The only island of the lake, placed in a small sheltered bay between Argegno and the Balbianello peninsula, Isola Comacina contains natural and historical treasures of great interest and appeal. Inhabitad by the Romans, during the first centuries of the Christian era, when the invading barbarians were spreading terror everywhere, the island gave shelter to many refugees and became the center of faith and resistance.
Fortified first by the Byzantines and later by the Longobards, during the famous ten years’ war it took sides with Milan against Como and was terrible devastated in 1169 when its stronghold was stormed and its seven churches destroyed.
The ruins fell into oblivion and the island was left to itself. It was only during the last post-war period that “the sleeping beauty” began to show the signs of a slow reawakening: several excavations brought to light the ruins of the island, the remains of a baptistery and the foundations of some churches that today form an interesting archaeological itinerary managed and guided by the Antiquarium Museum in Ossuccio.
Every year, at the end of June, the “Sagra of San Giovanni“, a festival which concerns the whole lake, takes place there: the spectacular procession that starts from the mainland reaching the island by typical boats and great fireworks celebrate the history and the sacral character of the place.