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Sentiero del Viandante Trail 1st Stage: from Abbadia Lariana to Mandello del Lario – Olcio [2nd Part]

The journey continues on the traces of the Sentiero del Viandante Trail along the eastern shore of Lake Como with the second part of the first part from Abbadia Lariana to Mandello del Lario.

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Top view of the Church of S. Giorgio, Abbadia Lariana

Continuing along the path, however, you need to keep to the right and go up a narrow street of pebbles and red bricks, which after a few turns reaches the main road.

Pastures on the lake on the Sentiero del Viandante Trail
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Pastures on the lake

After crossing the bridge that crosses it (300 m) you will find a path that climbs to the right among dry stone walls which leads to the small cemetery of Zana then to the asphalted road. Following this road, keeping to the right, you enter the hamlet of 🏘Maggiana. Through narrow lanes it flows into the pitch of the Church of S. Rocco (345 m), rebuilt in the seventeenth century.

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Church of S. Rocco, Maggiana, Abbadia Lariana

Continuing straight through the old and suggestive houses, you pass under the Torre di Maggiana also called ♜Torre del Barbarossa for an alleged stop by the Emperor in 1158. The limestone tower is from the XII century, remodeled in the following centuries.

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The Torre del Barbarossa, Maggiana, Abbadia Lariana

At the end of the inhabited area, the path is outlined again, partly cobbled and partly unpaved between hedges and trees, up to a path that climbs into a wooded knoll.

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A pleasant encounter on the Sentiero del Viandante Trail

Keeping to the left and passing a stream, after about 400 m you enter the sparse wood up to the farmhouses, go up on the right with the cobblestones, heading, with a nice flat or slightly downhill path, towards the inhabited area of ​​🏘 Rongio, always among beautiful cultivated terraces, vegetable and vineyard, between houses often rebuilt, leading to the side of the church of S. Giacomo. The seventeenth-century church closes a beautiful square with old buildings and a sink and stone source.

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The Sentiero del Viandante Trail near Rongio, Mandello del Lario
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The small town of Rongio, Mandello del Lario
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Church of S. Giacomo, Rongio, Abbadia Lariana

From Rongio you quickly descend on the road that goes to the ‘Al Verde’ restaurant. Just before the restaurant, take a dirt road that goes down to the right and almost immediately take a path on the left towards the bottom of the Val Meria. You pass the stream of the same name on a suggestive natural bridge (330 m) and climb steeply along the opposite side of the valley.

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Caves and waterfalls at the bottom of the Valle del Torrente Meria, Mandello del Lario

The steep path climbs to Somana; here there is the church of S. Abbondio, parish church since 1858. Going up the road in a short time you will reach Sonvico, the highest hamlet in the Mandello del Lario area.
From Sonvico an ancient mule track branches off for S. Maria sopra Olcio (664 m), a sanctuary located on a rocky outcrop. Continuing, however, you go along the Sonvico district which becomes very narrow and slips between the houses, until it becomes a path, passing behind the small cemetery and reaches a paved road through which you arrive in a few minutes at an intersection with a chapel of the ‘Immaculate Conception (m 390).

On the left, there is the mule track that descends through the fertile Galdan valley which is a prelude to the town of cioOlcio, admirable from above with the old core more inside and the church of S. Eufemia, up to the railway station of Olcio, where, after about 2 hours and 30 from Abbadia Lariana, our excursion ends.

The Sentiero del Viandante Trail continues with the next stage following the path of the eastern shore of Lake Como from Mandello del Lario to Lierna.


Sentiero del Viandante Trail map

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