The Wayfarer's Path in Varenna
From Varenna walk along the The Wayfarer's Path and discover this ancient route connecting Lake Como and Valtellina
The Wayfarer’s Path (Sentiero del Viandante) is a suggestive trail that goes back to Roman times and used to be the only footpath connecting the villages on the eastern shore of Lake Como by land.
Following the lakeshore from mid-way up the mountain, it offers hikers the chance to enjoy a few hours of quiet between lake and sky. This trail, once an important route connecting Milan to Switzerland, now covers a length of around 50 km that can be done in multiple legs. The path begins in Abbadia Lariana (LC), near the church of S. Martino, and ends in Morbegno (SO).
The villages on the eastern shore of the lake are served by the Tirano-Sondrio-Lecco-Milano Trenord railway line, useful for those who prefer to take a train back to the starting point. Hikers coming from the western shore of the lake can use the public boat service from Varenna’s port. We recommend wearing clothing and shoes suitable for hiking.
Starting from Varenna, you’ll pick up the trail after hiking to Vezio (Perledo), located above the village. From there you can walk along the Sentiero del Viandante in two directions: the easier path north, in the direction of Bellano, or the more challenging one to Lierna to the south.
The path from Varenna to Bellano is not too challenging, suitable for everyone, and can be walked in around 2.5 hours. Along the way you can admire stunning views on the lake and traces of the local history such as old cascine (farmhouses) and small chapels. The most important landmarks along the trail are Vezio Castle, a medieval fortress overlooking the central lake, and the Orrido of Bellano, a natural gorge excavated by the Pioverna river.
The path from Varenna to Lierna, longer and more challenging (around 4 hours), is for more expert hikers and it's not recommended for hot summer days as it's often exposed to the sun. The Varenna-Lierna leg divides into two paths: a higher one, that from Vezio goes up to Ortanella (almost 1000 m), and a lower one that from Pino goes through Coria at 780 m and then down to Lierna. Along the trail you can find historical landmarks such as the "English cemetery" in Varenna, the villa Capuana and the castle of Lierna and, along the higher path, the church of Saint Peter in Ortanella.
Complete description of the itinerary available at the Infopoint in Varenna.