• Trekking

The ‘Traveller’s Path’

A unique opportunity to discover the artistic and natural beauties of the Como Lake’ eastern bank. From Lecco towards north, on walk or with mountain bike.

Marco Trabucchi

 The ‘Traveller’s Path’

‘That branch of the Como lake’, the same that Manzoni mentioned in the opening of his most famous novel. From Lecco to Colico, the entrance to the wonders of Valtellina’s mountains. It is about 40 kilometers, that can be traveled by car in half an hour (taking the expressway) or in an hour (taking the coastal provincial road). But there is a slower way to follow the route: on the footsteps of the old travelers.

One of those route is known today as the ‘Traveller’s path’ (Il Sentiero del Viandante), the ancient path that used to join Lecco to the beginning of Valtellina.

An hiking path of rare beauty, with the lake always present as main character, it is about 45 kilometers long, it is possible to go through it in three or four stages (or in two stages, pushing harder). Ideal for Sundays’ trips too: thanks to the frequent intersections with the Lecco-Colico rail road, it is possible to travel one stage at a time going back to the starting point by train. The reasonable price and the excellent position of the path make this itinerary accessible in every season.


The official starting point of the Traveler’s path is situated at Abbadia Lariana, near the church of San Martino. The path is on the steep slopes of the Southerner Grigna, you can often find crossroads that take to high altitudes. The path is made of various type of ground: road, logging road, cobblestones, tar, wide field and tangled bushes that form an always changing scenery . 

The Traveler’s path is not hard to do and it follows easy tracks and beautiful mule tracks; some rather long parts are on a concrete route and (unfortunately) some parts are on paved roads. The way is at a medium high altitude, between 300 and 400 meters high, some parts are higher (up to 600 meters high) or lower (when the path goes down to cross the coastal villages). Only in the second stage, from Lierna to Varenna, you can reach higher altitudes and it is the point with the best view (780 meters high the lower way, and 992 meters high the higher way).

One of the most suggestive part is on the 2nd stage, that goes from the Vezio castle to the center of Varenna, one of the biggest center on the coast, rich of beautiful vintage residences ( the most famous one is Villa Monastero with its garden that almost suspended on the water). From here, passed the Esino creek on a narrow little bridge, the path follows to the small village of Regolo then it passes through the Witches’ Bush. After being passed around Gittana, the path goes down towards Bellano through a staircase where it reaches the entrance of Orrido del Pioverna (http://www.orridobellano.it).

During the 4th stage through Colico, don’t forget to visit Piona and the homonymous little gulf on which rises the marvelous abbey, you can reach it doing a deviation through a cobblestone tiny path in good conditions.

From here, like from almost any other locality of the eastern coast, it’s easy  to go back to the base by public transports, especially taking the train that goes from Colico to Lecco in less than an hour; the train follows the lake’s coast to let you admire the suggestive view for the last time.


Complete itinerary:

- 1st stage: Abbadia Lariana - Lierna

Travel time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Difference in height: +390 meters

- 2nd stage: Lierna - Vezio - Varenna

Travel time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Difference in height: +580 meters (+732 meters with the “High Variation”)

- 3rd stage: Vezio - Dervio

Travel time: 4 hours
Difference in height: +430 meters

- 4th stage: Dervio - Piantedo

Travel time: 6 hours
Difference in height: +650 meters