Next to the church, still high up above the village, there's a little gem, the "monumental" terraced cemetery as it is called here. Despite what one might think, this cemetary is far from being morbid or sad... there are beautiful tombs to see, including one in Egyptian style and one with a sculpture by Henry Moore.
Some of the tombs belong to famous people who have asked to be buried there, for example the German-Albanian actor Alexander Moissi (Trieste 1879 - Vienna 1935) (esempio Alexander Moissi ed Eugène d'Albert or the German pianist and composer Eugen d'Albert (Glasgow 1864 - Riga 1932)
The top sight in Morcote is the Chiesa di Santa Maria del Sasso, it's an old church founded in the 1300 by some friars coming from the French part of Switzerland. It's located above the village, it takes zillions of steps to walk up there, but the views over the village and the lake are fantastic.
Inside the church and the nearby chapel there are old and interesting frescoes to see, in particular those by Domenico Sursnicus (1513) which are sadly partly hidden by the organ, and by Bartolomeo Sardi (1500-something) and by Giovanni Battista Tarilli (1500-something, too).
The bell tower was added later: its construction took seven years and the stones used were taken away from the castle walls. the castle is still standing (but cannot be visited, as it is privately owned and inhabited) but of the wall very little is left.
The church was founded in the 13th century on a panoramic terrace and contains renaissance frescoes.
To get to the church you have to walk many steps..... but it was well worth it. The walk down was much more better though.
View from the church was awesome.
April-Oct Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat & Sun 9am-6pm
Nov-March Mon-Fri 1.30-6pm, Sat & Sun 9am-6pm.
There is a beautiful old arcade in Morcote, that runs parallel to the lake shore.
It has a wonderful wooden ceiling and there are many small shops with souvenirs and local handicrafts, besides a few bars and restaurants.
This large beautiful church is a bit uphill from the lake: you have to climb a stair with a few hundred steps to reach it from central Morcote.
The original construction dates back to the 15th century, on a pre-existent 12th century church. It is a very interesting and well kept monument and it has a very nice bell tower.
The big Ceresio lake has shores both on the Italian and the Swiss sides. This part of the lake around Morcote is quite undeveloped: very peaceful, with few boats and a lot of vegetation.
The original medieval Morcote village is probably remained mostly unchanged through the centuries. Though very limited in area, it is an amazing labirynth of narrow alleys, paved with stone.