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Explore Porlezza

Explore Porlezza at your leisure, relax in the cafe's, people watch, drink pure Italian coffee, absorb the history and elegance.

Then travel by ferry, dine on sumptuous Italian food and be amazed by the spectacular scenery!

Porlezza - Get Away from it all!

Porlezza, sits on the Eastern shore of Lake Lugano, and like all the towns in this area benefits from a wonderful microclimate that allows a wonderful growth of verdant foliage almost to the tops of the mountains. In winter the tree line is high and although the greenery has lost its leaves in autumn you can still see the how high the trees reach. Because of this and the easy access to mountain trails, the region is very attractive to hikers, walkers, photographers and the outdoor enthusiast. Apparently there are even naturist areas for the more adventurous......

Porlezza is a typical medieval town with a number of baroque works important locally for their artistic content. Monuments worth visiting are the Romanesque oratory of St. Maurizio and St. Maria dei miracoli (16th century).

Porlezza is in the region of Ceresio in the North East region of Lake Lugano. Although not as important tourist destination as either Lugano or Porlezza it provides a lot of advantages as a place to rest, recuperate, philosophise, hike, walk, fish and even down the road in Lugano, shop!

To see how to get there, (visit our map page) you can get there from Switzerland or from Italy. From Italy take the Statale Regina to Argegno and then go through Val d'Intelvi, or approaching from Menaggio take the junction up over the pass to Porlezza.

If you want to see more on how to get there, see our "Travelling to Porlezza" page or "Airports" page.

Carlazzo and other close hamlets & villages

There are lots of villages and hamlets around Porlezza (Vesetto, Corrido, Molzano, Gnallo, Cezza, Carlazzo and Gottro). The largest of these and best known is Carlazzo. Close the nature reserve of the "Piano Lake" (see map) its has a rich and ancient history. With its own castle and medieval fortifications this village was well protected. As with most towns and villages around the lakes, they have a heritage steeped in religion. Churches and monuments abound and this region is no different. The Church of St. Giorgio in nearby Gottro is worth a visit just to see the Romanesque Bell Tower. Other churches on the visit should include St. Stefano which houses a famous organ made by the Serassi family in 1858. Serassi is one of the most famous families organ builders in Italy and Europe, organ building art for six generations, from 1720 to 1895; their name is synonymous with quality, music, Lombardy and Porlezza.


"Old Fashioned world" are key words to this town, translated from "Piccolo mondo antico" they represent a lack of change and the old ways... Over a hundred years later, this book and later a film are based on the town and region.

"Piccolo mondo antico, also known as Old-Fashioned World , is a 1941 Italian drama film directed by Mario Soldati and based on the 1895 novel by Antonio Fogazzaro. Franco (Massimo Serato), a young man of noble descent, decides to marry Luisa (Alida Valli), daughter of a humble clerk, against his grandmother's will. But a terrible tragedy upsets the life of the newly married couple: their little daughter Maria drowns in Lake Porlezza and Luisa goes to the brink of madness."

Close to Valsoda, toward Porlezza is the hamlet of Cressogno where there are several "religious attractions"; the Sanctuary of Caravina (16th and 17th century), the Parish Church consecrated to "Our Lady's purification" dating back to the 16th century. There are also well preserved frescoes painted by Carloni. Dasio and Loggio, two other hamlets have ancient coats of arms and frescoes decorating some of the the older buildings.

Waterfalls and Caves
The Porlezza region has the largest number of stunning natural grottos and caves in Lombardy, particularly in the "Larian triangle", an area which favours the natural underground erosion process of the water. Porlezza or rather Cima, has "The Grotte di Rescia" This has been formed over time by waters with a high lime content and end with a waterfall. The grottos are characterized by numerous stalactites and stalagmites and combined with the waterfalls from the flow of Saint Giulia are well worth seeing.

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Porlezza Town Hall

Porlezza lake


Old Porlezza

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