Medium length stage with a good positive difference in altitude.
From the top of Monte Covreto, the beautiful view of Lake Maggiore is memorable: the birch forest we cross, as we descend to Passo della Forcora, is very impressive.
The ramp that goes up to (and then goes down from) Monte Corbaro is a bit slippery. Pay attention.
A long climb awaits us right away (approx. 800 m height difference): we start the path in the woods (uphill from the start) up to Biegno. We catch our breath while enjoying the beautiful view of Monte Tamaro (1,961 m), with the curious rocky "bump" on the northwest ridge.
After a short stretch of road, we take a comfortable carriage road and we face a second climb, this time sweeter, up to Cangili di Biegno. From there the path flattens and continues halfway up the coast. We leave the carriage road to take the ramp on the right, which leads us to the Monterecchio mountain pasture and then to the southern shoulder of Monte Corbaro.
From the mountain shoulder, the more athletic and curious ones can take the path that with a steep slope (and slightly bumpy ground) leads to the top of Monte Corbaro (1,555 m) and, with the last effort, to Monte Covreto (1,593 m). The view is amazing: to the west is Lake Maggiore and beyond it the peaks of Valgrande; to the north, Locarno and the Swiss Alps.
We retrace our steps and resume the path which, passing on a long ridge, descends gently (approx. 200 m drop) into a beautiful birch forest, up to Passo della Forcora (1,179 m). We continue to descend (approximately 200 m drop) smoothly to the north dam of Lake Delio. We skirt the lake towards the south dam: we can’t cross it and therefore, we are forced to a slightly longer walk on the asphalt road, up to the Ristoro Lago Delio.
Lake Maggiore was called by the Romans Lacus Maximum, as it was (erroneously) considered the largest in Italy, a record that belongs to Lake Garda.
In the 19th century, due to its beauty and the countless architectural wonders that stud it (for example, the Borromean Islands), Lake Maggiore was one of the obligatory stops on the Grand Tour. It was the typical journey that the children of European aristocratic families did in order to perfect their culture (a sort of Erasmus ante litteram): it usually had Italy as its destination.
Among those who stayed on Lake Maggiore stand out Byron, Dumas, Goethe, and Stendhal, who enchanted by the landscape wrote: "if you have a heart and a shirt, sell your shirt and visit the surroundings of Lake Maggiore".
Lake Delio represents a real backup battery for the area's electricity.
The Roncovalgrande power plant is located between Lake Delio and Lake Maggiore and, through a grandiose engineering work, exploits the difference in height between the two lakes to generate energy (a futuristic system allows you to pump water uphill from Lake Maggiore to the artificial basin of Lake Delio).
A huge hollow, carved into the mountain, hides the power plant which is open to the public and is managed by the Pro Loco of Maccagno.
At Ristoro Lago Delio, every weekend from the end of September to the end of October, it is possible to participate in a nice initiative: the October Grap.
Imitating the famous Bavarian fair, they organize two days of grappa tasting, paired with food, music, and the spectacular view of Lake Maggiore. The grappas are served on trays (they can be admired inside the room) from half a meter to ... ten meters long
Rifugio Forcora, at the pass of the same name (about an hour before arriving at Lake Delio). Tel. +39 332 558 132
Ristoro Lago Delio, south-west of the lake (a few minutes on foot). It has no rooms, but the friendly managers will let you build your tents there, if you dine. Tel. +39 349 87 49 088
Albergo Diana, at the north-west end of Lake Delio. Tel. +39 0332 566102
Starting point reachable by car.
Departure point NOT reachable by bus.
The closest location reachable by bus is Curiglia with a change in Luino, starting from the city of Varese.
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.