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Legnone, Pizzo Tre Signori and Valvarrone

Crossed by the river of the same name, Valvarrone is the harsher and most ruggedly beautiful part of the eastern banks of Lake Como.

Held tight in the embrace of the Legnone and Legnoncino mountains, this narrow valley offers a natural environment with a rich variety of flora and fauna, and its summits offer unique views of Lake Como and the Alps. The towns in the valley are excellent starting points for easy hikes along old military tracks, through meadows and larch woods with particularly beautiful corners of nature and splendid views.

Along paths from World War One
An interesting hike through nature and history, following the route of the Cadorna Line, which winds through this valley. This trail is an important lesson in historical heritage that unfolds to hikers in the form of fixed machine gun positions, military lookout posts, walkways, tunnels and trenches that cover the entire northern slope of Mount Legnoncino. Another hike, taking about 2 and a half hours and suitable for all, is the path up to the Griera mountain refuge from Pagnona in upper Valvarrone.

Hiking on the "roof" of the valley
A hike taking about 4 hours starts in Premana and follows the River Varrone for a short
distance, coming first to the Casera Vecchia mountain refuge and then continuing to the Santa Rita refuge at 2000 metres asl. This is the starting point for a strenuous trail suitable for fit hikers with good legs. It has some via ferrata stretches and continues up to Bocchetta di Piazzocco and Pizzo Tre Signori. Premana is also the starting point for the path that leads to the Deleguaggio lakes. It takes 2 hours to get to Alpe and from here another hour to the Lago Inferiore. The beautiful hollow of Lago Superiore is another 30 minutes' walk further on. From here you can continue up to the summit of Pizzo Alto, from where y ou can see Valvarrone and Valsassina, the Orobic ridge, in particular Pizzo Rotondo and Pizzo dei Tre Signori, Valtellina and the granite peaks of Val
Màsino, as well as Monte L egnone, the southern Mesolcina and, in the background, the Rosa range.

Cycling through villages and woods
An itinerary definitely worth a mention is the circular route that leads from Dervio through the villages in Valvarrone, continuing through the woods to Pagnona and comes to Premana, after the last difficult uphill stretch towards the Colle di Piazzo, then goes back down to Valsassina towards Taceno and Bellanoand ends where it started, in Dervio. It is 45 km long. Another interesting route starts in Vestreno and goes around the Dervio h ydroelectric plant reservoir to the shrine to the Virgin Mary in Bondo. From here you cycle to the towns on the Dorio mountains, through green woods full of chestnut trees and mushrooms, passing Vezzée and Sparesée with lovely views over the lake, and then down to Posallo di Colico. The more expert, fearless freeriders can, on the other hand, cy cle down the spectacular stretch from Giumello to Dervio, or the one that goes through the wild terrain of Val Marcia to Lake Losa. These are trails with difficult downhill parts and v ery steep slopes. The above routes call for bikes suitable for downhill cycling and protective gear. We suggest taking a mountain bike guide with you. Those who are not quite so fit can rent pedal-assist bikes in Premana and follow the paths to Alpe Campo and Alpe Premaniga.
 

 

Highlights

1. Sport. The natural terrace of Monte Giumello, a launch area for fantastic paragliding flights, can be reached from the villages of Indovero and Narro.

2. History. Above Dervio, Mai is home to some well-preserved ruins of Castelvedro, a medieval fortification dating back to the fifth and sixth century. Orezia Castle instead clings to a steep bluff and one of its defensive towers is still in good shape.

3. Free time. Trout can be fished from the clean waters of the River Varrone. Fisherman can also compete in competitions organised by local associations, which also repopulate the river.

4. Food and wine. The mountain refuges serve genuine, typical dishes: from local game
to exquisite porcini mushrooms with a drizzle of Lake Como olive oil. As an alternative, a tasty plate of taragna polenta with delicious mountain cheese.

5. Shopping. The history of Premana has always been linked to iron, a material that made the fortune of its inhabitants and saw Premana excel on the international market as producers of knives, scissors and similar objects. Entering a knife shop in this town is a chance to rediscover the appeal of craftsmanship.

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