The backdrop for the Festival is Lake Como: one of the motivating factors of the Festival Musica sull’Acqua is to rediscover the fascinating locations that surround us, bringing music to unusual settings.

The very heart of the events calendar is the splendid Piona Abbey of Colico together with other interesting locations, steeped in history, such as Sant’Antonio Auditorium in Morbegno, Basilica of San Nicolò in Lecco, Villa Monastero inVarenna, Montecchio Nord and Fuentes Forts of Colico, Santa Maria del Tiglio church in Gravedona, Castel Grumello near Sondrio, the Cloister and Church of Santa Maria del Lavello in CalolziocorteandHangar Bicocca in Milan.



The architectural complex which constitutes the Priory of Piona, generally known as the Piona Abbey, is located on the eastern shore of Lake Como, in the territory belonging to the municipality of Colico. The Abbey is nestled within a landscape of exceptional, poignant beauty, on the tip of the small peninsula of Olgiasca. The original church of Saint Justina was built right at the heart of the Medieval period, followed a few centuries later by the construction of the priory itself. The abbey complex became part of the religious-political systemwhich answered to Cluny and to the reform movement. The architecture of the abbey complex can be considered of the Lombard Romanesque style with transalpine influences and details reminiscent of French Gothic of Cluniac inspiration.



The church of Santa Maria del Tiglio, a national monument, is a sacred building located in Gravedona, province of Como.
The building was erected at the end of the XII century, probably on the foundations of a VI century baptistry. The exterior, with alternating stripes of light and dark stone, is unusual for its bell tower located at the entry portal, with a square-sectioned lower portion and an octagonal upper portion. The interior, an undivided space, has women’s galleries that run along the sides and the apse unusually articulated in three apsidals carved into the wall thickness. On the wall to the left of the entrance there is a XIV century Last Judgment fresco and above the altar a great wooden crucifix from the XII century.



The complex of the church and convent of Sant’Antonio overlooks the square with the same name, where the road leading to the San Marco pass originates. It offers the visitor a joyful fusion and superimposition of Baroque and Renaissance styles.
The first church was built in 1383 and was dedicated to Saint Anthony the Abbott and to Saint Martha. In 1457 it was flanked by a convent for Dominican monks.
The church façade has Baroque details. The principal elements are the prothyrus, or portico, and the entrance portal designed by Francesco Ventretta in 1517. Other embellishments include a Pietà in high relief and a Nativity by Gaudenzio Ferrari. The interior is comprised of a single nave surmounted by a heavy vaulted ceiling. It is still possible to admire the original apse and the eight frescoed chapels.
Adjacent to the church there is the convent with its two cloisters.



The Sentiero del Viandante (the Wayfarer’s Trail) is a hiking path mainly constituted by mule tracks running along the eastern branch of Lake Como. It starts in Abbadia Lariana and ends in Colico,

The whole route is 45km long and it is usually walked in different stages.

In 2020 it was the first path to be certified by the Touring Club of Italy.

SAN ROCCO, a small Romanic church, with frescos dating back to 1450, was used by the pilgrims and the wayfarers on the path as a resting spot along the trail. Originally the church was dedicated to San Sebastian, but its name changed when people started praying to San Rocco, protector of lepers, during recurring outbursts of the plague. Colico’s inhabitants would leave the village and seek isolation, fresh air and the saint’s intercession in the mountains surrounding the church.

FONTANEDO is a medieval village on the slopes of Mount Legnone, in a dominant position over Lake Como. At the centre of the village, the ruins of an old tower still stand, part of an ancient defensive system. Barnabo’ Visconti ordered it to be built in 1367, to gain control over the route, nowadays known as the Sentiero Del Viandante, which connected Lecco to Valtellina.



An impressive complex of buildings and gardens, planned and built between 1400 and 1800, Villa Cipressi today represents a perfect and harmonious balance between antique elegance and modern functionality. This was made possible by a well-planned renovation completed by the R Collection Hotels Group, which preserved the pre-existing architectural features.

Originally belonging to the Serponti family heritage, the structure later passed into the hands of prestigious characters, such as Baron Isimbardi (who built a lab for the mint of Milan, where he worked as Director,within its walls); the Andreossi family, Sir Sulton, the English Astleys  and, finally, the Accame family.

In 1980 it was purchased by Varenna’s CITY GOVERNMENT , through a public and voluntary purchase, with the intention to deprivatize it.

Currently belonging to Varenna’s townhall, it is now a renowned hotel and restaurant, with a convention centre. Every year it hosts many weddings with couples coming from all over the world.




Molino Maufet is located in Colico (LC), in the Villatico area, along the route of the Antica Roggia Molinaria which started in Fontanedo, the first settlement of the town, dating back to 1100. Molino Maufet originated at this time, as a small construction visible upstream of the current historical complex.

The Teresiano Land Registry in 1718 also mentions it in a Level Contract, as “site to pile water Barley “owned by the Augustian Friars of Gravedona, then taken over by The Sciucco family together with the mill used for grinding wheat and corn.

There are traces of the mill complex in the 1800’s, witnessed by a date still visible today on the lintel at the entrance. 

With the initials “MA BM” followed by “FEB 1826” the Sciucco family ceased the use of the Pile and carried on the production activity with the Molino.

On the façade one can admire the recovered fresco of Saint Cristina of Bolsena, protector of mills, celebrated on July 24th.

The mill, in operation till the sixties and then abandoned following the death of the last millers, called the “Maufet”, is now owned by the Bettiga family, who has been taking care with the restoration, enhancement and historical research for years.



Palazzo Gallio is a Cardinal’s residence built on a promontory overlooking the village of Gravedona et Uniti, in the area of Alto Lago di Como. Commissioned by Tolomeo Gallio, Cardinal and Secretary of State of the Papal Throne, the construction began in 1856 and was completed in 1607, the year of the cardinal’s death, who could never live there.

Palazzo Gallio was inherited by the nephews of the Cardinal, the Dukes of Alvito, but was never used as a residential dwelling; during the French and Spanish occupation, it was used as a hospital, and in the early 19th century it was sold to private individuals.

Today it belongs to the Comunita’ Montana Alto Lario Occidentale, and it is considered a national monument. The building has a square plan with four massive angular towers. The entrance and the main hall are imposing and used for exhibitions, conferences and concerts.




Parco delle Rimembranze is a small green area along Via Roma, in Bellano. It houses a War Memorial and commemorative stones in memory of the Bellanesi who died during the war.

Bellano is an Italian municipality within the Lecco province, in Lombardy, on the eastern shore of Lake Como. It counts 3490 inhabitants. It would appear that the territory already had settlements in Roman times, when it was crossed by the Spluga Way, a Roman route connecting Milan to the Spluga Pass.

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