• Cycle Tourism
    • Active & Green

By bike from Menaggio to Porlezza

From Lake Como to Lake Lugano along the former railway line

Where
Ciclo pedonale Menaggio - Porlezza
Via IV Novembre, 101, Menaggio (CO)
Contacts
+ 39 0344 32924
Official site

This itinerary follows the traces of the former railway line that ran, from 1884 till 1939, between Menaggio and Porlezza connecting  Lake Como with Lake Lugano.

The route runs through the Val Menaggio, mainly on paved tracks, and touches the Lago di Piano Nature Reserve. It should be noted that some small sections run along roads used by local traffic.

The railway line between Menaggio and Porlezza was opened in 1884 in order to attract more tourists from northern Europe to the area. Arriving by train to Lugano the tourists were then transported by steamboat to Porlezza from where the train brought them to Menaggio. After World War I it became a simple working class transit system that lasted till 1939. After World War II the train line was abandoned.

  •   itinerary: Menaggio - Grandola - Bene Lario - Carlazzo - Porlezza
  •   starting point: Menaggio - boat dock in via IV Novembre
  •   length: 13,5 km
  •   altitude at departure: 200 m
  •   maximum height: 377 m
  •   total ascent: 250 m
  •   surface: for the most paved
  •   type of bike required: mountain or trekking bike

The former railway station of Menaggio is in Via IV Novembre, where today the grocery store called Consorzio Agrario stands, just next to the ferry dock. This is where this itinerary starts. Cross via IV Novembre and from the petrol station follow the indications leading to the Youth Hostel. From here continue straight on and, after 500 m at the fork, turn right and ascend the steep road that leads  along the side of Monte Crocetta.

In order to overcome the incline from Menaggio (207 m) to Cardano (377 m), the train would head south for about 600 m and reverse its direction on a siding (where the locomotive, after being separated, was turned on a turntable to be attached to the rear of the train) to continue northwards.

Continue straight on along Via Privata F.lli Castelli. Just past a new “residence” the via Privata Fratelli Castelli ends on the main State road 340 which connects Menaggio with Lugano. Cross it paying attention to the heavy traffic, and follow it to the left, uphill, for just 50m. At the next bend pick up the cycle/pedestrian lane.

The track enters a valley and passes a 90 m long tunnel. At the fork ignore the road to
the right leading down to the Agriturismo Barcola and continue left. Shortly ahead the track ends onto the SP road of Grandola ed Uniti. Turn right and then immediately left into Via Roma in the direction of the villages (frazioni) of Grandola ed Uniti (beware of local traffic). After 300 m turn left onto Via Gonte.

Once at Gonte, turn left onto Via Cascinello Rosso that finishes after another 400 m on the state road 340. Cross it with caution and follow the signs for Bene Lario / Grona and after 200 m pick up the cycle path on the right. You skirt a plain called Binadone flanked by the woody slopes of Monte Crocione (1640 m) and Monte Galbiga.

Near the village of Grona the track ends. Continue to the right along Via Cascine. When you get to an intersection, take the cycle track right in front of you (sign for Lago di Piano) entering the Nature Reserve Lago di Piano. Pass behind the campsite Ranocchio and just past its entrance continue along the little lake called Lago di Piano. Soon you reach the visitor centre Casa della Riserva with an information office and a small ecomuseum (for information tel. 0344 74961). In front of the office there are some nice picnic tables with view of the lake.

On the left you notice the hillock called Brione with the Castel S. Pietro at its top. We recommend a small detour in order to visit this old settlement with its houses clustered close to each other. The stone wall and the narrow passages give the idea of a fortress, which is what it used to be in the Middle Ages.

Continuing on the track you will cross a wooden bridge over the river Cuccio. Follow the course of the river until you reach the main road SP14. Continue to the right for approximately 100 m and then cross the main road and turn into Via Prati that leads to the residential complex called "Porto Letizia.” On the left side of the main building take the path that skirts Lake Lugano. After crossing the bridge over the river Val Rezzo, go down some steps to resume the continuation of the lake side promenade that leads to the center of Porlezza. Back the same way.
 

 


Other links

Stampa l'itinerario
Take me here: By bike from Menaggio to Porlezza

Places

Church of S. Marta

  • Art & Culture
Church of S. Marta
314 mt

Walking tour through Menaggio

Historical itinerary along the main sites of the town
  • Art & Culture
Piazza Garibaldi
343 mt

Villa mylius vigoni

Rich of suggestions, memories and ancient trees, the park of Villa Vigoni is one of the best preserved romantic gardens in Lombardy
  • Art & Culture
Villa Mylius Vigoni
498 mt

Monument to the silk weaver

  • Art & Culture
Monumento alla Tessitrice
498 mt

Itinerario a quiz per Menaggio

  • Art & Culture
medieval sculpture
498 mt

Parish church of S. Stefano

  • Art & Culture
S. Stefano
519 mt

Centre and lakeside of Menaggio

  • Villages
Centre and lakeside of Menaggio
677 mt

La Crocetta

The trenches of the Linea Cadorna
  • Art & Culture
View from the Crocetta
843 mt

The Val Sanagra Park

A beautiful territory close to Menaggio
  • Active & Green
Val Sanagra Park - Mulino Carliseppi
1.53 km

L'Antica Strada Regina

On foot from Menaggio to Rezzonico along the ancient pilgrim route
  • Active & Green
Castello di Rezzonico
1.76 km

Menaggio e Cadenabbia Golf Club

  • Golf
Menaggio Cadenabbia Golf Club, Grandola e Uniti (CO)
1.89 km

Villa Carlotta

Villa Carlotta, located on the shores of Lake Como near the village of Tremezzo, is a triumph of natural and architectural beauty.
  • Art & Culture
Villa Carlotta
3.5 km

Tremezzina

It's a village-garden on Lake Como: let yourself be enchanted by the beauty of the villas and parks, with their colours and perfumes.
  • Villages
Vista di Tremezzina (CO)
3.68 km

Church of San Giorgio

  • Art & Culture
Chiesa di San Giorgio Varenna
3.71 km

Villa serbelloni

In the village of Bellagio, "the pearl of Lake Como", is home to one of the most evocative historical residences of the Lario
  • Art & Culture
Villa Serbelloni
3.73 km

Village of Varenna

The Village of Varenna is divided into a grid of streets that steeply slope down towards Lake Como.
  • Villages
Village of Varenna
3.74 km

Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie

  • Art & Culture
Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie
3.76 km

Church of San Giovanni Battista

Discover the oldest church in Varenna, one of the first built on Lake Como when Christianity was beginning to spread.
  • Art & Culture
Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista Varenna
3.76 km

Ornithology and Natural Science Civic Museum "Luigi Scanagatta"

Ornithology and Natural Science Civic Museum "Luigi Scanagatta"
3.82 km

Villa Cipressi

  • Parks
Villa Cipressi Varenna
3.83 km

Events

Villa Balbianello reopens for 2019

Via Guido Monzino, 1 Tremezzo (CO)
15/03/2019 - 06/01/2020
  • Art & Culture
Villa Balbianello reopens for 2019
6.06 km

Autumn in Valvarrone

Vestreno di Valvarrone (LC)
24/11/2019
  • Active & Green
Autumn in Valvarrone
9.72 km

Activities

Villas and Flavors of Lake Como

  • Lakes
Villas and Flavors of Lake Como
3.63 km

Villas of Lake Como boat tour with food tasting

  • Art & Culture
Villas of Lake Como boat tour with food tasting
3.65 km

Cruise & Dinner from Varenna

  • Lakes
Cruise & Dinner from Varenna
3.67 km

Bellagio Travel Guide: the complete guide

  • Food & Wine
Bellagio Travel Guide: the complete guide
3.82 km

Bellagio, the pearl of lake Como

  • Active & Green
Bellagio, the pearl of lake Como
4 km

Let's taste Como Lake

  • Active & Green
Let's taste Como Lake
5.19 km

Tour di Lezzeno e del Ponte del Diavolo

  • Art & Culture
Tour di Lezzeno e del Ponte del Diavolo
6.26 km

Cook with us - Lake Como

  • Food & Wine
Cook with us - Lake Como
13.35 km

Where to sleep

GRAND HOTEL MENAGGIO

Menaggio
GRAND HOTEL MENAGGIO
5 mt

FORESTERIA LOMBARDA VILLA GIULIANA DI CASARIU ROXANA VASILICA

Menaggio
FORESTERIA LOMBARDA VILLA GIULIANA DI CASARIU ROXANA VASILICA
9 mt

1660 CASA DANIELE - LOGISTICA SERVIZI E CONSULENZE S.A.S.

Menaggio
1660 CASA DANIELE - LOGISTICA SERVIZI E CONSULENZE S.A.S.
80 mt

BELLA MENAGGIO VISTA DI IGNATOVA INNA

Menaggio
BELLA MENAGGIO VISTA DI IGNATOVA INNA
104 mt

MENAGGIO MARINA DI COCO ANGELO

Menaggio
MENAGGIO MARINA DI COCO ANGELO
135 mt

MENAGGIO FRONTE LAGO DI VERMEER WILLEM JAN

Menaggio
MENAGGIO FRONTE LAGO DI VERMEER WILLEM JAN
135 mt

MENAGGIO TOSCA 2 DI DE AGOSTINI BARBARA LUCIA

Menaggio
MENAGGIO TOSCA 2 DI DE AGOSTINI BARBARA LUCIA
135 mt

MENAGGIO TOSCA 1 DI DE AGOSTINI ANTONIO MARCO

Menaggio
MENAGGIO TOSCA 1 DI DE AGOSTINI ANTONIO MARCO
135 mt

BELLAVISTA

Menaggio
BELLAVISTA
135 mt

B & B A CASA DI ANNA DI DELL'ORTO ANNA

Menaggio
B & B  A CASA DI ANNA DI DELL'ORTO ANNA
184 mt

LA PRIMULA LAKE COMO HOSTEL

Menaggio
LA PRIMULA LAKE COMO HOSTEL
253 mt

C.A.V. DOMUS MENAGGIO

Menaggio
C.A.V. DOMUS MENAGGIO
257 mt

HOTEL SONENGA

Menaggio
HOTEL SONENGA
300 mt

DU LAC

Menaggio
DU LAC
301 mt

STENDHAL DI NEUVILLE LAURE MARIE CHARLOTTE

Menaggio
STENDHAL DI NEUVILLE LAURE MARIE CHARLOTTE
308 mt

LA PERLA DI SONENGA GIARDINO DI DEMPSEY CAROLINE

Menaggio
LA PERLA DI SONENGA GIARDINO DI DEMPSEY CAROLINE
308 mt

BELLA MENAGGIO PANORAMICA DI ALSHAIJI ABUDULLA A M E

Menaggio
BELLA MENAGGIO PANORAMICA DI ALSHAIJI ABUDULLA A M E
317 mt

LA DEPENDANCE - FORESTERIA LOMBARDA

Menaggio
LA DEPENDANCE - FORESTERIA LOMBARDA
332 mt

C.A.V. SUITES MENAGGIO - LA FABBRICA DEL GELATO S.R.L.S.

Menaggio
C.A.V. SUITES MENAGGIO - LA FABBRICA DEL GELATO S.R.L.S.
345 mt

HOTEL GARNI CORONA

Menaggio
HOTEL GARNI CORONA
357 mt