Locanda dell'Isola Comacina

A history which goes back for centuries.
Comacina Island became important for strategic and religious reasons at the time of the barbarian invasions, starting with the war between Greeks and Goths. In 539, troops of Burgundiands and Alemannics ventured as far as Northern Italy. In 569, the ruthless Uraja conquered Milan; the wealthiest inhabitants of Como and the nearby villages gathered their riches and took refuge on the Island where they resisted against the barbaric enemies, as the last bulwark of Christian world to defend liberty. In a short while the small surface of the Island was covered with houses, churches and fortifications. That was the time the Island was known as Cristopoli (City of Christ).
During Middle Ages both the Island, known as Isola Comense or Cumana, and the nearby mainland achieved a great economical and political importance with the help of the bishop of Como. In 1118 a 10-year war between Como and Milan broke out; the Island formed an alliance with Milan, which defeated the enemy in 1127.
Como later rose again under Barbarossa's protection and in 1169 soldiers from Como, with the help of the three parishes of Dongo, Gravedona and Sorico, invaded the Island bringing death and ruin. In a decree of 1175 Barbarossa declared that no houses, churches or fortresses were ever to be built on the Island.
Since then, nobody has lived there because of the curse Bishop Vidulf cast on it: "No longer shall bells ring, no stone shall be put on stone, nobody shall be host, under pain of unnatural death."
The Island was given by the bishop to the Vacana family. In 1914, after the events which occurred in Belgium at the beginning of World War I, the owner, Augusto Giuseppe Caprani, decided to bequeath the island to His Majesty Albert I King of Belgium as a token of solidarity. In May 1920 the King of Belgium donated the Island to the Italian State to make it a retreat for Belgian and Italian artists. It was then put under the supervision of Brera Academy.
Cottages were built to accommodate artists and scholars and the Island became a cultural pole in Como area.