The Sentiero delle Espressioni (Expressions Trail) is a path through a wonderful open air museum located in Comana, Schignano - Val d'Intelvi (CO).
This itinerary combines the charm of a walk in the middle of nature (trees, green paths, mule tracks, wooden steps covered with green foliage) with the beauty of art: in the splendid landscape of the Schignan mountains, there is in fact a fascinating open-air art exhibition made up of sculptures carved in larch and chestnut wood, very beautiful and characteristic, distributed in strategic points in the middle of the meadows and in the woods.
The Sentiero delle Espressioni is located in the Intelvi Valley Regional Forest (CO).
Starting point: Schignano
Walking time: h. 1.30/2
Difficulty: Easy (E)
To reach Schignano you have to take the S.S. 340 Regina towards Argegno and just before reaching the town, turn left towards Schignano.
From the centre of Schignano follow the signs to the hamlet of Posa (840 m), where you can park. Proceed on foot for about 20 minutes in the direction of Alpe Nava (950 m), starting point of the Sentiero delle Espressioni.
From the starting point the path is well indicated by yellow signs on the wall of the house that is located at the beginning of the path. In the woods you must follow the signs with the appropriate mark, always easily visible.
From Alpe Nava you can walk to Alpe Comana (1,096 m) where there is a small lake and the Agriturismo La Pratolina (farmahouse), an excellent place to eat. From here you can admire the valley and the art work Passaggio, a door composed of three massive trunks and adorned with an old tent, on which are affixed symbolic elements and the inscription "Passaggio per l'Infinito" (Passage to Infinity).
From the farmhouse you have to take an uphill path (follow the signs of the CAI, direction Monte Comana) that leads to the top of Monte Comana (1,210 m), a wonderful viewpoint over Lake Como.
The top of Monte Comana represents the arrival point of the first part of the Sentiero delle Espressioni.
Continuing on, you will enter the second part of the path, passing through the magical atmosphere of the wood, where the most recent wooden artefacts dwell.
Follow the ridge line in the direction of Roccolo del Messo (1,153 m), an ancient bird catching structure recovered by ERSAF, and Colma di Binate (1,125 m), along the route called La Conca di Schignano.
You can continue in this way the Sentiero delle Espressioni discovering other beautiful sculptures, result of the art of carving of skilled mask-makers and wood carvers.
The Sentiero delle Espressioni was born thanks to a project that combines forests, art and tourism and thanks to the collaboration between ERSAF, the Municipality of Schignano and the artists of the Association la M.A.SCH.E.R.A, known for their traditional carnival masks.
The skilled wood carvers have created, with gouges and chisels, art forms in the forest:
the barks and trunks of the trees have thus become expressions of joy and surprise, symbols of wisdom and paternity, intense and exciting faces.
The path leads the visitor to the discovery of one sculpture after another, in a fascinating path in the beautiful Valle Intelvi Regional Forest.
The Intelvi Valley Forest, owned by the Lombardy Region and managed by ERSAF, occupies the upper part of the natural amphitheatre of Schignano, in a pleasant mosaic of woods, pastures and views of the lake.
The Sentiero delle Espressioni is enriched from year to year thanks to the event Boscultura. It is a kermesse - lasting one week - during which carvers compete in a sort of "carving competition", creating live sculptures, which will then remain in place to enrich a trail that is already counted among the unmissable trails in northern Italy and suggested for excursions in the best magazines of trekking and mountain biking.
The Maskmakers of Schignano
The cultural association La M.A.SCH.E.R.A. (Mascherai Artisti SCHignanesi ed Estimatori Ricercatori Associati) was founded in 2010 in Schignano with the intent to share the passion for carving masks. Promoting every form of art and culture, the artists are responsible for preserving and handing down the traditions related to the mask itself and the folklore aspects of the historic Carnival of Schignano.
The works you can admire along The Sentiero delle Espressioni are the artistic work of many sculptors, including: