The Orrido di Bellano is located on the Lecco branch of Lake Como, near the village of Bellano, a naturally spectacular gorge that can be walked on through suspended walkways attached to one of the canyon rock walls.
The Orrido di Bellano is a marvelous and at the same time terrifying waterfall, with a deep natural gorge that originated almost 15 million years ago.
Tradition has it that in this place the warrior Taino is buried with his treasure and that the tunnels towards Bellano were also used during the Austrian occupation.
At the entrance to the Orrido there is a four-storey hexagonal tower called “Cà del Diavol” with some railing windows, an internal spiral staircase and an irregular base.
Cited in the Rosa Vermiglia in 1656, but existing since the previous centuries, the origin and function of the original tower are unknown; since 1700 it has been used as a fossil museum. His name is linked to mythological figures, including a satyr, which decorate the façade of the last floor and local traditions that word of mouth spread with the rumor that satanic feasts took place inside.
Abandoned the divine theories on the formation of the throat gravitate several theories among which the most quoted are that of the fruit of a constant erosion of the rock operated by the flow of the Pioverna torrent; or from the tectonic movements of plates and earthquakes that have occurred over the millennia.
During the ice ages in the interglacial periods, in Vallassina a lake was formed whose waters precipitated in the Muggiasca Valley and in the Orrido due to the thaw of the ice. Probably the lake was completely emptied through openings to reunite with that of Como, eroding the territory and forming deep gorges.
The narrow ravine of the Orrido that we see today ended with a rocky step that was slowly eroded.
Another hypothesis on the formation of the Orrido wants that the ground has been raised provoking the deviation of the Pioverna torrent that eroded with the time the own new path.
Already in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the waters were exploited for the processing of iron that was extracted from the mines of Valsassina and Cotonificio Cantoni, which in 1870 opened a plant near the waterfall.
The entrance to the horrid was built in the mid-1700s with a wide pink marble staircase and the Liberty style gate. The gorge acquires its name from the Bellanese poet Sigismondo Boldoni who was fascinated by this “horror of a horrible horror”