The mountains that divide the branches of Lake Como
You can hike along the Dorsale in parts or in a full trekking in 2 days. The main starting point is Brunate, above Como, reachable by cable car; the arrival point is Bellagio, the Pearl of Lake Como.
The entire route lasts 30 km, on a medium of 1200 m asl, always in wood trails without technical passes and safe.
First step: from Brunate to Pian del Tivano
From Como, reach Brunate by the cable car that permits to enjoy a marvellous view above the town of Como, the Alps and Brianza. From the funicular station in Brunate you can either take a bus to Piazzale C.A.O. or walk to the left towards the church of S. Andrea. At the church, take the trail on the left to S. Maurizio.
The trail ascends among gardens and villas, crossing the main road several times. We recommend a little detour to the “Faro Voltiano”, a lighthouse built in 1927 to celebrate the centenary of the death of Alessandro Volta, the great Como born scientist. To continue the route, go back to the square and take the footpath on the left that goes uphill. The track ends up on the side of the small church S. Rita at the beginning of the Piazzale CAO square. Across Piazzale C.A.O. take the road to the left which leads past the mountain shelter Rifugio C.A.O.. The trail continues through the woods and soon reaches Baita Carla.
From there you can get a deviation to Torno, using the trail N. 15, passing by Monte Piatto. The itinerary lasts about 3 h. From Torno you can reach Como by bus or by ferry.
A cart-track leads along the slopes of Pizzo 3 Termini, to reach Baita Bondella from where you have a most beautiful view of the Alps, the Alpi Marittime, and the small lake of Montorfano. The trail continues to Ristoro del Bolletto. Just past this inn, after a brief ascent, you can choose between two itineraries, the Dorsale per Cresta on the right and the Dorsale downhill to the left. The Dorsale per Cresta takes you to the top of Mount Bolettone and then, after the descent, meets up with the Dorsale trail again, passing Bocchetta di Lemna. From there you can reach Rifugio Capanna Mara.
From Bocchetta di Lemna the trail heads northwards with a beautiful view of the valley of Caslino d’Erba, the tops of Mount Resegone and Mount Palanzone. After a brief stretch you can choose between the Dorsale per Cresta, or the Dorsale which leads along the woody east slope of Pizzo dell’Asino. After you have passed two streams you reach Bocchetta di Palanzo. At the fork past Bocchetta di Palanzo you can choose again between the “Dorsale per Cresta” and the “Dorsale”. The first one ascends to the top of Monte Palanzone or reach Rifugio Riella. Continuing on the trail you soon arrive at Cippo Marelli and Bocchetta di Nesso. You pass the extended fields of Preaola and follow the trail that, with no or little elevation gain, leads around Monte Palanzone with a nice view down on Piano di Nesso and Monte San Primo. From there , choose to reach Caglio or Colma di Sormano.
Here you can choose to interrupt the hiking tour and reach Pian del Tivano.
Second step: from Pian del Tivano to Bellagio
Reach Pian di Tivano, the plain is famous for its beautiful flowers like daffodils, gentians and lilies of the valley, and get the trail to Alpetto di Torno, in direction of Alpe Spessola, where you can enjoy a breath taking view to Grigna and Corni di Canzo. Pass a little natural lake till Terra Biotta locality, where you can see Bellagio. From there you can rise up the top of Monte San Primo or Reach Rifugio Martina.
Continue to Pra Filippo locality, passing the turn to Piano Rancio, till reaching Brogno. From there, get the trail to Monte Nuvolone belvedere. Passing close to marvellous villas, you can get the route to Bellagio town.
The deviation and the excursions permit to this hiking experience to be made in different steps, days, or a partial excursion for a little journey on Lake Como Mountains.
The connections from Como and Bellagio are covered by bus or ferry. We suggest to pay attention to signs and advices for dangers, especially in winter.
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