The noisy industrial area between the Lago di Lecco and the smaller Lago di Garlate often deters visitors from visiting Lecco, which actually has quite a pretty city center.

Located 19 mi/30 km from Como, Lecco has a lovely lake promenade, a medieval bridge (Ponte Vecchio) with 11 arches, a pedestrian zone with elegant shops and cafes, a neoclassical cathedral and a mildly interesting museum commemorating the city's most illustrious son: the romantic novelist Alessandro Manzoni. Manzoni wrote one of Italy's best-known novels, I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed), published in 1827. The museum is located at Via Guanella 1. http://www.museilecco.org.

Take a stroll through the picturesque Pescarenico, an old fishermen's quarter located on the north bank of the River Adda, or take the Funivia (cable car) from Versasio (3 mi/5 km east of the city center) up to the Piani d'Erna. http://www.pianidibobbio.com/piani-d-erna.

A short but steep walk leads up to the Pizzo d'Erna, also called the "Balcony of the City" because of its great view across Lecco and Lake Como. From the upper station of the Funivia, you can explore the Resegone mountain area along several walking tracks. It's a two-hour walk up to Monte Resegone, or you can choose the nature trail Percorso Ecorunning. Children will enjoy the Parco Avventura adventure park next to the upper station. Lecco also is the perfect starting point for excursions into the rugged limestone mountains of the Grigne. http://www.turismo.provincia.lecco.it.

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