Skip to main content

Lake Como: the Brunate - Montepiatto - Torno trail

Ahhh...the celebrity allure of Lago di Como (no small thanks to Clooney). This is a repeat hike accomplished in full compared to the shortened version that we went on 6½ months ago in Hiking above Lake Como: 2 hours tops. This itinerary includes a steep descent to the village Torno where a slow boat takes you back to Como. The path is easy to follow if you look for the Strada Regia signs at the beginning and stick with the Montepiatto trail markers along the way. It's advisable to take the funicular tram up to Brunate (10 minutes). From there, exit the tram, go down the steps and head right. At each of the two forks in the road keep to the left. At the very end of the campo sportivo (sports field) the trail begins.

The main points of interest are ice age stone formations and several tombs which have been carved out of granite rock. (Don't worry, there are no dead people in them.) The tomb (masso avello) has an interesting history in relation to the Roman Empire and more info can be found in the english translation at the end of Pro Loco Torno website. I'm continuing this post 60 minutes into the path from the chapel where we cut it short the first time around.

Sasso del Lupo (Wolf Rock) - Soon after the chapel, a granite monolith comes into view. Formed by impressive glacial movements that have made it possible to eventually come to rest in the valley, there is a myth which claimed it as the cave of a wolf. According to popular tradition, in this den hid a terrible wolf who kidnapped bad and disobedient children. (A bad apple in every bunch eh?)

Trailmarkers for Torno or Montepiatto - It's worth the extra time to go right and visit the church and Pietra Pendula (suspended stone). After the steps, take the first stony path on the left, then right, then immediately left again through the neighborhood. Signs at the church point the way to Pietra Pendula.

Pietra Pendula - Looking like a gigantic mushroom, the suspended rock is reached a few minutes after the church. From here on we retraced our steps and headed down the rapid, steep decline to Torno. It rivals the Stair Stepper any day.

View of Torno from the lake - We passed on seeing the tombs and took the shortcut to Torno (sharp left at the shrine with Joseph/Baby Jesus). When the town comes into view, head toward the church belfry where the boat landing is located. Map below. This hiker has great photos of the tombs from his trek.

Mr. B says: “That was better than riding the chairlift but when do I get my prosciutto bone?”

*Map of Torno: a yellow arrow with paw prints and purple dots mark the shortcut. To see the tombs, continue straight ahead after the small shrine.
*Public parking: cheaper (3.50 euros for the whole day) at the huge spray fountain a couple hundred feet beyond the Como-Brunate funicular.
*Funicular: 1-way for adult/2.45€, child/1.60€, dogs/0€ (kids under 1 meter travel gratis).
*Torno-Como by boat: dogs pay children's fare at ½ price. 2 adults + 2 "kids" = 9.60€
*Quick bite and yummy gelato: at gelateria Al Molo as soon as you exit the boat landing.

Popular posts from this blog

Fun in the sun and snow at Alpe Giumello

Why do weekends with perfect weather always have to be so short? This past Saturday and Sunday was the one that anybody with a pulse has been wanting for a long time, the weekend with ZERO rain, no snowfall and nothing but blue skies all around. We had the intention of hiking around the base of Monte Muggio, a 3-hour loop trail that begins from the parking area at localit√† Alpe Giumello, but ice on the trail made it a dangerous gamble. If we had been able to get to the very top of Monte Muggio it would have afforded us a spectacular panorama with Bellagio jutting out in the middle of the lake.Even if a good, long hike was out of the question, there was plenty of wide open space to go for a stroll. We walked the dogs out on the flat plains on the eastern side of Giumello, all of which were covered in a thick layer of packed snow. In less than 30 minutes time we had built up enough of an appetite for a quick lunch at Ristoro Genio, a cozy little bar and restaurant serving hot meals…

In the news: from blogosphere to printed publication

It's just a little thing really, but when a staff member from a periodical for Italy's Alpini requested permission to reprint one of my blog entries, I had no idea how surprised, and I have to admit, a little bit sheepish I'd feel after seeing my Tasi e Tira article taking up half the space on page 12. I just received my copy in the mail. The entry was posted over a year ago but through the vast reaches of the internet it goes to show what nice things can happen when you try to immerse yourself in a culture not your own. Perhaps the word "immerse" is rather modest as I like to jump right into the middle of things and get up close and personal. What tickles me the most is that this blog started off as a way of amusing myself (and expanding my knowledge of the country's cuisine), but getting published...whoa! It's like icing on the cake!
Click to view large

Good day for a hike: 2500 feet, 23 km and 7.5 hours

A hunk of bread, a wedge of aged sheep's cheese, a couple canteens of water and some fruit. I regret not being able to share a more thorough and detailed trail description but this was more for practice and not for the lofty views. Ever since the movie The Way, we both had to know what one 20 kilometer day (12+ miles) would feel like if we were to embark on, at most, the 40-day 800 kilometer Camino de Santiago in Spain. That's a lot of walking. I think I would get real skinny if I missed a meal.Lecco's mountains are covered in so many up-and-down trails that all you need do is get to any village above the lake. We started at an altitude of 670 meters and walked up another 762 to the top of Monte Tesoro in Valcava. That's a height difference of 2500 feet, 8 kilometers and 2.5 hours at a steady pace with Maddie and Mr B in tow. From there we made a loop trip back down, stopping often to munch on vittles and to take a look around. Altogether a total of 23 kilomete…