For this month's View Over Italy, we return to Lago di Como and the small town of Griante, on the western shore.
Notes from Luca Lanari
Griante (Lago di Como) - Giugno 2022 - Ripresa Aerea con Drone Mavic Air 2 - Music: Cydelix (ft Fotis Kostopulos-Shelter) - Tobacco Juice - Edit: Da Vinci Resolve
Griante is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Como in the Italian region Lombardy, located on the western shore of Lake Como about 25 kilometres (16 mi) northeast of Como between Menaggio (to the north) and Tremezzo. Griante also borders the communes of Bellagio and Varenna on the other side of the lake. The commune of Griante itself is situated some 50 metres above lake level, on a wide plateau. The portion of the commune sitting on the lake, where the community's tourist industry is situated, is known as Cadenabbia di Griante.
In 1853, Giulio Ricordi built a mansion, Villa Margherita Ricordi, in Cadenabbia di Griante on the shore of Lake Como where Verdi visited and is thought to have composed some parts of La Traviata.
Tourism Info for Griante (from Mylakecomo.co)
The village of Griante is located in a wide plain within the central area of Lake Como, opposite to the Bellagio promontory and with the Grigne Dolomite range as a background.
Thanks to its privileged location, which grants the town a temperate climate, Griante area is full of villas. The majority of these villas are located near the lakeshore and were built between the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, when tourism steeply increased in Tremezzina and Griante began to attract British and German tourists. The villas hosted distinguished personalities: Giuseppe Verdi composed the most beautiful arias of La Traviata surrounded by the quiet of Villa Margherita (also called Villa Ricordi). The Chartreuse de Parme, Stendhal’s masterpiece, was mainly set in Griante. H. W. Longfellow dedicated some marvellous lines to Cadenabbia.
Furthermore, among the personalities who stayed in Griante, feature: Queen Victoria of England, Nicholas II of Russia, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, the Prince Umberto II di Savoia (before becoming the last king of Italy), pope Pius XI as well as chancellor Konrad Adenauer, one of the European Union’s founding fathers, who used to describe Griante as his “second home.”
Griante’s beautiful villas, surrounded by gardens and parks hosting precious tree species, present a fascinating path stretching from Cadenabbia to Menaggio, along the Greenway.
Worth a visit: the Anglican Church of Ascension, the church of Santi Nabore e Felice and the church of San Martino, with its panoramic trail.
Find out more at the Lake Como Tourism Website.
The nearest major airport to Griante is Malpensa Airport in Milan.
KCIC’s Heritage Committee Co Chairs Don Rampone and Gord Hotchkiss are recognized as Outstanding Impact Volunteers by Heritage BC
The Kelowna Canadian Italian Club was recognized by Heritage BC for their work in collecting and preserving the Italian heritage of the Central Okanagan. Don Rampone and Gord Hotchkiss, co-chairs of the La Nostra Famiglia Italiana (Our Italian Family) Committee, both received the Outstanding Impact Volunteer Award at the Heritage BC Awards Ceremony, May 27th in Chilliwack, BC.
The Club is currently working on a full schedule of heritage events for this fall, including partnering on a major exhibit with the Okanagan Heritage Museum celebrating 140 years of Italian contribution to the Central Okanagan, a wine tasting event recognizing Italian contributions to the industry and the debut of their Legacy Video series.
"Heritage BC is pleased to award to Gord Hotchkiss and Don Rampone, Co-Chairs of La Nostra Famiglia Italiana Committee, our Outstanding Impact in Volunteering award", says Britney Dack, Chair of Heritage BC. The storytelling of Italian Canadian pioneer families is an example of community led cultural heritage preservation. The success of the project required exhaustive research and a commendable commitment building community".
For Gord and Don, the recognition is welcome acknowledgment of the importance of preserving these stories: “During these past five years we have written 150 family stories, conducted 32 online family tree workshop sessions, presented 30 public heritage evenings, scanned 2500 documents for our local archives and we have over 60 hours of video interviews for our Legacy video series which is currently in production.
During all of these events and activities we have been rewarded with many connections we have discovered between people, families, places and events. Being presented with a Heritage BC award is the icing on the cake, that will keep us motivated to continue this project.”
"It is with an immense amount of pleasure that I congratulate Gord Hotchkiss and Don Rampone for this fantastic accomplishment,” adds KCIC President Rosann Nanci. “We are so proud of these two individuals and are so grateful for their dedication to the preservation of Italian Canadian history in the Central Okanagan.
Italian Canadians have made significant contributions to our region for over 140 years, specifically in the areas of agriculture, construction, and winemaking. Without the diligence of people like Gord and Don, who are painstakingly sifting through less than perfect archives, individual collections that have been relegated to boxes in the garage, or worse; that history would be lost.
The KCIC's mission statement is to preserve our heritage and promote our culture, and I believe these two gentlemen have helped to fulfil that quest.
For more information about the award or for media inquiries, please contact the Kelowna Canadian Italian Club at email@example.com or call Gord Hotchkiss at 778 484 7100.
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