Discovering "crotti" in the Valchiavenna and along the shore of Lake Como

Discovering "crotti" in the Valchiavenna and along the shore of Lake Como

Discovering "crotti" in the Valchiavenna and along the shore of Lake Como

Self-guided walking tour of 7 days - 6 nights on Lake Como 




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  • Day 1 – Welcome to Lake Como

  • The eastern shore of Lake Como is easily reached by train from Bergamo and Milan where you can arrive by plane to one of the airports of Malpensa, Linate and Orio al Serio. Lodging is in a charming accommodation that blends with the environmental context where it stands to give you the opportunity to get to know the lifestyle of the locals. According to your preferences, you can stay in a small village like Lierna, Mandello or Abbadia Lariana, in a small town like Lecco or in the smaller but renowned Varenna 

  • Day 2 – The Wayfarer's Trail

  • Travel the first part of what is known as Il Sentiero del Viandante (The Wayfarer’s trail), a path that develops along the eastern coast of Lake Como and offers spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The route is feasible for everyone, it has a total length of about 40 kilometers which can be divided into various stages. Along the way you will have the opportunity to stop at the “crotti”, ancient caves used for storing wines and food and now transformed into restaurants where you can taste typical local products. The first stage starts from Abbadia Lariana which can be reached by train and initially it takes place through meadows and olive groves with a view of the Grignetta, between the villages of Abbadia and Mandello, dotted with historic and religious buildings such as the Church of San Bartolomeo, the Church of San Giorgio and La Torre di Maggiana (known as the "Barbarossa Tower"). Along the way you can admire the dolomitic-like mountains of Sasso Cavallo and Sasso dei Carbonai, then following the signs you reach Lierna where you take the train to return to your accommodation

  • Day 3  – From Lierna to Varenna

  • The second stage of the route offers two alternatives, a lower itinerary that heads towards the village of Castello di Lierna and the Fiumelatte, the shortest river in Italy also mentioned by Leonardo da Vinci, and an upper route with a difference in altitude of 900 meters which leads to the town of Ortanella. The latter path climbs steeply through the woods to a panoramic point overlooking the lake; from here the slope becomes gentler and the path leads to Alpe Mezzedo and Piano di San Pietro. Both paths reach the Castello di Vezio from which you descend to Varenna, a town definitely worth a visit

  • Day 4 – From Varenna to Dervio

  • Today's excursion allows you to discover various villages in the area, starting from Varenna reach Bellano where you cannot miss a visit to the Sanctuary of Lezzeno and of the Orrido, a natural gorge formed over the centuries by the flowing waters of the Pioverna river, sculpting the gigantic devil's holes and suggestive caves. The place was a source of inspiration for many writers, making the Orrido one of the most renowned tourist attractions in the lake area. Further on reach the peninsula of Dervio, where the itinerary crosses the ancient bridge over the River Varrone and goes up towards the village of Castello with the medieval Torre di Orezia and the church of S. Leonardo

  • Day 5 – From Dervio to Colico

  • Head to the characteristic medieval village of Corenno Plinio, with its majestic castle and the church of St. Thomas of Canterbury. The path continues uphill to a panoramic point and to the church of San Rocco, in the municipality of Dorio. Following the path you will enjoy panoramic views of the lake and the Abbey of Piona; reach then a paved road that descends in steep bends to Posallo di Colico and from here to the city centre and the railway station

  • Day 6 – The "crotti" of Valchiavenna

  • Chiavenna is reached by train from the eastern shore of Lake Como. The town is renowned for the Crotti Festival which is held every year in September. The distinctive element that makes the crotti unique, is the "sorel" (from the dialectal word "sorà" which means ventilation), it is a small crack between the rocks from which breathes an air flow that maintains the temperature almost constant in every season and which makes the "crotto" a natural cold room for storing wines and food. The Crotti were formed from the rocks that fell to the sides of the mountains due to the post-glacial landslides, a phenomenon that is still under study, and which are now typical restaurants where you can taste pizzoccheri, bresaola or polenta taragna

  • Day 7 – Bergamo or Valtellina?

  • You are on the last day of your itinerary, you can end your trip here or visit Valtellina with its vineyards along the Terrace Route and its excellent wines or maybe each Bergamo to discover its artistic treasures, the “casoncelli” and the stracciatella (chocolate chip) ice-cream that was created here