Sentiero del Viandante: from Lierna to Varenna
STAGE 2

Sentiero del Viandante: from Lierna to Varenna / Vezio

The second stage of the Sentiero del Viandante is the most demanding of all and takes us from the municipality of Lierna to that of Varenna, which can be reached by following two different routes: one Low variant, which descends towards the lake, it's a High variant that climbs towards the mountain, more panoramic but also more intense, both in terms of difference in height and in terms of type of route.

The two paths then rejoin at the height of Varenna.

Low variant

From the train station Lierna take the Provincial road 72 for a stretch and continue staying close to the lake towards the nucleus of Castello.

Then climb along the stairway in the direction of Ronco, where the path begins which, moving away from the lake, gains height and leads to houses of Coria (780m), the highest point of this section.

Shortly before reaching Cรฒria the view opens onto the promontory of Bellagio, which separates the two branches of Lake Como.

From here, advancing into the depths Val Vacchera, the path enters the wood and becomes narrower and steeper (in one point you help yourself with a fixed rope that acts as a handrail), however, offering spectacular views, to then return to descend gently towards the lake.

Final part of stage 2

In the final part of the stage, approaching the town of Varenna, you coast along the highway for a while and then continue along the path until you reach the source of the Fiumelatte, considered the shortest waterway in Italy (only 250 m from its source to when it flows into the lake).

Curiosity: it is precisely its milky-white foaming waters that have given it the name Fiumelatte to this waterway.

Before reaching Varenna, the path climbs rapidly until it reaches the houses and the Vezio Castle (360 m), which stands on a rocky outcrop and which is a worthy finale for this stage.

From Vezio you descend towards the center of Varenna and its railway station following a small cobbled street.

If you happen to go along it in the months of April and May you will find an abundant flowering of wild garlic, very nice to see and which you certainly will not miss given the intense smell it gives off!

Before reaching the railway station, a visit to the enchanting place is a must village of Varenna and walk his Walk of lovers.

We leave you some photos later.

What to see in this stage

  • Lierna Castle nucleus;

  • sources of the Fiumelatte;

  • Castello di Vezio and its village;

  • village of Varenna;

High variant

It starts from the Lierna railway station and climbs towards the hamlet of Genico (320m) following a small cobbled street.

From here the route continues in the chestnut grove and becomes gentler until it reaches the meadows of Alpe Mezzedo (873 m) and its icebox, near which it is possible to enjoy magnificent views of the lake.

Another uphill section and shortly after you come to the crossroads for the beautiful Romanesque church of San Pietro (990m) located in an extremely panoramic position over the whole lake and the culminating point of the climb of this stage.

Continue maintaining the altitude following the comfortable, almost flat path that leads to Ortanella (950 m).

From here continue along a dirt road and once you have passed the Mount Fopp the long descent begins in the woods up to the rocky outcrop on which the Vezio Castle, interspersed with truly wonderful panoramic views of the lake: from the tip of the Lariano Triangle with the promontory of Bellagio in the foreground that divides the two branches of Lake Como, to the view from above of the village of Varenna and Menaggio, on the Como shore of the lake.

When you find yourself in the woods, look around and admire the wonders that nature gives you!

In spring you will certainly find trees dotted with yellow: they are the laburnums, which punctually every year color the woods on the slopes of the Lombard lakes.

Leaving the wood, first take a stretch of driveway and then the path until you reach the castle of Vezio, with its famous watchtower. If you have time available, don't miss a visit to the village and castle.

From Vezio you descend towards the center of Varenna and its railway station following a small cobbled street. If you happen to go along it in the months of April and May you will find an abundant flowering of wild garlic, very nice to see and which you certainly will not miss given the intense smell it gives off!

From here the route joins the Variante Bassa and a steep mule track descends towards the historic center of Varenna and its enchanting lakefront.

What to see in this stage

  • village of Genico, fraction of Lierna;

  • Croce del Brentalone and Alpe Mezzedo;

  • Castello di Vezio and its village;

  • village of Varenna;

In conclusion

We thank the author Manuela Brunello, the blonde with the suitcase for the article, here is her personal Instagram profile. While Road to Lombardy is his page to discover some places to visit in Lombardy.