When touring Italian lakes, food-wise, you are spoiled for choice. One particular restaurant though is an absolute must. Situated on a beautiful island in the middle of Lake Como, Locanda dell’Isola Comacina has been faithfully serving the same menu from 1949! www.comacina.it/en/restaurant.php
The island itself has had a chequered history. Today it is uninhibited and only visited by curious tourists that go to the famous restaurant or take a walk along the footpaths which lead to the ancient ruins.
In the past it was invaded and under siege many times. In 1169 while it was destroyed by Como’s inhabitants, Bishop of Como threw his curse on the island: “The bells shall never ring again, shall never again build stone on stone, no one will ever again be host, the punishment shall be an atrocious death”.
The island was abandoned over time and no innkeeper dared to contest the middle aged curse until the 50’s, when Lino Nessi – known as “Cotoletta”– decided to challenge destiny. Even though his two business partners died, he opened the Locanda dell’ Isola Comacina and listened to the suggestions of the English female writer Francis Dale who suggested an exorcism ritual to him against Vidulfo’s curse. Since then each meal, which has a unique menu with inspired by the vegetables of the season ends with “il rito del fuoco” (the fire ritual) and the preparation of a mix containing acquavite (Italian spirit), sugar and coffee which is offered to the guests accompanied by the ringing of the bell.