Trip to Rogolone – the monumental oak

27 October 2017 | By Annalisa De Maria in Activities, Parco San Marco, Surroundings, To know more about

The Rogolone is located on a plateau surrounded by woods in Val Menaggio. Nestled between Lake Como and Lake Lugano and sitting at the center of a large lawn, gorgeous and magnificent as any cathedral, it is even more beautiful and fascinating because it is a legendary, living oak tree.

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It is eight hundred years old and, after so many centuries, the bark of its trunk is crossed by deep longitudinal grooves and it has the color and appearance of rock, identical to that of the stone seat at its base.

The tree unfortunately presents an obvious wound, a large branch cut a few years ago by a scribe looking for wood. It is difficult to prevent it from being damaged, even though it has, since 1928, been granted a protection bond by the Ministry of Education and is now under the tutelage of the Italia Nostra Association.

The reach of its boughs has a circumference of fifty meters, covering the whole lawn with its shadow and the perfect structure of its branches stand out against the sky. Here, once, the wise men, the elders of the surrounding countries (before Italy became a single country in 1861), gathered to administer justice and ratify the most important decisions. A preserved document of the fifteenth century, records the meeting that took place under the Rogolone between representatives of Beilate, Grona, Naggio and Grandola, to establish the borders of the four countries and end the ongoing litigation, taking witness of their Commitment to the great oak, sacred to the local people from the earliest times, when the “Spring Festival” was celebrated under its fronds and held magical and religious rites.

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A second smaller oak stands on the edge of the lawn. While less grand in stature, this too is also classified as a “monumental tree” due to its age and could have witnessed the sacredness of the site, once encircled by a crown of trees of which only two have survived and a spring that is still 100 meters away from Rogolone, whose pure water was indispensable for ancient religious ceremonies.

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To reach Rogolone from Parco San Marco: take the car in the direction of Menaggio, at the first traffic light turn left towards Carlazzo. Once at Carlazzo follow the signs for Gottro (fraction of the municipality of Carlazzo). Once you reach the hamlet, turn right into Via San Giorgio, a narrow, paved downhill road leading to the church of San Giorgio with an annexed cemetery. In the small square in front of the church begins a path that leads directly up to the Rogolone (pay attention to the first junction that you meet to take the path on the right).

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