The ingenious inventor Pietro Vassena was born in Malgrate on April 21,1897. Even as a child, he had been able to put his genius into practice, designing useful tools for the mechanic workshops around Lecco. During the 1930s he designed the first outboard motors for small boats, the first motorized bicycles, and elaborated that which we now know as the jet-ski. In that same era, he patented his revolutionary Skivass - part ski, part canoe - used for moving and sliding on the water. In June of 1963, with skivass on his feet, he welcomed American President John Fitzgerald Kennedy to his visit to Bellagio.
In 1940, Pietro Vassena achieved an honorary degree in Engineering from Milan’s Polytechnic University. During the Second World War he designed a gassogenic-type motor, fueled by wood and charcoal. The unique motor, due to the scarcity of combustibles caused by the war, had an enormous success, it was used on automobiles, trucks and public transportation. After the war, he designed a two-cylinder motorcycle engine, and perfected his outboard motor, later transferring his patents to the Carniti Company of Oggiono.
On March 12, 1948, Pietro Vassena made his mark on history, thanks to his most important project: the Batiscafo C3 submarine. Off the shores of Argegno, together with submariner Nino Turati, it plunged to touch the bottom of Lake Como, at a depth of 412 meters. No submariner had ever reached that depth, it was a world-famous event, and a few months later, off the island of Ischia they reached a depth of 700 meters. Unfortunately, his submarine sunk in the waters off of Capri, it was a deep wound for him, even though, thankfully, there was no crew on board. He filed 33 patents in his life, and he died in Malgrate on May 21, 1967 without having been able to realize his dream: the hydrogen engine.
Lecco's fame is connected above all to Alexander Manzoni who, as a child, lived in the 18th-century villa of Caleotto (Manzoni Museum), and here was inspired when writing many pages of his book: I Promessi Sposi.Lecco
Dried Shad (Agone), called Missoltini or Missultin, were at one time a precious food for inhabitants of Lake Como, the particular processing allowed them to be conserved for more than a year, excellent traditional Lake Como cuisine.Lario Cuisine
Bellagio is Lario's central headland cape of Lario, by far one of the most beautiful tourist places, not only of Lake Como, but of the entire world. Its beauty has been praised, since the 16th century, by Italian and foreign visitors.Bellagio