A quite long stage, with important differences in height, however, without being too tiring. The two climbs are mostly in the shade.
The highlight of the day is undoubtedly the first, incredible view of Lake Maggiore, from a natural terrace of great beauty.
We start immediately uphill (approx. 350 m height difference) towards the church of San Paolo, with a beautiful view of Lake Lugano. From there, we continue the climb in the woods, on a comfortable carriage road, up to the pass between Monte La Nave and Monte Sette Termini. We climb to the top of the second pass (completely closed by trees) and shortly after, walking surrounded by birch trees, we arrive at a beautiful meadow, with a wooden tower: a natural terrace suspended over Lake Maggiore, which we see for the first time.
The long descent into the woods (about 700 m drop) begins towards the dam on the Tresa River. After crossing the river, we continue in ups and downs alternating paths and streets, passing the towns of Pianazzo and Torbera, to finally reach the village of Dumenza.
We start again, taking the road towards Pezza. From there, we take the uphill path (approximately 400 m height difference) into the woods, without interruptions. We are at the beautiful Rifugio Dumenza, small but welcoming. The fountain with icy water in front of it seems to have been made especially for a relaxing bath.
Dumenza was the birthplace of illustrious personalities: Bernardino Luini (1481-1532,) painter of the Leonardo Da Vinci's school, the painter Raffaele Casnedi (1822 -1892) and Bartolomeo Scappi (1500-1577), renaissance cook, author of the work “Dell'arte del cucinare" (The art of cooking).
Among the narrow streets of Dumenza there is a plaque in memory of the birthplace of Vincenzo Peruggia ( 1881-1925), famous for having stolen the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in Paris.
He managed to hide the work in a coffee table in his Parisian accommodation for two years but was later reported by a Florentine antique dealer to whom he tried to sell the masterpiece.
Peruggia claimed to have stolen it because he wanted, patriotically, that the Mona Lisa returned to Italy, considering it part of the war booty of the Napoleonic army (in reality, it was Leonardo himself who brought it to France, where its presence among the collections is attested real already in 1625).
For an "artistic" story of the event, it is recommended to listen to the song "Monna Lisa" by Ivan Graziani.
Rifugio Dumenza, on Alpe Bois. Tel. +39 348 421 3793
Rifugio Campiglio, in the locality of Alpe Pradecolo (about 2.5 km from Dumenza, along the Sentiero Italia). Tel. +39 335 669 6483
Starting point reachable by car.
Starting point reachable by bus from the city of Varese, with a change in Ghirla.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
Starting point NOT reachable by train.
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.