Quite a short and beautiful stage, without significant differences in height. Made special by the beautiful Tracciolino, the path that follows an old rail, with spectacular views of Lake Como.
We enter the magical Val Codera, one of the most intact in the Alps: the village that gives it its name is a rare jewel, as is the village of San Giorgio.
Along the Tracciolino you pass several tunnels, completely dark and quite cold: it is good to have a torch and a sweatshirt with you.
After leaving the inhabited area of Frasnedo, we take the path that descends (ca. 400 m drop) towards Castano. There we follow the signs for the Tracciolino, the spectacular route on an old rolling byway. We cross several tunnels and, enjoying breathtaking views of Lake Novate Mezzola and Lake Como, we reach San Giorgio: an enchanting village, where we would like to stop forever.
We leave again in the direction of Cii, gaining altitude on an excellent path (approx. 200 m height difference). We go down again, continuing along the hillside. We pass in rapid succession two stone bridges (Punt de la Val Mala and Punt de la Muta, one more beautiful than the other) and, with a final climb, we enter the enchanting village of Codera.
Codera is the only village in the Alps inhabited all year round (albeit by a handful of people) reachable only on foot, overcoming 4,000 steps, carved into the rock, that rise from Novate Mezzola. A jewel to love and protect: until the early 20th century, it was permanently inhabited by more than 500 people, now the inhabitants can be counted on the fingers of both hands.
The Aquile Randagie, Stray Eagles, were active in Val Codera. They were a scout group that continued its activity in clandestinity during the fascist era, despite all organized groups being banned.
The scouts who gathered in Val Codera were protected by the population and even the barracks of the Guardia di Finanza never reported their activity.
Due to its conformation, the valley was a place of partisan resistance and for this reason, many houses were bombed by the Nazi-fascists. The Aquile Randagie helped partisans, British and American soldiers to flee to Switzerland.
Tracciolino is a beautiful flat panoramic route (at a constant altitude of about 912 m) that connects Val dei Ratti to Val Codera. The path follows the tracks of the small decauville railway line (single-track railway, easily assembled, used for the transport of timber, minerals, etc.). Built in the 1930s, it served as a transport line for the materials between the hydroelectric plant of Saline and the Moledana dam.
On the path, shortly after the hamlet of Cii, you come across a large boulder that, according to legend, is the back of the Scapusc, a gigantic mythological creature that lives underground. When passing by this stone, you have to leave some grass on the boulder (which the Scapusc can eat) to be protected from tripping along the path.
Before the final climb, reaching Codera, we cross a stone bridge suspended over the Codera stream: it is Punt de la Muta, an authentic engineering masterpiece of the past, overlooking a gorge that is at least 40 meters deep.
The typical Codera potatoes are harvested by volunteers for the Potato Festival.
At the Osteria Alpina, potato menus are offered on weekends in October.
The patatarium is the small room where potatoes are kept until sowing time in April.
Rifugio Osteria Alpina, in Codera. Tel. +39 0343 62037
La Locanda di Codera, Tel. +39 339 612 2179
Starting point NOT reachable by car.
The nearest location reachable by car is Verceia.
Departure point NOT reachable by bus.
Starting point NOT reachable by train.
The closest location reachable by train is Verceia, starting from the city of Lecco.
Here the LINKto check the timetables.
Va' Sentiero is a grassroot project, thanks to the spontaneous contribution oft housands of people.
Even the most complicated dream, a 7,000km uphill dream,
can be achieved... together.