martedì 15 aprile 2014

Hiking La Dorsale del Triangolo Lariano

Ever since I heard about La Dorsale del Triangolo Lariano, a trail that goes from Brunate, the village at the top of the funicular above Como town, to Bellaggio, the town at the point of the triangolo that divides Lake Como into two branches at its southern end, I had wanted to hike it. And when, a couple of weeks ago, I finally did tick it off my bucket list, I wanted to add it straight back on to the bottom again.

We arrived in Milan by train, then took the Trenord service to Como from Milano Cadorna. We stocked up on picnic provisions at the little grocer on the corner between the train and the bus stations, which turned out to be a great move, as the food was excellent. After that, a quick ride on the funicular took us 500 vertical metres from the lake shore up into the mountains to the start of the trail.
Monte Boletto
You can download a detailed description of the trail here, so I'll just pick out some of the highlights. We arrived at the top of Monte Boletto, where you the first big panorama of the lake and the Dorsale ridge leading on ahead of you, just in time for lunch and a spot of lazy sunbathing. Often along the trail you have the choice between the Dorsale and the Dorsale per Cresta, which takes you over the top of the summits. Generally speaking, the time difference isn't huge and the views from the Cresta (ridge) are better, but, this being the first big hike of the season, we found walking with our 2-day backpacks quite tiring and alternated between the Cresta and the standard path.

We spent the night at the Albergo del Dosso in Pian del Tivano, which turned out to be a fantastic choice. The owners were very kind and welcoming, the rooms were comfortable, and the food (and the artisanal beer, I'm told) was fantastic. Dinner started with a buffet of salads and vegetables, then we had a choice of several pasta dishes or the local polenta speciality for the primo. Many of us chose the polenta, which was served with herbs, cheese, garlic and olive oil and was so filling that I coudn't even finish mine. Those who could manage also had a meat secondo (again there were a few options) while the rest of us opted for a delicious selection of local cheeses. For dessert, there was fresh fruit or a choice between two home-made fruit tarts. I would highly recommend Il Dosso, but just be aware that it's at the opposite end of Pian del Tivano from the Dorsale trail. We did as the pdf guide said and hiked along the road, but from the map it looked as if you could also take a different turning at Monte Croce and come out more or less at the hotel.

View from Monte San Primo
Day two started with an easy walk up a river valley, eventually leading to the ridge of Monte San Primo, where you are suddenly confronted with the most beautiful panorama of the whole trail, looking up the lake to the Swiss mountains and along down the ridge to Bellaggio. There was still a bit of snow when we were there, but it was an easy  descent, even if some sliding did go on, down into the forest.

Sentiero del Viandante
We went on from Bellaggio to Varenna, where we stayed for another day and strolled along the Sentiero del Viandante, which is also beautiful, but you can also take the ferry back from Bellagio to Como and complete the trip in 2 days.

3 commenti:

Gwan ha detto...

Gorgeous! Definitely one for the bucket list

Laruchka ha detto...

I just found your blog and am a little freaked out by how we seem to go hiking and on holiday in all the same places. I think I may have to follow you. Sorry about that! :)

Jenny P ha detto...

What a great post! Thank you. We did a short walk up there about the same time you were there but you've reminded me that we should try the overnight hike. Adding this to my bucket list right now. Grazie mille.