The Sentiero del Viandante

An open-air show, to savour step by step.

The Sentiero del Viandante is an ancient mule track that runs along the eastern branch of Lake Como. About 40 kilometers long, with gradients between 400 and 1000 meters, it starts from the town of Abbadia Lariana and reaches Colico. The path offers to the traveler an intense and pleasant walk through history, nature and landscapes of rare beauty. The itinerary is for everyone, it can be done in all seasons and it is wellmarked with orange signals. This ancient walkway intersects with the railway line that connects Milan and Tirano, for this, it is possible to return to the starting point by train without having to go back along the path.

ABBADIA LARIANA - LIERNA

Walking time: 3.30 h

Height difference: +390 m

Distance: 10.6 km

The route starts from the Church of San Martino in Abbadia Lariana. After crossing the railway with a bridge, you will reach the hamlet of Borbino via an asphalt road. From here starts the mule track that crosses the hamlets of Robbianico, with the Church of San Bartolomeo, Linzanico and Novegolo.

Continue on a dirt path that leads to Mandello Del Lario, passing by the splendid Church of San Giorgio, perched on a rock spur. Go up towards the hamlet of Maggiana, dominated by the Torre Del Barbarossa and continue on a cobblestone path towards Rongio. After crossing Mandello, continue along the Val Meria to then ascend to Sonvico and take the path to Galdano, which offers magnificent views of Olcio and the lake.On the next short stretch, you are forced to skirt the freeway, then up towards the hamlets of Sornico and Olgianico, which lead to the end of the first stage: Lierna.

LIERNA - VARENNA

Once in Lierna the route winds in two variants: a low variant that descends towards the lake and a high variant that rises towards the mountain. The two paths meet at the height of Varenna.

HIGH VARIANT

Walking time: 3.45 h

Height difference: +800 m

Distance: 10.4 km

From Lierna go up towards the built-up area of Genico, which is accessed via a steep climb to a forest and a magnificent panoramic viewpoint over the lake. From here, the path becomes softer and leads to AlpeMezzedo and Piano di San Pietro. After reaching the Stagnus of Pozzal you reach Ortanella from where you take the road that goes around Monte Fopp. From here we descend along the ridge towards the Colle di Vezio and reach the eponymous castle, a historical sighting tower from where you can enjoy a breath-taking view and where it is possible in the summer season, to watch exercises with hawks and birds of prey and have lunch in the splendid garden of olive trees. From here on a driveway or path, rejoin the lower variant of the route and descend towards the historic center of Varenna, overlooking the lake.

LOW VARIANT

Walking time: 3.30 h

Height difference: +655 m

Distance: 9.4 km

It allows you to visit the magnificent villages of Castello, Lierna and Fiumelatte. From Lierna continue towards Castello and then go up the stairs towards Ronco, where the path to Coria begins. From here you enter the Vacchera Valley where the path becomes narrower and more difficult and then returns to the valley at a gentler level. In the last stretch you go along a piece of the highway, and then you return to the coast until you reach the Fiumelatte spring and the town of Varenna.

VARENNA – DERVIO

Walking time: 4.20 h

Height difference: +460 m

Distance: 10.5 km

From the village of Vezio take the path to the Esino stream, passing through an ancient bridge. After that we head towards Regolo, first going up and then proceeding along the coast. You reach the Masna Valley and continue towards the Fabbrica.

After having passed the Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows, the path descends towards Bellano. Passing through the famous Orrido, continue to Ombriaco and reach the Sanctuary of Lezzeno. From here you go down to Orio and after Verginate and Ronchi, you reach Dervio.

DERVIO – COLICO – PIANTEDO

Walking time: 5.20 h

Height difference: + 595 m

Distance: 15.6 km

In Dervio, the itinerary crosses the ancient bridge over the Varrone river and goes up towards the village of Castello with its medieval tower and the Church of San Leonardo. Continuing, it reaches the characteristic village of Corenno Plinio with the fortified castle and the Church of San Tommaso. The path continues along the coast and reaches Torchiedo, Mondonico di Dorio and San Rocco.

From here the ascent along Mount Legnone starts, from where you can admire Piona, its pond and its Circus Abbey. At the height of the Church of Madonna dei Monti we descend on a dirt road towards Posallo di Colico. Once past the Rio Perlino, go up towards the Torrente Inganna, where you can visit the Torre di Fontanedo from the 14th century. Continue to Chiaro, Chiarello and Curcio and meet the  “Casa del Viandante”. From here the road crosses the highway, at the junction turn left and then left again to the next one.  The road then goes back into the woods for a stretch and then descends towards the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Valpozzo. To the right of the sanctuary, begins a small road that connects to the provincial road for Piantedo: here, in a small chapel dedicated to the Madonna, the “Sentiero del Viandante” ends.

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