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The Source of Fiumelatte River

The Source of Fiumelatte River

The Fiumelatte is a tributary of Lake Como which was born in the Grigne Group.
It is known for the particular brevity of its course, just 250 meters.
Fiumelatte is also the name of the small village bathed by the river, a hamlet of Varenna in the province of Lecco, whose houses are located at the foot of Mount Fopp (1033 meters), crowned by the ruins of the Vezio Castle.

Fiumelatte is to be numbered among the shortest water-courses in Italy, developing only for 250 m. from its source to the dive into the lake. It hurls down the valley with an average gradient of 36° and for this reason its roaring waters are foamy, among the huge rocks scattered along its riverbed, giving it an incredible milk-white colour, a phenomenon from which it gets the name.

It is an impermanent river as its waters are seasonal: they appear very quickly from the 25th of March (which is also the feast of the village of Fiumelatte and the Annunciation) and then they disappear, as if by magic, on the 7th of October (Feast of the Madonna del Rosario and Patron of Varenna). For this reason it is also nicknamed River of the Two Madonnas.
“Anomalous” periods of activity or of dryness are not rare and they must be traced to the dry spells or to the rainfalls of the season.

Along the centuries the river has excited the curiosity of many persons: even Leonardo Da Vinci, who mentions the “Fiumelaccio” in the paper 214 of The Atlantic Code:

The Fiumelaccio falls from on high dropping more than 100 fathoms from the vein which gives it birth, falling sheer into the lake with the noisiest of rushes.

Walking towards south from Piazza San Giorgio after about 200 meters there is Via Roma that goes up to the small square of the Cemetery. Here, on the left, there’s a short flight of steps that gets steeper and steeper but at the end it starts a track parallel to the lake which runs along the side of the mountain and reaches the Fiumelatte.

A diversion of a few minutes that can be found at about three quarters of its lenght (there’s an arrow) leads on the left and up the mountain to the Baluardo, one of the most panoramic places of the lakeshore of Lecco.

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