Pedestrian Routes

Below you will find a series of pedestrian routes to reach the different districts of Mandello del Lario from the train station. These are very simple routes, lasting approximately thirty minutes.

Mandello del Lario - Somana

Leave the train station behind you, go down to the right and cross the railway underpass. Continue straight through Via Parodi and follow Via Eritrea until you reach Piazza della Vittoria, where the ancient church of St. Zeno stands. Continue along Via S. Zenone (Motteno district), Via Dante, Piazza IV Novembre (Molina district) and, after crossing the bridge over the Meria river, continue along the narrow via Colombo that leads to Piazza della Fontana. Walking through the district of Palanzo you will cross Via dei Partigiani in front of an ancient stepped mule track (Strada del Sasso) that leads to the Church of St. Abundius in Somana.

Mandello del Lario - S.Giorgio - Maggiana

From the station, go along the provincial road towards Lecco up to a layby near the Sports Center. Take a steep paved road to the left up to the small Church of St. George, a small jewel of the thirteenth century overlooking the lake, with interesting frescoes of the fifteenth century; from there go up to the left along a path through the gardens, following the sign for "Sentiero del Viandante" (Path of the Wayfarer) until you cross the highway 36, on a flyover. After the bridge turn immediately left and, after 20 meters, turn right, on a path that leads to the cemetery of Maggiana, where you will exit on an asphalt road. Turn left and go down towards Maggiana and Piazza della Chiesa.

Mandello del Lario - Rongio

Once you arrive at Molina (see route to Somana), do not cross the bridge over the Meria river and take the road to Luzzeno on the right. The road is at the beginning wide and asphalted, then it becomes a wide cobbled mule track. At Luzzeno take the asphalt road to Rongio until the first bend, turn left and take the old mule track that leads to the square of Rongio (Church of St. Abundius).

L'anello di Olcio (The Ring of Olcio)

The “Anello di Olcio” (Ring of Olcio) is a circular path that crosses the town of Olcio, a hamlet of the municipality of Mandello del Lario. The path is characterized by a rural environment with terraces mostly cultivated with olive trees and vegetables. The trail has several panoramic viewpoints that offer a wonderful view of the lake and the surrounding mountains The route is marked with stamps of the colors of the ancient Municipality of Olcio: each of them is positioned near an environmental, cultural and landscape point of interest and, by scanning the QR code, it is possible to visit the website to learn more about the place.
Anello di Olcio - Mandello
: 4,4 km
Altitude difference: 260-290 m
Information: visit the website
Starting from the parking lot by the lake, cross the road and take a short mule track that turns right past a vegetable garden. Go under the railway bridge until you reach the train station (another possible starting point) and head towards Olcio.
At the end of the village there is a mule track that goes up first between some meadows and then to the right of an olive grove. Halfway through the olive grove turn right and take the small road between the walls; at the end of the road, turn left.
From here, head down to the panoramic viewpoint and take the path through the woods. Then climb down to the village (you will cross the village on a slightly different route to get to the starting point).
Most of the trail is on a cobbled street; some short stretches pass through the woods, which is why we recommend sneakers or trekking shoes.

Eight Steps through Mandello del Lario

Below you will find eight itineraries that allow you to make some simple and short excursions around Mandello del Lario. These are fairly easy routes, suitable for everyone, on wide, well-maintained paths with no steep hills.

Somana - Olcio

Panoramic viewpoint on Lake Como
Description: easy, panoramic route. Mostly on urban roads, with little traffic
Duration: about 3 hours
Difficulty: easy route, for everyone
Slopes: maximum difference in height about 100 meters
Roads: urban roads and easy paths
- Somana: bar
- Olcio, Lake Area: ice-cream parlor
- Mandello del Lario: bar on the route
Equipment: Comfortable walking shoes with non-slip soles
When you reach the Church Square in the Somana district, continue uphill towards the cemetery.
After passing the parking lot in front of you, after a few meters, near the chapel, you will find on your left the detour for Olcio (CAI trail n. 15).
You will find a narrow path that quickly loses altitude and turns into a wide and well-paved mule track with beautiful views of Lake Como and Bellagio.
You will cross terraces cultivated with olive trees and vines and reach the first houses of the village of Olcio, with its typical alleys between the lake and the mountains. Keeping to the left, take the road to Somana which leads to the beautiful Church of St. Roch.
Go down the small staircase and follow the paved road that leads to the provincial road 72, near an ancient Chapel dedicated to the Immaculate Virgin Mary.
Continue along Via Gioberti which runs parallel to the provincial road and which allows you to reach the Gilardoni Raggi X factory without the dangers of car traffic.
Turn right and go past the entrance of the company. You will then get to the lake walking along a pedestrian dirt road.
After passing the camping area, you will arrive at the Mulini district and then at the Sports Center.
After crossing the bridge over the Meria river, turn left into via Maestri Comacini and you will reach the Church of the Virgin Mary of the River.
From here you can return to the train station in a short time.

Somana - Acqua del Gess

Panoramic viewpoint on Mandello del Lario, fraction of Olcio, Lierna, central Lake Como and mountains of Tremezzo
Description: easy route, suitable for everyone, well marked, without steep hills, walkable in all seasons, shaded during the summer
Duration: about 3 hours
Difficulty: easy route, for everyone.
Slopes: maximum uphill gradient: 100 m. No steep hills.
Roads: in good conditions. Initial part on an asphalt road. Final stretch on cobbled mule track and easy paths.
- Somana district: bar
- Piano di Vicc (water spring): 1 hour from Somana
- Acqua del Gess (water spring): 1.45 hours from Somana
Equipment: Comfortable shoes with rubber sole. Backpack with water bottle. Pullover or windbreaker according to the season.
After reaching the Church of Somana, continue towards the cemetery and then towards Poada. Follow the CAI trail mark N.17 C - Acqua del Gesso - Bocchetta di Verdascia.
At the first crossroads turn right (red mark on the wall) and follow the water pipe coming from the Fonte del Gess until you see a cross.
Immediately afterwards, climb the stairs with the parapet: this is a nice panoramic viewpoint on Mandello del Lario, Olcio and Lake Como; the vegetation is extremely varied.
You will then enter a chestnut wood, leaving behind the pipeline that continues in private land. Follow the red dots painted on the stones (Via Mister) and you will see a plateau with a farmhouse from which you can enjoy a splendid view of Lierna, of the lake center and of the Mountains of Tremezzo.
Keep following the trail mark N. 17C. You will reach the "Pian di Vecc", where the Chapel of the "Madonna del Gess" and a water spring are located.
Take now the path that goes up to the right of the chapel and in a few minutes you will reach the "Acqua del Gess" spring (red dots on the stones - 530 m a.s.l.).
On the way back, take the road up to the Chapel but, instead of turning left, keep right until you reach another path that leads to Lierna.
Then turn left and go down to the Chapel of the Saioli (1919 - dedicated to the victory). On the left follow the Path of the Wayfarer (Sentiero del Viandante) towards Somana (trail mark N. 17C).
From here, take the asphalted road again towards Somana and Mandello del Lario.

Somana - Santa Maria (Era and Gardata)

Medieval trail to Valsassina
Description: it is a uphill path on a mule track. Walkable in all seasons. Panoramic view on Val Meria, on the high crossing from the northern Grigna to the southern Grigna and on the Rosalba hut
Duration: about 3 hours (in S. Maria)
Difficulty: easy route / medium difficulty
Slopes: maximum altitude difference: about 100 meters. Entirely uphill.
Road: well-kept urban roads and mule tracks
- Somana district: bar
- Era: water spring
Equipment: Comfortable shoes with non-slip soles, backpack and water bottle
Clothes: according to the season
Once you reach the square of Somana, go up to the left following the CAI sign n. 15 for Santa Maria.
On leaving the hamlet, there is a beautiful mule-track with the crosses of the Stations of the Cross. At the end of the mule-track you will reach the Chapel of St. Preda (600 meters), recently restored, that stands on a small plateau from which you can admire the Grigna and the Grignetta with the Rosalba hut.
The path then becomes narrower but still easy to walk and, after a short flat stretch, it climbs towards the Church of St. Mary of Olcio (664 m a.s.l.), overlooking the Val Meria and Mandello del Lario.
It was once a hospice of the Benedictines, very flourishing already in the eleventh century, which served as a resting place on the main communication route between Mandello del Lario and Valsassina. The church was renovated in 1600, but still has a beautiful Romanesque bell tower.
The refreshment point was destroyed in the fire of April 1997.
The route back is the same as the route up.
If you want you can continue on the same path, which becomes a bit more challenging and alternates steep stretches to flat stretches, until you reach, after about an hour, the Era’s Alp, located in a beautiful valley.
At the beginning of the mountain pasture there is a small church and, on the right, a water spring.
You can go back by taking the same path or by continuing to the Gardata (follow the CAI signs) and then, following itinerary n. 5, going down to the hamlet of Rongio and again to Mandello del Lario.
In addition, there is the possibility of excursions reserved for trained and expert hikers along the paths marked by the CAI Group.


Somana - Torrente Meria - Rongio

Along the water intake systems
Description: easy path, without steep hills, walkable in all seasons, shaded. It follows the water pipelines of the power plant (now ENEL) of Val Meria
Duration: about 3 hours
Difficulty: easy route, for everyone
Slopes: maximum altitude difference: about 200 meters. No steep hills.
Roads: initial part on urban road; remaining stretch on easy paths
- Somana district: bar
- Before the crossing of the Meria river: water spring
- Rongio: ice-cream parlor
Equipment: Comfortable shoes with non-slip rubber soles. Backpack and water bottle
Clothes: according to the season
Once you reach the square of Somana, follow the sign for "Sentiero del fiume" (Path of the River) N.15 B and take the beautiful flat road that goes into the valley of the Meria river.
After about 30 minutes of walking, follow the sign for “Rongio - Mandello" N.15 C.
After a few meters, take the path that goes down to the right towards the bridge ("Stiri" bridge).
Then go up for a few meters on the side of Rongio to reach the covered canal that powers a small power plant.
At this point to the left you will see the systems for the water intake. Our itinerary continues to the right. Walk on the canal until you reach a building from which the power line of the power plant starts. The canal ends here and on the left the path continues into the woods.
In a few minutes you will reach the mule track leading to the hamlet of Rongio and then return to Mandello del Lario.

Rongio - Ponte di ferro - Grotte Acqua Bianca

Presumed Leonardesque itinerary
Description: easy path, suitable for everyone. Mostly on a large almost flat track with the terminal part on a stepped mule track. Shaded. Walkable in all seasons.
Duration: about 3 hours
Difficulty: easy route, for everyone
Slopes: maximum altitude difference: about 300 meters. Medium difficulty hills.
Roads: urban roads, and well-kept mule tracks.
- Rongio: ice-cream parlor
- Sassin water spring
- Acqua Bianca water spring
Equipment: comfortable shoes, with non-slip soles
Clothes: according to the season
Once you reach Rongio, take the path following the CAI trail mark N.14 to the Elisa refuge.
After about 15 minutes you will reach the Sassin water spring and after another 15 minutes you will reach the Ponte di Ferro ("Iron Bridge"), built between two rocky walls under which you can admire the so-called Marmitte dei Giganti (“Giants' Pots”), formed by water erosion.
Here begins the ascent of the "200 steps" mentioned by Leonardo Da Vinci in his Codex Atlanticus, which lead to the Grotta dell'Acqua Bianca (“White Water Cave”), also called "Ferrera".
The route back is the same as the route up. If you wish to continue, you can connect to itinerary n. 3.
To the left of the cave there is a stretch of spectacular mule track that overcomes a steep gradient thanks to a series of dry-stone walls.
After about 45 minutes you will reach Gardata, an amazing panoramic viewpoint.
The route back is the same as the route up or you can walk itinerary n. 3 backwards.

Rongio - Zucco della Rocca - Maggiana

Ruins of Roman cistern
Description: steep path. It requires good training. Walkable in all seasons. Pay particular attention to the section of trail 12A leading to the cistern.
Duration: about 4 hours.
Difficulty: challenging route, with some difficult stretches
Slopes: maximum altitude difference: about 600 meters
Roads: mule tracks and narrow paths
- Rongio: ice-cream parlor
- Maggiana: fountain in Piazza della Chiesa
Equipment: Comfortable shoes with non-slip soles. Backpack and water bottle
Clothes: according to the season
Once you reach the hamlet of Rongio, take the uphill mule track leaving on the right the Casa Torre dei Lafranconi (“Lafranconi Tower”) and followi the sign for the Piani Resinelli (“Resinelli Plateaus”) - path n. 12.
For the first part, the trail is steep but still easy and goes into a thick wood, from which, however, you can glimpse the beautiful panorama of Mandello del Lario, the hamlet of Somana and the Zucco di Sileggio.
The path then becomes narrower and almost flat before it starts to rise again. At a certain point you will see a detour to the right towards Maggiana (path n. 12) in the locality of "Tri Foo".
Continue uphill and in about 15 minutes you will arrive at the Costa della Rocca.
Take now path n. 12A, which is quite narrow and not very easy, and you will get to Zucco della Rocca where, a few meters from the summit, you will see the remains of a Roman cistern.
From here you can admire the panorama of the coast below from Mandello del Lario to Abbadia Lariana and of the other side of the lake.

San Giorgio - Maggiana - Rongio

Description: itinerary with medium difficulty climbs and stretches on a narrow and uneven path, especially in the first stretch Maggiana - Rongio. Walkable in all seasons. Partially shaded.
Duration: about 2 hours
Difficulty: fairly easy route
Slopes: maximum altitude difference: about 200 meters. Medium difficulty climbs.
Roads: urban roads, mule tracks, narrow paths.
- Maggiana: fountain in Piazza della Chiesa
- Rongio: ice-cream parlor and drinking fountain
Equipment: Comfortable shoes with non-slip soles. Backpack and water bottle
Clothes: according to the season
Once you reach the hamlet of Maggiana, take a moment to admire the Torre del Barbarossa (“Barbarossa Tower”), the old stone houses and to enjoy a beautiful view of Mandello del Lario and the villages on the opposite side of the lake.
Continue on the Sentiero del Viandante (“Path of the Wayfarer”) that climbs to the right towards Rongio just outside the inhabited center. Here begins the most difficult stretch on a narrow path and on uneven ground that goes into a dense forest of chestnut, hazelnut and oak trees until you get to terraced fields at the entrance of Rongio, next to the Church of St. James.
The seventeenth-century church (interior of classical style with a marble baroque altar) is located in a beautiful square with ancient buildings and a stone wash-house from 1798.
Along the Ronchi district you will see on the left a rare popular representation of St. Abundius on horseback, painted under the entrance hall of a sixteenth century building.
You will then arrive at the little square with the oratory dedicated, in 1654, to St. Anthony from Padua.
From the hamlet of Rongio the path descends to Mandello del Lario through an ancient mule track.

San Giorgio - Maggiana - Cascata del Torrente Zerbo

The highest waterfall of the Grigna Mountains
Description: easy route, mostly on well-kept muletracks. The itinerary extends into the municipality of Abbadia Lariana. The main sign is that of the Alta Via delle Grigne (AV): a red rectangle with a blue circle in the center.
Duration: about 3 hours.
Difficulty: easy route, for everyone
Slopes: maximum difference in height about 300 meters. Medium difficulty climbs.
Roads: well-kept mule tracks
- Somana: bar.
- Olcio, Lake area: ice-cream parlor
- Mandello del Lario: bar on the route
Equipment: comfortable shoes with non-slip soles. Backpack and water bottle.
Clothes: depending on the season and windbreaker.
Once you reach the Square of the Church of Maggiana, take the small road on the right, walk for a few meters, then take the wide mule track (Alta Via) to the left, which climbs towards the village of Lombrino (Via Benvenuto).
Cross part of the village, then continue along a flat road that opens on the right, signaled with sign n. 5, where the chapel dedicated to Our Lady "Mother of Grace" is located.
You will go past a small square with a wash-house and, a little further on, when you see a house with a fountain, leave mule track n. 5 (which goes up to the Resinelli Plateaus) and continue to the right (Alta Via), turning behind the house.
The path is mostly flat.
You will enter the beautiful chestnut grove of Perla, cross the mule track that goes up from Linzanico (district of Abbadia Lariana) and, after a short climb, take the Val Monastero.
After Caleggio, go up for about 300 m and you will see on the right "l'Acqua de la Famm", once a picnic destination.
You will then get to the masonry bridge over the Zerbo creek. Once you reach the bridge, go back about thirty meters to the first junction and take the unmarked trail that rises steeply and almost parallel to the creek. Walk for a few minutes and then take the trail on the right that crosses towards the bed of the creek.With its cliff of about 50 meters, this is the highest waterfall of the Grigna Mountains and is particularly impressive.
In very cold winters it is possible to see it completely frozen. On the way back, take the same route to Perla, then take the path on the left that leads to Linzanico. You will arrive in the square where the former town hall of Linzanico stands. Continue in the Contrada della Fontana through Linzanico until you reach the crossroad with old road signs engraved on granite columns. Continue straight towards Mandello del Lario all the way to the underpass of the highway (SS.36). You will then arrive in S. Giorgio.