Il Sentiero del Fiume (the River Trail)
Somana, Mandello del Lario (Lecco) - Let me first start out by saying that if you ace this trail with no regrets, then you are definitely EE - Escursionisti Esperti (expert excursionist) - material. This is the hike that gave me a taste of what a via ferrata (english) path might entail, and might I add that it was effin' thrilling? It has been a week since we last hiked this, but the River Trail in Somana left an impression that I can only describe as mind-blowingly incredible. A big thank you to the italian reader who alerted me to this gem of a sentiero!!!
For an easy-to-recognize reference point and beginning from Somana's church square, trailmarker 15b follows along a brief stretch of asphalt before heading down Via dell'Acqua Bianca and the last of the residential homes in town. Great grandaddy fig and cherry trees, and a large clump of tall bamboo line one side of the road before it turns into a dusty mule path leading into the woods. The circle tour itinerary is ideal if you're wanting for a day of adventure, a fair to medium challenge, and are not afraid of heights. Waterproof hiking boots are essential as the path bends, turns and twists in and out of the river, at times becoming part of the flowing torrent itself. It's impossible to lose your way as red paint marks on the surface of rocks/footpath clearly keep hikers from going astray. Simply follow 15b on the way up and 15 on the return down.
When you finally reach the waterfall there is one last, steep climb up (work those muscles!) where it will then point the way back home. This path is not advisable after a recent rain. At the end I've included a list of italian websites that should inspire anyone with the slightest hint of alpine wanderlust, and in the event that you might need a suggestion on where to stay and eat if planning a visit, a link for a multi-lingual b&b (conveniently located at the beginning of the trail) and one of my favorite Slow Food trattorias are also given. Getting to the town was a bit confusing with the gps navigator (it didn't take the one-way streets into consideration) but it's just a matter of following the black on white signs to Somana. Happy Hiking!
MotH's GPS tracking of the excursion
www.orsu.it (stunning photos)
.Luca's Flickr (image slideshow)
www.vieferrate.it (click on camera icons)
Bed & Breakfast dell'Acqua Bianca - Somana
Osteria Sali e Tabacchi - Maggiana (in construction)
Google map between the B&B [A] and restaurant [B]
Labels: Hiking in Lecco province