Finding Family at Lake Como

My great grandfather, Vincent Domencetti, was originally from Dongo, Italy on Lake Como.

I had debated whether this was the right trip to visit Lake Como and the surrounding cities due to the amount of things that we were trying to see around Italy. In the end, I was too excited to visit where my family was from that I couldn’t pass it up.

We ended up staying one night in a hotel in Como- Borgo Antico Hotel. The hotel was nice but nothing particularly special. There was a nice free breakfast, but because we had to leave for the train very early in the morning, we couldn’t take advantage of it. The Airbnb options weren’t the best either so we decided against that.

When we arrived, we got our boat passes and took the ferry around Lake Como. There are two ferry options the faster only goes to the major towns, while the slower stops at each small town along the way. Lake Como was absolutely gorgeous though as it is in the Italian Alps.

On a trip my great Uncle Bob took to Italy, he found out that our family had a palace in the city of Dongo which is a smaller city on Lake Como. This was a palace belonging to the Manzi family which is the family of my great, great grandmother – Theresa Manzi.

The city was mostly residential with a few restaurants and a city hall. The city hall used to be the Manzi Palace. The family gifted it to the city to use as a city hall. It is currently still used as a city hall, a tourist office, and a World War 2 museum. Dongo was one of the cities that Mussolini stopped at during his attempted escape from Italy.

Unfortunately, we got there at lunch time so weren’t able to enter the museum and the next tour wasn’t for a few hours. We decided to just try to explore the building on our own and to head back to the ferry.

We then stopped at Bellagio, which is a bit touristy for my taste but also a lovely small Italian town.

Finally, we were back in Como for dinner and a ride up the mountain in a funicular which is similar to the inclines in Pittsburgh. The views from the top were gorgeous!

Here are some additional pictures from around Como:

Our one day at Lake Como was so relaxing. I could definitely come back for a week or two for a nice Italian lake vacation.

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