Erratic blocks or boulders: wonders of the ice age which glided from Val Masino to the lake territory. Of various dimensions they have always fed popular legends connected with devils, saints, witches and wizards but that hasn’t stopped people from using them as building material, ornamental elements or millstones. There are plenty of them on the mountains above Bellagio but the most interesting ones are “la Pietra Lentina” and “la Pietra Luna”. The Pietra Lentina (960 m. above sea level) impressive for its measurement (30x10x9 metres and a weight of about 6000 tons) has an almost flat surface. The hollows on it are due to a meteoric erosion but popular tradition have identified them as signs made by fire balls thrown by spiteful devils.

On the same surface there are several inscriptions, the oldest of which dates back to 1746. The “Pietra Luna” (which is situated nearby “Paino Rancio” in a private park) owes its name to the crescent engraved on its west wall in 1763 and to the letters P.L.B (pietra luna di Bellagio = Moon stone of Bellagio). It is said that people from Bellagio engraved them on a night to establish the boundaries between Bellagio and Magreglio. Another stone outcropping to the surface of the water in front of Punta Spartivento is called “Sass del pan”. The origin of the name is due to historical events of 1629 when the Landsk-nechts came from Valtellina bringing famine and plague to Varenna, Lierna and Mandello. Bellagio was safe because the invaders didn’t cross the lake. Bags of milled wheat were put on the stone for the people of Bellano and Varenna who came to take them by boat putting their money in jars filled with vinegar, considered an excellent disinfectant. Considered dangerous for the navigation it was blown up and its remains are still to be seen when the lake is low.


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