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One day hike at lake Como, Varenna - Bellano

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How to get to the lake Como

Lake Como is not that far from Milan and if you take a flight to Bergamo airport it is even closer. You can take a train from Bergamo to Lecco and switch to the train going to Tirano. The whole trip from Bergamo to Varenna will take ~1h20 and I would suggest to sit on the left side of the train for a better views.

Wayfarer’s Trail

This hike is only a small part of a 45km long Wayfarer’s Trail (Santiero del Viandante), which leads from Abbadia Lariana (north of Lecco) to Colico, on the eastern shore of Lake Como. On our hike from Varenna to Bellano we walked around 10 km in total. Hike is relatively easy, just don’t forget to follow the signs which lead to Bellano, as you’ll probably find some leading to opposite direction.

The beginning of the hike is actually the hardest. The road to Vezio castle is steep, but relatively short and there is even a few places to take a break or even to refill your water supplies. Near the entrance to the castle you can find a small cafe with beer where you can also buy a ticket to enter Vezio castle for 4€. It is open from March to November.

Vezio castle

The origins of the fortification are not clear. The name of Vezio is probably of Roman origin, as families who also had this name lived in an area near lake Como Various writers think that the fortification dates to Late Antiquity and was used by Romans for a strategic purposes.

A legend says that the joint construction was build by Theodelinda, queen of Lombards, as she was leaving a visible trace of her Christian faith behind.

After visiting the Vezio Castle follow the road down to a beautiful mountain creek. You’ll have to climb back up, but the road is not as steep as before. Walk until you reach Perledo, then just follow the signs, which is plenty in the living area.

Approx. at the middle of the hike near a parish of St. Martin is a perfect place for a rest with an amazing view over the Como lake, the mountains and surrounding villages.

After that, walk down to a car road, the path is short, but really beautiful. If you need anything from the shop you’ll find one in this part of the hike.

Don’t miss the turn to the left and follow it downward to Parrocchia Della Natività Della Beata Vergine Mara.

Cross the road and follow a short levada uphill.

After 10 minutes of walk you’ll cross a small bridge over a stream. No water resupply here.

The further road is basically flat and easy to walk. Take your time and enjoy the spectacular view.

Lake Como (Lago di Como)

Located in the Italian Alps, lake Como was formed 10.000 years ago when a massive glacier carved out a deep gorge that would later become lake Como. Old as blue eyes or domesticated cats, this lake has a rich history from prehistoric times to this day.

In 2014, lake Como was named the most beautiful lake in the world by Huffington Post and is a popular retreat for aristocrats and wealthy people since Roman times. Lake Como is located only ~50km from Milan, in the richest and the most populous region in Italy – Lombardy.

With an area of 146 square km, lake Como is the third largest lake in Italy and one of the deepest lakes in Europe, reaching over 400 m depth.

In Bellano be sure not to miss a natural gorge – Oriido di Bellano.

After finishing the hike you can take a ferry back to Varenna or just go with a train straight to Lecco.