In ancient times, the eastern shore of Lake Como was characterized by a series of paths that facilitated trade between Milan and the Alpine passes. While heavy and precious goods were usually transported by boat, for smaller goods and for people - travelers, pilgrims and armies - ground routes were used.
In the early decades of the nineteenth century, the opening of a new military road leading to the Stelvio pass (built between 1817 and 1834) caused the progressive abandonment of the previous road system, which only in recent years has been rediscovered and named Sentiero del Viandante ("Path of the Wayfarer").
Since the first stretch between Lecco and Abbadia Lariana is impassable, the trail begins just before Abbadia Lariana, near the Church of St. Martin, and continues along the bank of the lake all the way to the Church of St. George near Mandello del Lario.
The path then reaches the ancient hamlets of Maggiana, Rongio and Sonvico, until you get to Genìco where the itinerary is divided: you can continue towards Lierna, following the medieval route, or head inland, passing by the ancient Church of St. Peter of Ortanella.
Sentiero Viandante da Somana Mandello
Both routes meet at the Castle of Vezio, one of the main fortifications of the Eastern Lario: from here we continue towards Gittana and then towards Bellano where, after passing the Pioverna stream and the famous ravine, we find the Sanctuary of Lezzeno. To the north of Bellano we reach the Castle of Dervio, then Corenno Plinio, the Lake of Piona and finally the Virgin Mary of Val Pozzo, near Piantedo, almost at the entrance of the Valtellina.
Many hikers walk the path in stages, immersed in an environment with breathtaking views. Along the route you will find old rustic houses built in stone, the ruins of old mills, castles, countless chapels and mountain churches, terraces planted with vines and olive trees. The churches of Romanesque origin preserve precious frescoes. Among these are the Church of St. George in Mandello del Lario, St. George in Mondonico, St. Anthony in Vezio, St. Thomas Becket in Corenno, St. Roch in Villatico and many others. And then mountains, woods, meadows, fruit trees and breathtaking views: the route offers natural beauties in every season, and the climate is quite mild even in winter.
The ancient connecting road, which unites the municipalities and valleys of the region, is now signaled with orange signs.
On foot it can take five or six days to cover the entire route following the suggested stages. It is possible to cover the whole route at one time, or to to divide it in different stretches: in this case, it is important to know that the railway line that runs close and parallel to the trail allows you to start and interrupt the excursion to at the desired station (Lecco-Colico-Sondrio line).
Today the route can be walked from Abbadia Lariana to Colico, and from Colico to Piantedo, with a difference in height between 300 and 1,000 meters.
The first stage of the Path of the Wayfarer is located in Mandello del Lario.

Abbadia Lariana - Mandello del Lario - Lierna - 1^ stage of the path of the wayfarer

The first stage of the Path of the Wayfarer passes through Mandello del Lario, departing from Abbadia Lariana and arriving in Lierna.
Altitude difference: 360 m
Distance: 10.6 km
Duration: 3.30 hours
Level of difficulty: simple
Altitude at starting point: 212 m above sea level
Altitude at finish: 224 m above sea level
Maximum altitude: 445 m above sea level
The route begins in Abbadia Lariana, from the Church of St. Martin, near the exit of the highway.
After passing the bridge above the railway line, you will enter a paved stretch that leads to the hamlet of Borbino; from here the path becomes a mule track that crosses the hamlets of Robbianico, with the interesting churches of St. Bartholomew, of Linzanico and of Novegolo.
From here, take a small dirt path, which extends up to the beginning of Mandello del Lario, where you will find the Church of St. George, whose origins date back to the ninth century.
Chiesa S. Giorgio intrnt
The route then begins to go up towards Maggiana, a district of Mandello del Lario, dominated by the so-called "Barbarossa Tower". After crossing the woods, you will reach the hamlet of Rongio.
The path continues mostly in the plains or with short ups and downs and, after passing through Mandello, descends towards the Meria river. From here we go back to Sonvico, leaving behind the Chapel of the Immaculate.
Along the trail to Galdano you can admire the magnificent view of Olcio and the lake.
In the next stretch, go along the highway for a short distance, then head towards Sornico and Olgianico and finally Lierna.