This small, historic town on the northwest bank of Lake Como boasts a beautiful lakeside promenade, but is a rather quiet place. Located 33 mi/53 km from Como, it was fortified in Roman times, destroyed in the 11th century, and rebuilt to become the capital town of the Tre Pievi Republic in the 1500s.
Gravedona's sandy beaches south of the fishing harbor are perfectly suited for children. The most important sight in town is the 12th-century Santa Maria del Tiglio church on the lake shore, as well as the neighboring Church of San Vinzenco. Also worth a visit are the churches San Gusmeo, San Matteo and Santa Maria delle Grazie. The latter has beautiful frescoes. Market in Gravedona is on the first and third Wednesday morning of the month.
The monumental Palazzo Gallio is only open to participants of conventions and cultural events taking place there, but do not miss the camellia show (Mostra delle Camelie), open to the public, in the gardens on Easter. In summer, the palazzo hosts the Master Piano Festival.
Gravedona offers several beautiful walking opportunities. From the medieval village of Livo situated above the town, you can follow a stream to the Crotto Dangri (a one-hour walk), which offers excellent local cuisine and great views along the way. From there, you could carry on to the picturesque mountain lake Lago di Darengo (a three-hour walk), where the Rifugio Como offers food and shelter.
Serious hikers should take bus C18 from Gravedona up to Peglio, where they can join the final stage of the Via dei Monti Lariani trekking tour to Sorico. Free climbers will want to check out the climbing area of Sasso Pelo, a wide rock face high above Gravedona, which offers different levels of difficulty. http://www.gravedona.it.
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