• Trekking

The 'Tracciolino' path

A small 'work of art' between the slopes north of Lake Como. A path suitable for everyone, trekkers and bikers, crossing beautiful landscapes completely safe.

Marco Trabucchi

The 'Tracciolino' path

There are many scenic walks around Italy, but there is one that has few rivals in terms of beauty, landscape and bold crevices to cross on foot or by bike. It’s the Tracciolino path, unique in Italy, located in Valchiavenna, just above Lake Como.

Recently secured, it is a path which attracts trekkers and bikers from all over Europe. The reason is obvious: it is a memorable circuit of hiking and mountain biking, touching scenes of wild and harsh beauty, giving unique images and suggestions.



Before being an attraction it was a wonderful piece of human engineering, built in the 1930s as a link between two dams, one in Val Codera (pretty much just a concrete wall) and one in Val dei Ratti (bigger), with 22 tunnels to cross and a very exposed trail (now safe) which runs at a constant height of 920 meters. At the time, along the route, there were rails on which travelled small wagons carrying men and materials.

The path starts from the dam of Moledana, in Val dei Ratti, under Frasnedo, and for 12 km runs along the coast of the mountain following its orography, sometimes through ridges with tunnels dug by hand, to arrive in high Val Codera.

The route is flat, suitable for everyone, giving its best, scenically speaking, in the last section, where the path is carved into the rock and has many galleries.

In the first kilometers there still is a railway track that goes up to the top station of the cable car going up from the Central of Novate Mezzola, dedicated only to materials transportation. And with a little bit of luck you can meet the custodian who goes back and forth from the custodians’ house to the dam of Moledana. The other part no longer has the tracks, but it is still a nice trail a little more than a meter wide, with a protective parapet wall in the most exposed areas.


The tour can be structured in different ways depending on the kind of effort that you want to choose. Two main routes:

The first one, for trekkers, is a challenging loop path that starts from Novate Mezzola and gets to Verceia. You park next to the beach on Lake Mezzola, just beyond the bridge over the river Codera. On foot, you go along the road that, going up on the side of the river’s bed, leads to the starting point of the path that goes to St. George. From the small village to Tracciolino is a short way. After a 10 km long path, the descent towards Verceia consists of a pleasant walk in the woods. From Verceia you can go back to the car along a beautiful bike path on the banks of Lake Mezzola.

The second, also for bikers, is less tiring and it’s a round-trip always on the same track. By car from Verceia you travel for about 8 km on paved hairpin turns, up to an open space, about a hundred meters below the starting of Tracciolino at 900 meters of altitude. From there, you reach the beautiful village of Codera and then you go back.

The most trained ones can choose to leave the car in Verceia and walk on the asphalt road up to Tracciolino, then up to Codera.

From that village you can also choose the descent to Novate Mezzola.