Ranzanico is set on the gravelly slopes of Monte Pizzetto and Monte Pler at an altitude of five hundred metres, on a series of morainic terraces with decidedly panoramic views. The town grew up around an ancient path that led from the Valle Seriana, across the Valle Rossa and the territory of Bianzano, to Lake Endine. Looking up the mountain from the old road of the Cross which comes from Bianzano and goes through the town, and the San Bernardino road that goes to Endine, one sees only woods and pasture, while looking down into the valley, you see terrain cultivated with vines and fruit, or land used for agriculture.
The historical importance of this little town seems to be attributable to the facts that, buttressed by defensive structures of its own, it once formed part of the system of fortification of the Val Cavallina and also held a strategic position at the meeting point of two ancient ways of communication. Traces of original fortified structures are still evident in the central nucleus of the town. These are visible in the tower that faces on to the main square, as well as in a few wonderful portals in stone. The ancient parish church of Santa Maria Assunta was dedicated in 1476, a short while after the separation of the parish from that of San Lorenzo in Mologno. This is not the current church, however, as the original church was probably destroyed in the 18th century. Inside the current incarnation of the church one can admire paintings by Palma The Younger, Cifrondi and Orelli.
Whether walking along the shores of the lake or in the town centre surrounded by its frame of verdant hills, one really feels in a privileged position overlooking Lake Endine at Ranzanico.
In the historic town centre there is an old palazzo called Palazzo Re, where the Silk Museum, Museo della seta “Fal’fil – from silkworm to silk”, is located. There is also a permanent exhibition of memorabilia and curios from local families here. A short walk from Palazzo Re is the exquisite Oratorio di San Bernardino and then a little bit further on the Chapel of the Alpini, a distinctive feature of the area.
Municipality of Ranzanico
Area: 7.04 square kilometres
Altitude: 519 metres above sea level