It was with these words that the Countess Winifred Terni de’ Gregorj Taylor described Spinone.
The hamlet is situated further up the Tonale state road SS42 that runs along the shore of the lake, at the part where there are some tourist facilities and shops. Coming into the town, one comes across the beautiful little 13th century church of San Pietro in Vincoli, surrounded by greenery. Unfortunately nothing survives in the town of the ancient Castle Suardi, knocked down in the 15th century to comply with a decree from the Venetian overlords ordering the demolition of many fortifications in the valley. The Suardi, a noble Bergamasque family, restructured an old building as their home, which today is at least partly recognisable, if greatly altered. It appears that St. Charles Borromeo stayed overnight in the seigneurial residence in 1575, on his way back from a pastoral visit to the Val Seriana.
The main businesses supporting the economy of Spinone today are one or two hotels and the Fonti San Carlo (the San Carlo mineral water bottling plant). In connection with the Fonti, there is a cold-water, sulphurous mountain spring that flows out of the ground in the Tuf Valley, which has long been known about and has been tapped commercially since 1900, initially with a simple kiosk, then a small spa hotel and now with the establishment of the bottling plant for the waters.
In order to guarantee public access to the spring waters, the municipality has set up a refreshment booth that is free and open to all, so if you are feeling thirsty you can always make use of that.
Municipality of Spinone al Lago
Area: 1.98 square kilometres
Altitude: 360 metres above sea level