hapsburg created to have a remunerative econonomical revenue by the traders.

All that happened before the reunification of Italy culminated in 1860 and officially proclaimed one year later. In that time until 1863 that centre had a further denomination when it was simply called Porto re-taking its original denomination two years later with a decision approved by the Savoy Royalty with the King Victor Emmanuel II also well known as Padre della Patria, the father of the motherland.

Porto Ceresio in contempoeary times mainly lives of tourism and small industries and it is undoubtedly a superb attraction of the province of Varese occupying a high ranking for its scenic beauty, a municipality which extends its boundaries between 280,0 and 955,0 metres and also that is a great feature permitting the visitor to practise several kinds of activities in a very varied territory with different fascinating landscapes.

Despite its surface is not too big covering a surface of 5,34 square kilometres, the municipality has a good number of fractions such as Poncia, Selva Piana, Monte Grumello, Ronco Falcione, Monte Casolo, Albero di Sella, Case Moro and Cà del Monte. 

The small but picturesque centre is arranged behind its magnificent lakeside promenade mainly developed along a charming and scenic wooden hallway with its northern side ending on a fascinating headland flanking the Strada Provinciale, the provincial road which runs along the coastline. Via Fratelli Bertolla is a street situated in the second line of the waterfront but pretty relevant because it crosses the municipal core from north to south. 

The main access to the heart of Porto Ceresio is by the street Via Gattoni while the long avenue lying at south called Via degli Alpini very close to the Stazione Ferroviaria, the railway station marks the border of the central agglomeration.

The Municipality is subdivided in two distinct sections which names recall the vital local resources linked to its past. One is called Pozzo which translation means well and it corresponds to the former historic nucleus in which was established that structure to deliver drinking water to the population while the other is named Torchio meaning press, identified by a former local productive complex and consisting in the extra radius.

You can start the visit from Pozzo which has in Piazza Bossi, the main local square, an urban environment mainly developed in the early 18th century with its scenic landmark Corte del Pozzo, the courtyard where was built that iconic well, also the point on which arose the first official settlement with an Insubrian settlement later occupied by the Romans.

In that site is situated the Museo Etnografico Appiani Lopez, an Ethnographicic Museum extremely interesting which worth to be visited hosted in a splendid building  erected on three stories.

It opened its doors in 1973 by Luciano Appiani and his wife Mirella Lopez founders and leaders of a great Institution who led a project focused to show items, objects and memories of the old Porto Ceresio with the intention to promote and transmit the historic value and patrimony that site offers.

The exhibition consists in ten rooms displaying works mainly dated the 19th and 20th century. Of particular interest is the Sala Appiani, a hall devoted to the artists of the family of the founder which had renowned architects and plasterers working in Rome, Vatican but also in Mainz, a historic German city and that section represents a chronological summary of their artistic activities.

That site is also a relevant spot regarding all that you want to known about the local historical stages highlighted by a detailed explanation starting from 1850 during Austrian rule until the period corresponding to the 2nd World War.

In that very interesting educational walk of almost one century are perfectly illustrated, traditions, culture, crafts, professions and all the main activities by locals developed in those years. 

The visit is particularly suggested because it is in its kind a great introduction transmitting the visitor significant historic steps of the community lived during two Reigns corresponding to the Hapsburg and Savoy Houses.

That iconic corner and main cultural hub of Porto Ceresio is also the seat in which are celebrated the most relevant events with very interesting proposals as the annually Fiera dell´Artigianato representing the fair of the artisans, a special occasion to discover and admire several handcrafts with notable works made by locals some of them superb masterpieces.

Next to the charming small harbour are situated some captivating old houses, fascinating narrow streets, winding alleys and on a a splendid spur dominating a side of the lakeside promenade behind a high stone wall with a balustrade you can admire the Chiesa di Sant´Ambrogio.

That splendid Church dedicated to St. Ambrose is a beautiful example of Lombard Baroque style erected in the late 16th century and restored in different occasions to preserve its immense architectural and artistic value.

Developed on a large rectangular plan it consists in a high stylish building elevated on two floors with a lower section corresponding to a charming huge facade decorated by refined Baroque details and a stunning presence of statues placed in strategic positions around a very fine layout.

You can admire a perfect symmetry of the all the architectural elements including some sculptures inserted in the front side covering scenic points surrounding the central portal.

Magnificent is also the execution of the upper structure with a further construction boasting a stylish front side with other statues placed in the centre and others on the sides along a captivating balustrade line having as terminal on the top of the main facade a large pediment surmounted by a cross.

Also in that section you can appreciate a great order in the arrangement with a research of an outstanding aesthetic image trying to surprise the human eye at first sight.

The high bell tower elevated on an irregular square base was erected just behind the central body of that majestic Sacred building on its left side. it is a construction younger than the Church because it was elevated in the early 20th century and concretely ended in 1911.

Despite that notable difference of age it is perfectly integrated in the setting with well defined lines, a captivating high belfry and including the use of material for the construction was greatly selected to match in total harmony the rest of the older Ecclesiastic complex.

In its interior some of the main highlights are a relevant marble statue of the Virgin Mary and a superb Vedani Organ made in the late 19th century. The town celebrates the Patron Feast with the Church protagonist on 7th December also celebrated in Milan as Protector of that city with an intense and animated participation by locals, an event very lively with several people coming from other municipalities.

Not far from that stunning attraction and pretty close to the harbour walking along that inspiring lakeside promenade close to the Lido highlighted by its small but very pleasant beach called Fiammetta you can reach a small sharp tip which in its kind something of very special.

In a sunrise with the first rays of sun coming on the waters of the lake that site transmits in all its splendour a sort of energetic message to start a wonderful day.

At sunset is a perfect haven for romantic couples who want to find a magnificent refuge to enjoy pleasant times admiring a striking bay surrounded by green heights full of bright colours and lights. 

It is an enchanting point to enjoy a stunning view of the entire gulf and the opposite coast with the picturesque image of the Swiss coast, a paradise to take several panoramic pictures to immortalise for your best memories, a beautiful corner where a tranquil lakeside is pure poetry in all its essence and splendour able to bewitch everyone.

Also at night with the artificial lights all around is simply perfect to breathe a unique atmosphere with just the noise of the water waves breaking from time to time a magic silence.

Along that marvellous coastal stretch you can find other wonderful and fascinating view points. One I suggest you very much consists walking for approximately half kilometres along a street called Via Casa Mora reaching a pretty ample promontory with other spectacular panoramic sights towards the Swiss centre of Morcote. (I wrote a post from Morcote to Novazzano with some information about that centre in the case you are interested)

From there in addition you will also have the chance also to admire a magnificent and inspiring wide bend of Lake Lugano along the road which leads to another small  town of Switzerland called Brusino Arsizio.

That place is simply great because it will show you the local bay from a great perspective and that image is particularly suggestive because you will be in a position where two European countries are extremely close in just a few kilometres.

Despite that fabulous lake is the main superb highlight of that splendid resort also the immediate outskirts in the hilly territory offer a large presence of attractions with many chances to enjoy beautiful walks with marvellous places for trekkers, photographers and nature lovers.

An excursion I recommend you is along a great a trail leading to Ca´del Monte, a tiny agglomeration and neighbourhood of Porto Ceresio characterised by picturesque houses on the slopes of an extremely captivating hilly plateau surrounded by beautiful virgin forests.

From there you can reach the Monte Grumello, a picturesque height which with its 690, 0 metres of altitude offers a wonderful view overlooking Lake Ceresio and with an entire panoramic of the valley.

In addition that site also has a very important historic past because you can see the remnants of the Linea Cadorna, a fortified complex built in occasion of the 1st World War and also used in the 2nd War bearing the name of Luigi Cadorna, a General and Marshal of Italy from Verbania who was the chief of Staff of Italian Army during the times of the House of Savoy.

It is in its kind an icon protagonist of two events which determined the history of the town, its surroundings and the entire country, It was a defencive network well organised and considered by many historians a notable military network developed between 1899 and 1918 along the frontier with Switzerland occupying three regions such as Lombardy, Piedmont and Aosta Valley. 

Along the slopes of that height starts a network of paths and one of them is particularly suggestive called the Bocca dei Due Bär, the mouth of the two bears. It is a striking natural space encircled by peaks, a fairytale environment with a very appealing opening between two high rocky gorges and that denomination is probably dated the times of the Celts who  frequented that site in ancient times.

Another very recommended visit consists to reach the Monte Pravello at an altitude of 1020,0 metres. Once on the summit of that beautiful mount you can have fabulous panoramic sights of the entire Val Ceresio, Lake Lugano, a large part of the Swiss Canton Ticino and  stunning images of several Alpine peaks among them the majestic Monte Rosa.

In addition you will be surrounded there by an uncontaminated nature and also in that area you can see what remains of the section of the mentioned Linea Cadorna with some trenches, artillery and guns posts.  

To complete in a sort of of planned route filling your days with another excursion linked to that historic military constructions you can find other rests in correspondence of another beautiful place called Monte Orsa which with its 998, 0 metres of altitude offers in all its splendour scenic landscapes.

During the ascent you can enjoy a very pleasant trail immersed in a verdant environment consisting in oak, ash and robinia trees forests discovering there how many natural treasures the interior offers. Once reached the top you will be delighted by a fabulous view of Lake Lugano, the Prealps and different valleys of the province of Varese.

That area is an authentic Mecca for tourists who want to discover the splendour of a territory of Northern Italy with enchanting high plateaus appreciating the genuine and intact natural beauty  apart a historic value.

In addition all the areas at the feet of those mountains are beloved destinations for mountain bikers thanks to the presence of spectacular and challenging routes reaching places absolutely wonderful.

For all those who love that kind of outdoor activity the nearest Besano is an appropriate site and in addition if you are a cycling lover that small town is the birthplace of a famed former champion of cycling as Stefano Garzelli who won the Giro d´Italia in 2000 but also other important races as the Tour the Suisse, Tirreno Adriatico among others. 

In that town you can dedicated a stop to visit the Museo Civico dei Fossili, an exhibition dedicated to a large variety of fossils found in the local territory with many dating back prehistoric times.

Descending for some kilometres towards the municipalities of Viggiù and Saltrio you will find many mixed and dirt trails some with very steep climbs and great descents, bends and changes of rhythm in sections highlighted by several different slopes in a wild territory with always the magnificent silhouette of the Alps at the horizon accompanying you.

Immense are the opportunities for all the visitors who love a more relaxing activity on two wheels as cycle tourism. Along the local coastline on the provincial road Strada Provinciale SP61 you can reach Cuasso al Lago, a scenic borough of the municipality Cuasso al Monte with unforgettable images of the lake beneath appealing hills.

Om the other side taking Via Lungolago which runs parallel to the National Road SS344 you can admire a stupendous coastal stretch highlighted by two small headland before to reach the Swiss Frontier in a point where Lake Ceresio shows a fantastic jagged conformation of its basin until reaching Lugano.

In the immediate  proximity other highlights are the presence of a good number of aristocratic Lombard villas and charming mansions. One of them you cannot miss and I highly suggest to visit is Villa Cicogna Mozzoni, a marvel situated in the nearest attractive  municipality of Bisuschio erected between the 15th and 16th century for Mozzoni family.

Considered a wonderful jewel of the Renaissance in Lombardy you will admire some of the most charming and stylish gardens present in the entire county of Varese highlighted by a majestic long stone step flanked by scenic trees and including you will be delighted by the view of some allegoric statues and classical sculptures which complete a fabulous artistic setting.

It is a monumental creation in which the beauty of an astonishing gardened area embraces pure fine art in a happy marriage surrounding an outstanding construction.

The villa is a superb attraction for its stunning architectural fascination with as highlight a beautiful courtyard with scenic columns forming a stunning portico and on its ceiling you will be enchanted by the execution of extraordinary refined frescoes making that mansion simplywonderful.

That lake resort naturally offers many opportunities to practise water sports, such as diving, wind surf, sailing and rowing.Worth a mention the Canottieri Porto Ceresio is a prestigious Rowing Club wit an old tradition organising competitions and with a fame and prestige very consolidated since a long time ago.
You will also have great chance to take a boat landing in a short time on Swiss soil at Morcote harbour, a splendid opportunity during a stay to visit two countries in a while in a magnificent navigation offering you the beautiful images of a shining diamond as Lake Lugano.

Apart the Fiera dell´Artigianato previously mentioned, every year in September the municipality celebrates a feast called Nome di Maria, the name of St. Mary which consists in a spectacular procession with protagonists illuminated boats sailing its beautiful bay, an event very suggestive with a great and numerous participation lived with extreme enthusiasm and joy.

Summer is the season of other appointments when the town hosts sporting events as rowing races and a captivating antiques market.

The local Cuisine is traditionally loyal to the oldest culinary art born centuries ago with some Milanese influences and with many affinities with that of Como.

Naturally as a lakeside resort it is possible to taste excellent baked and grilled fish, such as delicious Pesce Persico, perch, exquisite Alborelle, bleak and the Fritto misto di pesce di lago, a combined plate with different kinds of fried fish of that waters basin.

The iconic Risotto is undoubtedly one of the main gastronomic highlights for its different styles of preparation such as with perch but very popular and highly appreciated is that one with porcini, delectable mushrooms very common and numerous in the nearest forests. 

Other variants are with cheeses, asparagus, aromatic herbs or with Luganighe, homemade pork sausages very traditional in all the Northern Lombardy.

The famous Polenta is another popular plate of that geographical area.Tthat yellow delight is also cooked with those sausages, a gravy sauce and accompanying the notorious Bruscitt, a delicious beef meat casserole.

A special variant is called Cumedata in which the gastronomical process consists in adding garlic, fresh ricotta, butter, salt and milk while another one is with melted cheeses such as a fresh Taleggio and Gorgonzola.

The famed Brasato, consisting in a stew made with big slices of tender beef meat prepared in sauce or also with carrots, sage celery and a good touch of pepper and wine is another superb highlight.

The delectable  Spezzatino in Umido  is another delight  made with small cubes of that kind of meat or veal cooked at a slow temperature in a rich sauce made with tomato, olive oil, butter, celery, pepper, salt and minced carrots.

All those dishes can be accompanied by polenta or pure di patate, mashed potatoes prepared with rosemary and fresh butter, milk and aromatic herbs.

The asparagus is an ingredient very used in the local cuisine, well known is the Zuppa di Asparagi, a soup with that  kind of vegetable as main ingredient, a further is the Asparagi alla Parmigiana, cooking them with Parmesan cheese, butter, grated bread a bit of salt and pepper. 

The Frittata di Asparagi is another, consisting in a very appreciated asparagus omelet while the Asparagi con Uova is a plate made with hard eggs with that vegetable boiled and seasoned with olive oil, salt, black pepper and vinegar.  

The funghi trifolati is another famous speciality, mushrooms as Porcini but also Chiodini, Ovuli or Mazze di Tamburo cooked in casserole with parsley, butter, onion black pepper, minced garlic adding tomato sauce and a final touch of selected wine to flavour all.
Porto Ceresio is located at approximately at one hour and some minutes in normal conditions of traffic driving from Milan downtown by A8 Motorway and Malpensa Airport is situated at  just 40 minutes driving via Varese which is the exit to reach the resort.

Once you are in that city you have to follow the indications leading to the National road Strada Statale 344 crossing the municipality of Induno Olona and from that town via Arcisate in a short time you will be at destination.

The town is also approximately 20 minutes driving from Lugano in the case you land on L Agno Airport which could be a second interesting option reachable by Route 298 and Strada Provinciale SP61 via Ponte Tresa.
Holidays or a short break in that tranquil corner of a stupendous waters basin is very recommended for all tourists and many are the reasons to choose Porto Ceresio as destination.

A peaceful environment, a lake among the best of Europe ideal for all those who want to spend a stay in total relaxation or enjoying numerous outdoor activities, very suggested for couples desiring a romantic escapade delighted by a magic atmosphere surrounding them 24 hours a day in a fabulous land full of serenity.

The resort is a splendid place to admire some of the most beautiful views of Lake Lugano, a splendid marvel offering from its shoreline to see two countries as Italy and Switzerland facing each other so close divided by just a few of kilometres.

All that in an unforgettable scenery where a tranquil lakeside is pure poetry which can inspire the most talented literary masters but it could do the same with you.

Once there after enjoying all the wonders that site boasts, it will be a bit difficult to leave that sublime place which generally transmits a strong desire to return generated by wonderful memories constantly alive with a message simply saying see you soon dear Porto Ceresio.

Francesco Mari

Recommended Accommodations in Porto Ceresio and surroundings

Hotel Canneto
B&B Rose tra gli archi -at Cuasso Monte-at 2, 0 kilometres from Porto Ceresio
B&B Le Pinete at Viggiù- at 5, 5 kilometres from Porto Ceresio

Recommended Restaurants in Porto Ceresio

Crotto Buzzi
Trattoria del Cervo
Ristorante La Vecchia Cantina

Useful links › Itinerari › Itinerario Valceresio 

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