Thursday, June 2, 2016

Varenna to Bellano Hike on the Viandante Trail

Left: Hike overview from Varenna to Bellano. Right: Example of one part of the trail.Hike overview from Varenna to BellanoExample of one part of the trail

Hike Notes


Length: ~ 6.8 km (4.25 miles)
Duration: ~ 2.5 hours
Elevation: total elevation gain 562 m (1,845 feet)
Location: Lago di Como

Overview


We walked the Viandante on Day 2 of a two day stay in the Varenna/Bellagio area. It was an easy train ride from (1 change in Lecco) from Bergamo. Day 1 we arrived in Varenna by train, took a boat (see http://www.navlaghi.it/ for times) to Bellagio, and spend the day exploring. We used Walking the Italian Lakes Walk 24: Around Bellagio as a guide. We stayed in Varenna that night and the next day we walked the Viandante from Varenna to Bellano.

Viandante means “wayfarer” and this route was used by those needing to travel north-south. Viandante is on the east side of Lake Como and is less travelled than La Greenway on the west side. From the same guide mentioned above, we followed Walk 22: Sentiero del Viandante 1: Varenna to Bellano. The walk is also described in detail (in Italian) in Il sentiero del viandante. When walking this trail, you will quickly learn to look for orange signs, orange markings on the ground like a dot or a three letter acronym (not sure if it was TSV but it was in orange) – all indications you are going in the right direction.

We started out early from Varenna and walked up to Castello Vezio reaching it at 9:30am. Unfortunately, it wasn’t open yet. We decided not to wait around for the 10:00 opening time and headed on to Bellano. We made it to Bellano around noon. In Bellano, we stopped at the L'Orrido di Bellano (worth it for the small entry fee).

Down on the main square, we ate at Trattoria del Ponte and then stopped at Pasticceria Maglia Simone for something sweet on the train ride back to Bergamo. All in all, a simple little hike with pleasing scenery.

Left: Typical alley of Varenna leading to the water. Right: Example of orange Sentiero del Viandante signs.
Typical alley of Varenna leading to the waterExample of orange Sentiero del Viandante signs

Left: Dead scorpion we found on the welcome mat of the Chiesa di S. Antonio Abate di Vezio. These really can’t hurt you; a sting like a wasp we read….still wouldn’t want to meet up with it. Right: View south toward ferry landing in Varenna.
Dead scorpion we found on the welcome mat of the Chiesa di S. Antonio Abate di Vezio. These really can’t hurt you; a sting like a wasp we read….still wouldn’t want to meet up with itView south toward ferry landing in Varenna

L’Orrido di Bellano – basically a gorge with a waterfall that is used to generate power today but has a long history of use in the silk and cotton factories in Bellano.L’Orrido di Bellano – basically a gorge with a waterfall that is used to generate power today but has a long history of use in the silk and cotton factories in BellanoL’Orrido di Bellano – basically a gorge with a waterfall that is used to generate power today but has a long history of use in the silk and cotton factories in Bellano

Left: Looking south from the trail toward Gittana. Right: View over Lake Como from Bellano, looking south.
Looking south from the trail toward GittanaView over Lake Como from Bellano, looking south

Left: View from Viandante toward Bellano. Right: View northwest toward Varenna from must south of Varenna.
View from Viandante toward BellanoView northwest toward Varenna from must south of Varenna

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