From Colonno to Alpe di Colonno

Challenging but very panoramic excursion from Colonno to Corniga up to Alpe di Colonno, passing through "Monti i Prati" with return from Alpe di Sala, Canelva to Sala Comacina.

  • Starting point: Colonno. We suggest to park your car in Via Strada Cappella (the street where the Greenway of Lake Como begins).
  • Duration: round trip 5/6 hours depending on the pace
  • Vertical drop: 1100 m
  • Difficulty: difficult, especially for the very steep ascent

At the end of Via Strada Cappella, after the second hairpin bend, on the right begins the path that climbs towards Corniga and the Alpe di Colonno.

The path soon becomes a steep mule track. After about an hour of ascent, walking through olive groves and woods and passing in front of splendid panoramic views of the Comacina Island, the Balbianello and Bellagio, you reach the villages of Luglierno and Cambrianico (668 m).

Shortly after, continuing uphill, you reach the hamlet of Corniga (765 m).

Here you have to keep to the right, avoiding the path that leads to Pigra. You reach the Church of Corniga dedicated to St. Anna dating back to 1631 and then continue the climb up to the hamlet of Solasco (862 m).

Chiesa di Sant'Anna a Corniga, Colonno

As far as Solasco the mule track climbs steeply, many panoramic views repay the effort of the climb.
After Solasco the slope is reduced but still remains challenging. The vertical drop is about 1100 m.

At a certain point you arrive at a fork, to reach the locality Monti i Prati (1045 m) you have to keep left until a second fork where you continue to follow the main mule track. Out of the wood you will find the pastures where the first huts of the Mount rise.

Monti ai Prati

After Monti ai Prati it is necessary to continue on a concrete road between woods and well-arranged huts, then, finally, the 3 hours of trekking end and we arrive in front of Alpe di Colonno (1320 m) on the mountains that divide Lake Como from Lake Lugano.

After a stop at the Alpe where there is a working refuge where you can eat and rest surrounded by a splendid panorama, you can return to the starting point going down from Alpe di Sala, towards Sala Comacina.
This mule track is narrower and in less good condition than the one made at the start, but it is less steep. Shortly after taking the path you will come across a splendid stone fountain, cross small clusters of rustic houses and stables until you reach Canelva.

Between Canelva and Rodolo you walk in a large meadow, then you cross a large artificial carving in the rock and then you meet a chapel. In this last part of the route the slope increases.
You continue along the path through the forest. Then you reach the Greenway of Lake Como, following it you reach the starting point, avoiding the traffic of the Strada Regina.

The starting point is at the end of Via Luigi Civetta.

Alternative route

An alternative, physically less demanding, could be to get from Argegno to Pigra by bus or car (from Como, on the SS 340 to Argegno, then on the SP 13 to San Fedele and on the SP 13 towards Pigra – km 36).

From Pigra it is possible to take the old forest road, which is not driveable and enters the beech woods, turning into a path that forks into routes 1a, 1b and 1c.

The route starts in the upper part of the village of Pigra in the locality “Su Frecia” and after 400 metres you will find the concrete cross of “Crusia Piana” (mt 1.020) which is part of the 7 crosses route. After another 700 metres of walk (mt 1.150) there is a watering place, the ancient “panée”, once used by grazing animals, now by deer, roe deer and wild boars.

At 1900 metres from the start (1.250 m) the road forks into the following paths:

  • TRAIL 1a – Length: 4.9 km; Max. Vertical drop: 480 m; Duration: h 1,50 approx.
    After a steep stretch comes out on the ridge, the “Bocchetta di Pigra” (mt 1.323), and then continue, turning right towards North, on the panoramic path of the famous “Via dei Monti Lariani” towards the Alpe di Colonno.
  • TRAIL 1b – Length: 4.2 km; Max. Vertical drop: 400 m; Duration: h 1,30 approx.
    It enters the wood, without any particular difference in height, to join the asphalted military road (progressive 2900 – 1.230 mt) towards Alpe di Colonno (1.322 mt).
  • TRAIL 1c – On the ridge up to Pizzo Pasquella (mt 1.367) where you can admire the best panoramic point with a view on the town of Pigra and Lake Como.

For more information visit the web-stie Associazione Amici Pigra.

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