Travelling along the West Bank of the Lake Como down the SS. 340 trunk road, on the south entrance of Colonno, a brown notice with the white writing “Greenway of Lake Como” invites to enter a little asphalt road which goes up West to the mountains.
After covering a few hundred yards you find the first hairpin bend with a little chapel and then, downhill on the right, Civetta Street. Here’s our starting point (there are many indications). You can leave your powerful vehicle in one of the several parking spaces on the side of the road and go on by foot or with an off-road bike. As a convenient alternative you might catch the bus C10 SPT. There is a bus-stop near the Greenway notice and bus runs are many.
If you pay a little attention along the way it is very difficult take the wrong road. There are a lot of signs and a very expensive kerb of stone with a lot of metallic signs.
Civetta Street is an unsuitable little asphalt road which slowly turns into an alley on step. Anyway, the journey becomes interesting only after reaching a square in the centre of the town. In my opinion it would be better to skirt the Colonno lake front and then return in the little square going up again only after the parish church.
After crossing a small bridge on the Pessetta stream, beside a house-bridge, Colonno is over. Now, it’s time to walk on the ruins of the ancient Regina Street through soft undulating roads. Here there are a lot of glimpses of Colonno, Comacina Island and “Zoca de l’Oli”.
A couple of miles and then you return on the SS. 340 in Spurano, a hamlet of Ossuccio, near the little church dedicated to St James and St Philip (10th century). It is characterised by a little bell tower with sails. Inside it there is a frescoes millennial cycle among which an unusual St Christopher dressed as monarch stands out. The most famous representation is the giant who carries a child, it spread later thanks to a literary success of the 13th century: “Legenda Aurea”, a religious biography written by Jacopo from Varazze.
After passing the holy place you turn into Castelli Street to reach the municipality of Ossuccio. Here you cross again the SS. 340 trunk road and you find the beautiful Villa Balbiano with its simple lines typical of the early 17th century. Continuing the journey there is the Perlana stream which you can cross going over a footbridge.
Now you venture into the ancient residential area of Campo. Led by omnipresent signs you run through some alleys and come upon the entrance on the lake of Villa Monastero. Meandering again between intricate lanes you find yourself on the Lido di Lenno, from where guided tours of Villa Balbianello starts. Today this valuable structure is owned by F.A.I. and it rises up on the tip of Lavedo promontory, in an enviable position. It certainly deserves a visit.
Lenno is one of the most picturesque town of the lake, it is situated in a little gulf whose beauty is uncommon. Following the whole creek you arrive at the jetty without forgetting to have a look at the baptistery of St John the Baptist (11th century). During market days this shore is crammed with stands.
After having a 3 mile walk you are halfway. But in one day it is impossible to take a careful tour due to the large amount of suggestions which this area offers.
An interesting proposal could be stopping in Lenno, take a rest and visit the interesting complex with the characteristic belfry of Ossuccio (Romanesque belfry with a Gothic part), in the hamlet of Ospedaletto, in front of Comacina Island. This could be also an excellent opportunity to visit the island without paying too much for the boat trip.
In warm weather from the Lido di Ossuccio (near the belfry) you can swim across the Zoca de l’Oli and reach the northern beach of the island, about 100 yards away.
Shortly after or the following day, it depends on your choice, you continue along the Greenway.
After the jetty of Lenno you cross the Pola stream going over a footbridge. Then you go around the park of Hotel San Giorgio and cross again the trunk road. The only steep hill along the way is Via Bellavista. It lets you reach quickly some high hamlets of the noble and old town of Mezzegra with two churches, some important palaces and a strange cottage.
Now you cross the Bolvedro stream and descend quickly until you lead to the SS. 340. This is Bolvedro, a hamlet of Tremezzo, and, from now on, you skirt the lake up to the Lido di Cadenabbia, where Greenway finishes.
At the beginning you find the beautiful villa “La Quiete”, then the Church of St Lawrence, Mayer Park, some well-known hotels and the famous Villa Carlotta.
Spring is the best time for visiting this magnificent residence, the bloom of azaleas in its garden enjoys a worldwide reputation.
Our stroll finishes in a parking space next to the Lido di Cadenabbia.
The itinerary is 6,5 miles long and mostly flat. If you pay attention during the crossing you can safely bring young children.
It’s not important reporting journey times because admire the beauty of these places at your leisure is part of the programme.
Travelling quickly two hours may be enough but it doesn’t make sense.
Every point of the itinerary is near a bus stop, never more than 300 yards, and the ticket counter on board has only a small extra charge.