Sights

About a 10-minute walk northeast from central Torno, around the point, is the Romanesque-Gothic Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista. It holds what is purported to be a holy nail from the cross of Jesus Christ, left behind by a German crusading bishop in the 11th century.

About 1.5km further east along the lake, Villa Pliniana was built in the 16th century (and therefore did not belong to the first-century Plinys) and is one of the oldest ones located on the lake – Lord Byron stayed here and Percy Shelley thought about buying it. After years of restoration, the villa was transformed into a luxury hotel that opened in 2016. An intermittently flowing fountain occasionally gushes from under the building into the lake. The phenomenon was observed by the Plinys and, much later, by Leonardo da Vinci.

At the south end of Torno's lakeside square, the Albergo Belvedere, an old-time hotel restaurant, has a bucolic touch, with timber tables and walls dripping with black-and-white photos. In the warmer months, it opens out to a series of terrace tables, shaded by the twisting branches of a linden tree that, since 1987, has been patiently cultivated sideways to form a pergola. Lake-fish and meat options feature prominently.