A pleasant and panoramic walk that leads to the discovery first of the Sacred Mount of Ossuccio and then to the hidden Soccorso Tower, passing through the internal streets of the mountain and ending the walk in Sala Comacina.
When you pass by boat or boat in front of Isola Comacina and look towards the village of Ossuccio and Sala Comacina, the view definitely falls on a small but clearly visible tower in the middle of the first stretch of the mountain, far from the centre of the villages and other houses.
This is the Soccorso Tower or Barbarossa Tower, a heritage of the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI), which is open to the public and can only be visited on certain days organised by the foundation.
All year round, however, it is possible to take the itinerary on foot that leads from the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Soccorso to the entrance of the Tower and continues to Sala Comacina.
The path starts in Ossuccio, in Tremezzina, where you have to follow the itinerary that leads to the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Soccorso. You can easily park your car along the Via Don Giovanni Folci, from where you can follow the different stages of the Sacred Mount route with its chapels.
The climb is rather steep but suitable for everyone, with a beautiful panorama on the right where you can take magnificent photos.
You continue along the cobbled path and finally reach the Sanctuary, the important and significant first stage of this trip in the mountain.
From here, after taking a breath and enjoying the landscape, you take the mule track for the cars and go down to the lake. If you had continued the climb beyond the Sanctuary you would have entered the path to Boffalora and the Via dei Monti Lariani.
Immediately after descending a few metres you take the first small road to the right and then towards Sala Comacina, you leave the mule track and enter a path that is less beaten and more mountainous than that of the ascent towards the mountain.
You will find several indicative signs that will lead you to the Tower and also some exercises for the life path, but you must keep in mind that your direction is always towards Sala leaving behind you every little road that goes down to the lake or to Ossuccio.
When the trees are bare on your left, the Comacina Island is always clearly visible: in August and September the colours of the lake are magnificent, while in late Autumn the colours of the leaves are the masters of your journey.
After a series of descents you reach a path characterized by the presence of numerous boulders and pebbles: just in this stretch you find on your left the boundary that delimits the area of the Torre del Soccorso and on our right a vast rocky esplanade with a very crumbly appearance.
This is how you arrived at the main destination of your excursion, because in that fenced ground there is the complex of the Tower: situated on a spur of rock overlooking the lake and the Zoca de l’Oli, it consists of two separate buildings. There is the real tower, once the protagonist in the defensive role covering the Isola Comacina, and a separate plant in Moltrasio stone.
During the days of visiting the historical site it is possible to enter the protected area and access the entire complex.
The beauty of the wooded area, with its fairy-tale charm, is nothing compared to the view from the internal windows of the structure over Lake Como and Comacina Island. With your eyes you can admire the village of Sala and Ossuccio from above, as well as reaching Balbianello, Bellagio, Argegno and the crests of the mountains on the opposite shore.
In short, it is almost an amusement park for lovers of panoramic views, beautiful photos and also for all those who have an interest in interior design, precisely because, unexpectedly, the structure has been recently restored and furnished.
Once the visit is over you continue on your way to Sala Comacina, your last stop.
Along the way it is very likely to find grazing animals such as goats and sheep, but sometimes also deer and wild boars. Once past a farmstead, a slightly crumbly descent begins and enters a valley that is easily surmountable thanks to the presence of a bridge and a path bordered by a fence.
Especially if there are children, we recommend to be very careful along this stretch, because over the years and with heavy rain some parts of the fence have collapsed in the valley.
After this point in the valley, with little light due to the presence of numerous trees, you come out into a meadow that once again overlooks the lake and follow the path that then joins a mule track with a wooden fence.
You continue straight on and after a few ups and downs you join a complex of farmsteads with breathtaking views of the Tremezzina and first of all of the island, and all this takes on an even more pleasant value because of the quiet and tranquillity of this isolated area known to few.
There are many panoramic viewpoints on Comacina Island, but the sure thing is that throughout this route you can admire the best views.
After this regenerative stop the road joins the mule track that leads to Alpe di Sala: you leave it on the right and you descend along the steep descent that leads yous to the village of Sala Comacina.
Also in this last stretch you cross several farmsteads and several cultivated land, but never missing is the Lake and the Comacina Island which are in front of you as soon as you look up from the ground.
You always follow the path and finally, after a little more than an hour’s walk between history and nature, you come out on the Greenway of Lake Como in the stretch of Sala Comacina, just after the village cemetery.
You can decide to return following the Greenway or a path on the lake or otherwise retracing your path but this time from Sala to Ossuccio.