We propose a loop walk that follows only in part the route of the Greenway of Lake Como, to discover an area rich in history, art and culture, with breathtaking scenery and a splendid view of the center of the lake, the Gulf of Venus and the promontory of Bellagio.
The stretch of the Lake Como Greenway that goes from Lenno to Tremezzo, is a pleasant and easy panoramic hike suitable for all seasons. The alternative we suggest will also lead you to the discovery of the fascinating historical hamlets of Tremezzo, which have obtained the prestigious recognition of "Borghi più belli d’Italia " (Most Beautiful Hamlets in Italy).
From Lenno to Tremezzo
Once in Lenno, cross the Piazza XI Febbraio where you can see the Parish Church of Santo Stefano and the Baptistery of San Giovanni Battista, follow the lakeside promenade until you reach the navigation pier.
Cross the bridge over the Pola stream, follow the path on the lakeside near the Hotel San Giorgio and climb up the cobbled path until you reach the State Road.
At this point we recommend to leave the Lake Como Greenway and turn right until you reach the Mezzegra Municipal Park, often used for village festivals among the most popular of the Tremezzina area. Continue along the path to the right of the entrance of the park, Andrea Colombo Street, and, when on your right you find an open gate do not hesitate to go through it to access a terrace overlooking the lake, just in front of Villa Le Fontane, from which you can enjoy a beautiful view.
Return to the path and continue until you reach the picturesque square in the hamlet of Azzano di Mezzegra, on the shore of the lake, where you can admire a centuries-old magnolia, imposing, 16 m high and with a trunk of 1.3 m in diameter: a real monument.
At this point, leave the lake behind, go up the cobblestone road to the right of the square, reach the State Road again and at the roundabout take Via delle Rimembranze, keeping right towards Bolvedro, turn into Via delle Gere.
Here, after crossing the bridge, go down to the left and follow the signs for Hotel Villa Edy, before reaching the villa, on the right take the road Via Monte Grappa which leads to the historical hamlet of Bolvedro. From this point until the end of the Greenway of Lake Como, you will follow the lakeside promenade along a protected path next to the Strada Statale Regina.
We suggest you stop here for lunch. There are no tables, but a simple blanket is enough to organize a picnic overlooking the lake. If you haven't brought your breakfast from home, you can have some delicious sandwiches made before you start your walk at the grocery store Dino Market, located near the Lavedo car park in Lenno.
If instead of a picnic you prefer to opt for a real lunch, you can continue on the lakeside promendade of Tremezzo and shortly after leaving the park you will find many restaurants and cafes.
From Tremezzo to Lenno
After the lunch break, leaving the park on the side of Villa Meier, at the rotatory take the road which goes up to the picturesque historic hamlets of Volesio, Balogno, Viano, Intignano.
Follow the road and pass the first bridge which leads to the hamlet of Rogaro (do not take it), just past the second bridge, which leads to a private house, cross the road and take the cobbled pedestrian road on the left, then cross the main road again and continue on the pedestrian road which climbs in steps towards the hamlet of Balogno.
Follow the route on the map through the picturesque hamlets of Volesio, Intignano and Viano, to finally reach Bonzanigo, where you will rejoin the stretch of the Lake Como Greenway that you did not follow on the outward journey, walking along Palazzo Rosati, aristocratic residence of the seventeenth century and the eighteenth century Palazzo Brentano and then continue in the direction of Mezzegra.
From here, take the cobbled road on the left and continue until you reach the scenic via Pola at the end of which there is the street Pola Vecchia that descends to the stream.
On the right take the staircase that climbs to the hamlet of Masnate, which we recommend visiting before descending to the square of Lenno, the starting point of our walk.
Points of interest Lenno - Mezzegra
Parish Church of Santo Stefano
The church has a façade in two orders marked by pilaster strips surmounted by a terminal gable. At the center there is an elegant stone portal above which there are two niches with statues of Saints. The bell tower with a Romanesque structure and an 18th century belfry stands on the left side and is completed by an octagonal lantern.
Baptistery of San Giovanni Battista
The Baptistery of Sant Giovanni Battista is located in the XI Febbraio square not far from the Church of Santo Stefano. The building, set on an octagonal plan with a polygonal apse facing north, probably dates back to the second half of the 11th century and has several similarities with the baptistery in Oggiono. The walls are made of blocks of irregular stone recalling also the structures of the church of San Benedetto in Perlana Valley.
Points of interest Mezzegra - Tremezzo stretch
Church of San Giuseppe
The oratory of San Giuseppe dates back to 1600 and was commissioned by Carlo Brentano Mezzegra, a merchant in Augusta.
Preceded by a portico, the church structure has a single central nave and an altarpiece portraying the Madonna with Child, St Joseph and St Carl, probably painted by Giulio Quaglio’s school. The church also contains a family grave.
The church, built in 1724 next to the previous Romanesque one, of which it incorporated the area used as the sacristy and as the brotherhood’s orator, is an example of one of the most interesting 18th-century architectural styles of the area, with clear influence from the European Rococo style. The dome fresco painted by Giulio Quaglio and the stuccos decorating the five black marble altars are all remarkable works of art.
From the churchyard you can admire the wonderful landscape, from the Bellagio promontory to the Lenno gulf, framed by San Primo and Grigna mountains.
The eighteenth-century palace was built by the influent local Brentano family, who made their fortune as merchants mainly in Holland and Germany.
The Rosati Palace
Palace built in 1701 by Andrea Brentano Riati, merchant in Leipzig (DE) and Nuremberg (DE).
Enriched in 1800 with the neogothic tower.
Villa “La Quiete” The elegant and sober Villa Sola Calbiati, also known as Villa la Quiete, is one of the main pearls of Lake Como, with its elegant Italian garden bordered by a large wrought iron gate supported by pillars with mythological subjects and great vessels of carved stone.
The building, characterized by a symmetrical design, is composed of a central part on three floors, marked by balconies and triangular and curvilinear pediments and flanked by two smaller and lowest wings at the sides.
A stairway and a sumptuous marble portal lead into the superbly decorated interior, featuring paintings by Francesco Cornelliani and decorations by the stucco artist Muzio Canzio.
Parish Church of San Lorenzo
The imposing building in eclectic style is the result of a reconstruction started in the 18th century and completed in the 20th century. The church has a central octagonal plan and it is characterized outside by horizontal bands of two-color covering also the structure of the tower. The façade, highlighted by simple pilaster strips, contains elements of neo-Romanesque and neo-Gothic style: the portal, the central rose window, the arches in brick, the terminal spire.
The vast interior is marked by a double row of pilaster strips with an eclectic decoration with geometric patterns that continues along the walls.
On the left side of the church there is the movie theater built in 1950 for the parish oratory and designed by the architect Pietro Lingeri, born in Tremezzo one of the leading exponents of rationalism in Como.
With magnificient trees, sculpted railing, a spectacular fountain and stone stairs that go down in the lake’s clear waters, the Teresio Olivelli municipal park, formerly known as Meier Garden, it’s really a little gem.
In the park you can admire the tarocchiera, an ancient octagonal building from 18th century, decorated by the painter Cristoforo De Amicis, a beautiful fountain and a spectacular neo-baroque staircase that connected the park to the Villa Meier, through an overpass overcoming the main road.
The park has a bar with a terrace overlooking the lake and a small beach.
Villa Meier is the result of an extensive and progressive renovation project, designed by architect Pietro Lingeri, born in Tremezzo and one of the main leading exponents of rationalism in Como. He worked not only on the existing villa but he reconfigured the park by adding new buildings.
Currently you can only visit a part of the original property Meier. The area of the garden at the lake, which is the city park Teresio Olivelli with the monumental staircase and tarocchiera, and the area of the garden behind, owned by the parish in which there are Villa Ortensia, the kennel circular, the tennis court with the kiosk, and the wing with belvedere, are open to the public. The cottage, the greenhouse and the caretaker’s house remain private property.
For those who do not want to continue the walk back from Tremezzo we recommend taking the bus towards Como (C10) in one of the stops on the main road (SS340) by the lake to reach the parking lot of Lenno or continue towards Como if you came by bus.
Arrive at Como San Giovanni station and reach the promenade by bus or boat. Alternatively, it is also possible to arrive at Varenna station and reach the Greenway by boat taking advantage of the Shuttle service in the center of the lake.