The first section of the Greenway of Lake Como, from Colonno to Ossuccio, is a pleasant walk suitable for everyone and all seasons, offering enchanting panoramic views of the historic villages nestled on the lake shore and the island Comacina.
The walk begins in Colonno: at the southern entrance of the town, along the Strada Statale Regina 340, follow the indication Greenway of Lake Como going up Via Cappella until you reach the starting point where Via Luigi Civetta begins. Continuing on this street you enter in the historical center passing through the Piazzetta from which it is possible to go down in the lake part of the village.
Crossing the ancient bridge over the Pessetta torrent, you exit the town slightly uphill along the ancient Via Regina where, turning around, you can admire a splendid view of the village with the bell tower of the Parish Church of San Michele Arcangelo.
It continues entering the municipality of Sala Comacina on the path halfway up the old Strada Regina, which crosses terraced plots and small olive groves, offering wide views of the lake. After about 15 minutes of pleasant walk you reach, on the right side, the cemetery. From here you enter immediately on the left, following the indications, on the cobblestone road parallel to the avenue of olive trees crossing, a little further on, the Chapel of San Rocco.
Continue on the Greenway with a splendid view from the top of the Bell Tower of the Parish Church of San Bartolomeo, which stands between the houses of the village of Sala, the lake with the mountains in the background and the Isola Comacina.
It continues on the Greenway with a splendid view from the top of the Bell Tower of the Parish Church of San Bartolomeo, which stands between the houses of the village of Sala, the lake with mountains in the background and the Isola Comacina.
For the return, we suggest you an alternative stretch of road that will allow you to visit the village of Sala Comacina.
Retrace your steps, pass backwards the church of Santi Giacomo e Filippo, cross the state highway and take the path that goes up on the right, after the garages, but then go down again immediately on the left and cross the state highway again, taking the path that goes down towards the lake, just in front of the pedestrian stripes.
Following the cobbled path, you will pass the beaches and skirt the garden of villa Rachele, where you can see, through the gate, the tomb of Giulio and Antonia Beccaria. A little further on, take the stairs on the left to reach the lakefront of Sala Comacina.
On the right you will find a bar and a small playground, where you can rest while enjoying a splendid view of the island Comacina and the small port of the village.
For those who want to pranzare on the lake, we recommend a stop at the Locanda la Tirlindana, located in the characteristic square of the country (better to book in advance for greater safety).
After the stop we recommend to take the Greenway to return to Colonno, avoiding the main road. From the square, take via Francesco Prestinari, cross the state road at the pedestrian crossing and take the cobbled street just in front.
When you arrive in Colonno, if you want to visit the historical center on the lake, leave the Greenway taking the little street with steps that goes down on the left (see the following picture), cross again the state highway and go back on the left until the Trattoria Cheghel (30 mt), where you can go down from the narrow stairs to reach the lake-front and arrive to the little square with the parish church of S. Michele Arcangelo.
Then take the small streets of the village that go upstream to rejoin the Greenway and return to the starting point.
The building, located near the lake shore, presents a sober design of late neoclassical taste, but the church probably has Romanesque origins, as the remains of the ancient bell tower beside the present one seem to testify.
The original settlement of the village goes up from the lake towards the state road. On the shores of the lake we find the characteristic little square of the landing stage, with its gigantic plane trees and other little squares equally full of charm. The old houses of the historical nucleus are crossed by a maze of narrow cobbled streets and steep stairways that have always been one of the characteristics of this village.
On the lakefront there is a narrow promenade that gives access to the boat docks and allows to admire the beautiful landscape with the tip of Comacina Island and the promontory of Puncia, where stands Villa Rachele.
Of medieval origin, in 1703 the church was enlarged and transformed as it is today. The single nave interior is dominated by the works of art of the presbytery: the altarpiece depicting a Madonna with Child and Saints by Giovanni Mauro della Rovere the Flemish placed in the fourth decade of the seventeenth century; the wooden choir coeval; the Glory of St. Bartholomew frescoed on the vault by Carlo Carloni.
Numerous works of Baroque art follow one another on the walls of the nave and in the side chapels. Of the four side altars, the first one on the left towards the high altar, made of golden wood and brought here from a church in Rome, is particularly interesting. It is a work of the 17th century (1625) and is adorned with beautiful paintings on copper.
The only island of Lake Como, appreciated for its lush nature and beautiful views, Comacina Island is also one of the most interesting archaeological areas of northern Italy for the Middle Ages and a center of artistic production thanks to the summer residences of Italian and Belgian artists in the houses for artists of rationalist style.
About 600 meters long and just 200 wide, the Comacina Island includes a total area of 6 hectares, mostly covered by a lush Mediterranean vegetation. Access to the island is by lake with embarkation in Ossuccio (Taxi-boat) or by means of the Navigazione Lago di Como which allows disembarkation directly on the island.
For Further Reading
To discover the entire route of the Greenway of Lake Como, visit the official website.
The Greenway is a path that develops on the existing network of links. For this reason, it is possible to cover it entirely, in about 3 hours and a half, or to enter the route at different points of intersection with the road network and public services.