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Menaggio > Colma del Piano

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After crossing Lake Como towards the charming Bellagio, we face a long and mainly uphill stage, characterized by the steep and demanding final ramp of Monte San Primo (1,682 m), the highest in the Lariano Triangle.  

The summit offers one of the widest views of Sentiero Italia in the Alps: a privileged balcony over all the Prealps, from Grigne to Corni di Canzo to Resegone.

Special Notes

The last part of the climb to Monte San Primo is really tough for the remarkable steepness, should not be underestimated.

The only water point is in Paum, 1 km before Rifugio Martina. It is advisable to bring plenty of water given the sultry lake climate.

when to go
March - November
Suitable for
how to get there
description of the route

We embark on the boat to Bellagio. Once disembarked, we can enjoy the beautiful town and take the time to have breakfast. Afterward, we skirt the lake southward, passing the beautiful gardens of Villa Melzi. On the road, we reach Guggiate, from where we take the path and begin the long climb (approximately 1,450 m height difference). The path is in excellent condition (often paved) and has a constant and regular slope.

Once in Brogno, it is worth taking a small detour to admire the nearby Ponte del Diavolo. Continuing, always on an easy path, we reach Paum (where we find a fountain): we proceed on a comfortable carriage road, and reach Rifugio Martina (1,231 m). 

After we catch our breath, we prepare for the final, and most difficult, part. As a matter of fact, from the mountain lodge, the climb changes declivity, gradually becoming steeper. The final stretch towards the peak, properly "standing"(which always seems deceptively close), puts us to the test.

Finally, we reach the ridge and, shortly after, we are at the summit cross of Monte San Primo (1,682 m). The landscape is incredible, thanks to the three long arms of Lake Como that catch our eyes: eastward the Grigna Meridionale (2,184 m), the Grigna Settentrionale (2,409 m), and the Resegone ridge (1,875 m) stand out. To the south the Corni di Canzo; to the north, the bulk of Monte Legnone (2,609 m); to the west stands the great eastern face of Monte Rosa (4,634 m).

We leave the summit walking along the flat ridge eastward. We overcome Cima del Costone and we slightly lose altitude to take the comfortable and wide carriage road halfway up. We re-enter the woods, veering southward, and reach Colma del Piano.

What to know

In Pian del Rancio, where the Lambro river rises, there was a colony of the Martinitt family, which was later destroyed by an avalanche. The Martinitt's was an institution for orphans in Milan, named in honor of San Martino. 

There grew up children who have made the history of Milan, for example, Angelo Rizzoli, founder of the publishing house of the same name, Leonardo Del Vecchio, owner of Luxottica, Edoardo Bianchi, founder of the homonymous bicycle company. 

Today the Institute has been transformed into a company for services dedicated to people.

What to see

In Bellagio we skirt Villa Melzi, overlooking Lake Como, where it is possible to visit the magnificent English gardens, embellished with numerous sculptures and chapels and rich in rare and exotic plants, centuries-old trees from all over the world ... 

For more info, timetables and tickets, follow the LINK.

what to eat

The Polenta concia (or tòch)is made with maize flour and enriched with cheese and lots of butter. It accompanies all typical dishes, from misultin (alone agone) to hen or salami. A real delight, that requires long digestion. 

where to sleep

Rifugio Alpetto di Torno, just below Monte Cornet (about 4 km before Colma del Piano). Tel. +39  349 084 2203 

Albergo Miravalle, in Sormano (1.5 km from Colma del Piano). Tel. +39 031 683570 - +39 338 165 0249

Campeggio Fuin, in Pian del Tivano (2 km from Colma del Piano). Tel. +39 031 667059

How to Reach

Starting point reachable by car.

Starting point reachable by bus from the city of Como.

Here the LINK to check the timetables.

Starting point NOT reachable by train.

“The climb to San Primo makes us sweat our guts out but from up there, the show is really intense”

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