First mentioned in an official document in 1167 (as Bruxia), Brusino Arsizio was probably already the site of a settlement in ancient times, as some artefacts from a despoiled Roman tomb found in 1970 would seem to show. This lakeside town once had a tower or similar fortification, as the name Castrum Brugini Arsitj and the tower in the municipal coat of arms would lead us to suppose. In the 8th century it was owned by the Totoniden family from Campione d’Italia, before coming under the control of Milan in the 13th century, further to the holdings of the monastery of St. Ambrose, which owned several tracts of land in and around Brusino.
The parish church of St. Michael – the patron saint of the village and whose cult was linked to the Lombard monarchy – was first mentioned in 1508, when the village became an independent parish, detaching itself from the Parish of Riva San Vitale. Since the Middle Ages the local economy has been based on fishing, forestry on the slopes of Mount San Giorgio and livestock, interspersed with seasonal migration. In 1798 Brusino Arsizio agreed, albeit somewhat half-heartedly, to join the short-lived Republic of Riva San Vitale (which lasted only about a month).
Over the course of the last century, Brusino Arsizio became a holiday resort, especially in the Serpiano area, with its hotel, cable car and the Kurhaus health spa. The population is now mostly engaged in the tertiary sector and many holiday homes have been built along the shores of Lake Lugano.
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