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Larrie: the monster of Lake Como!

When we talk about monsters that live in lakes, Nessie will come to mind, the known Loch Ness Monster in Scotland.

Did you know that Lake Como has its very own monster?

Aside from being famous for its natural beauty, cultural heritage, and romantic views, Lake Como is also home to a legendary beast called Lariosauro, also known as Larrie.

Lariosaurus, Lake Como monster
Lariosauro – photo by

This marine reptile’s legend started in 1946 when two hunters in the north area of Lake Como, Pian di Spagna, claimed to have seen a creature 10 -12 meters long near the shore. Legend says these two hunters drew their rifles at it but the monster disappeared in the middle of the lake. Several years later, another sighting of the creature got reported from Argegno. This time, a father and son saw an animal with webbed feet swimming on the water. Similartly, in August 1957, a group of fishermen claimed to have seen a 10 meter eel between Dongo and Musso.

The latest sighting of Larrie was in 2003. A giant eel looking creature about 10 – 12 meters long was spotted in Lecco. Some people claim that what tehy saw was a school of fish rather than Larrie.

Learn more about Larrie by visiting Vezio’s Castle

Even though this is thought to be a myth, this legend certainly adds to the charm of this region. Should you be interested in learning more about Lariosauro, there is a permanent exhibit at Vezio’s Castle near Varenna. The exhibit includes casts of various fossils found in the surroundings of Perledo.

History of Vezio’s Castle

The Vezio Castle has stood for more than a thousand years. It is an ancient military outpost of early medieval origin built by the Lombard Queen Theodelinda to defend and control the lake and surrounding villages. The castle is located in a militarily and commercially strategic location which dominates the entire centre of Lake Como. Surrounded by one of northernmost olive groves in the world, the Castle hosts temporary art exhibitions of various kinds in the garden and, as mentioned above, a permanent exhibition on Lariosaurus. With its visitable dungeons and statues scattered about the garden along with the “ghosts”, the Castle stands in surroundings of unparalleled natural beauty.

Vezio’s Castle – picture from

 The Castle can be easily reached on foot, by bicycle, or by car. If you enjoy hiking and would like to explore on foot, the walk to the Castle is the way to go. We highly suggest you wearing comfortable shoes that are suitable for hiking and that give you ankle support as the ascent is steep and the rocks may be slippery when they are wet. Nothing too difficult nor dangerous, we promise!

Should you decide to go there by bike, get in touch with Varenna Holidays – Experiences department as we have ebikes for rent. You can either call on the fly once in town or book your bike in advance to ensure it is available upon your arrival in Varenna.

Ebike rental by Varenna Holidays

If neither of those options work for you, and you have a car at your disposal, you may decide to drive to the Castle. Be aware that during the high tourist season, parking may be limited.

Whichever method of transportation you may decide, we hope that you enjoy your visit to the castle and soak in the breathtaking views!