The Comacina island, a strip of land located in the municipality of Tremezzina at the inlet of the west coast of the branch between Argegno and the peninsula of Lavedo.
The island was the protagonist of the history of Como in the Roman and high Middle Ages and was important for its geographical position, from a military, political and religious point of view. It is believed that it is the mythical place from which ars muraria of the Magistri Comacini would have arisen, and also from which the entire process of development of Italian medieval art would have started.
The history of the Comacina island stopped abruptly in 1169 when it was devastated and razed to the ground by the Como and the Barbarossa, because it was allied with Milan. The island quickly declined and ended in a state of neglect.
Giuseppe Caprani was the owner of the island until the moment when he bequeathed it to King Albert I of Belgium, who later donated it to the Italian state. The latter gave it to the president of the Brera Academy with the aim of building a village for artists and a hotel; it is still owned by the academy who was involved in the creation of a village for artists and a hotel. The hotel was never built, but were built, in addition to the inn in 1964, three houses in a rationalist style arose in 1939, designed by architect Pietro Lingeri, well integrated in the context of the island and still an object of admiration.
The traditional festival of San Giovanni takes place every year on the Sunday closest to 24 June with a procession of boats and the traditional fireworks display. The lake is illuminated with thousands of lumaghitt, floating lights abandoned on the water, as if to remember the souls who sailed from one bank to another escaping from their burning houses destroyed in the ten-year war between Como and Milan.
The Comacina island is now an archaeological site with the baroque church of San Giovanni, which contains the remains of Roman and late Roman walls, and is the only building still intact dating back to the fifth century. Next to it there are the remains of the Basilica of Sant’Eufemia of the eleventh century, with a plan with three aisles and a crypt.
The remains of the basilica of the churches of Santa Maria del Portico, of San Pietro in Castello and of Saints Faustino and Giovita. On the island of Comacina there were nine churches before the Como family, in 1169, razed them to the ground.