Inhabited in Roman times and politically active, in the twelfth century gained independence and participated in the struggles at times as an ally, others as an enemy, Como. Fatal was the alliance with Milan for the war against Como (1175-1127), the latter, defeated, took revenge by destroying the island. Even the bishop raged against it, launching a terrible excommunication in 1175. Since then no one lived more on the island, until, in the twentieth century, entrusted to the Academy of Brera and at the wish of the King of Belgium, the island became a place of residence of Italian and Belgian artists, for which villas were designed by the rationalist architect P. Lingeri.
The island looks like a site full of history with admirable views and lush vegetation. It can be reached by ferry from Tremezzina or other places on Lake Como and can be covered in 2 hours through the paths that lead to the discovery of its archaeological treasures.
Remains of Romanesque churches and evidence from the Middle Ages are found below the church of San Giovanni Battista (17th century). The excavations in the 50s brought to light the churches of Santa Maria with Portico and San Pietro in Castello.
Of high artistic value is the Baptismal Hall dating back, probably, to the fifth century where it was partially preserved the mosaics that decorated the floor and the cocciopesto in the apse area. In the structures of the Benedictine convent of S. Faustino, medieval walls dating back to the oldest complex dedicated to both martyr brothers are preserved: Faustino and Giovita.