The Greenway of Lake Como

The Greenway of Lake Como

Lake Como and the surrounding landscape are one of the beauties of the beautiful country. To discover this enchanting place, there is nothing better than taking the Greenway of Lake Como

It is an approximately 10 km long route that winds its way through the luxuriant nature of historic villages of great cultural interest, luxurious eighteenth- century villas and elegant gardens .

The Greenway can be traveled easily in just over 3 hours along its entire length from Colonno to Griante. However, it is also possible to travel only one of the 5 sections that make it up, well marked by the clear signs along the route.

The first section of the Greenway

The first section of the Greenway of Lake Como starts from the historic center of Colonno, a picturesque village at the foot of Mount Costolone. Colonno is crossed by the ancient Via Regina, a Roman road so called because Queen Theodolinda used to cross it. The Via Regina can be covered in some sections on foot and offers truly unforgettable views of Lake Como.
Between terraces and olive groves you reach Sala Comacina , on the western shore of the lake and in front of the beautiful Isola Comacina .

Sala Comacina is located in the so-called ” zoca de l’oil “, an area where the waters are calm as oil and with a particularly mild and pleasant climate, so much so as to favor an exceptional growth of Mediterranean vegetation including olive trees, lime trees and laurels.
In Sala Comacina, a village full of romantic arches, bridges and narrow streets that flow into the pretty Piazza Matteotti, stands Villa Rachele. The nineteenth-century building, which housed the illustrious Alessandro Manzoni , is visible in all its splendor especially from the lake, with its semicircular terrace located right at the edge of the waters; the park of the villa is beautiful with the presence of plane trees and a magnificent and majestic cedar of Lebanon.

The second section of the Greenway

The second section of the Greenway of Lake Como starts from Sala Comacina to reach the splendid Ossuccio , a town with a Mediterranean climate also located in front of the Comacina island. The islet has had great importance since Roman times, with General Francione who defended it strenuously from the Lombards. There are many early Christian finds dating back to the early Middle Ages on the lush island, including the 7th century Church of Santa Eufemia.
Ossuccio is a village, part of the municipality of Tremezzina, full of places of great interest, such as the Romanesque Church of Santi Giacomo e Filippo, located in a real postcard place: inside the 10th century building there are very ancient frescoes , some of which depict Saint Christopher dressed as a king. The Bell Tower of Santa Maria Maddalena is also very picturesque: its peculiarity is the Gothic-Moorish spire, decorated with arches and bas-reliefs, placed on a Romanesque turret.

But certainly the symbolic place of Ossuccio is the Sacro Monte, heritage ofUNESCO , on top of which the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Soccorso of the sixteenth century protrudes: during the panoramic climb you will meet 14 small baroque chapels built between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to remember the mysteries of the rosary.

The third section of the Greenway


The third stage leads to the hamlet of Lenno overlooking the Gulf of Venus. Its lakefront offers superb views over the Bellagio promontory. Visits to the beautiful and elegant Villa Balbianello, located on the promontory of Lavedo and heritage of the FAI , depart from the Lido di Lenno. Villa Balbianello dates back to 1787 and was commissioned by Cardinal Durini overlooking the lake, with the magnificent terrace garden dominated by the refined loggia: the villa contains eighteenth-century furniture and collections of pre-Columbian, Chinese and African art.

In Lenno it is also possible to visit the pretty Church of S. Stefano rich in frescoes from the Luinese school dating back to the 14th century, and the Church of San Giovanni Battista, both part of an ancient sacred area that was once enclosed.

The fourth section of the Greenway

The fourth route of the Greenway of Lake Como connects Lenno to Tremezzo , passing through the Imbarcadero: Tremezzo, defined as one of the most beautiful centers in Italy, is the place that perhaps most of all concentrates beautiful villas and luxurious hotels located essentially at the lakefront. In Tremezzo there is Villa La Quiete also known as “La Gioconda”: built in the 18th century in a classical style and rich in Baroque decorations, it hosted Parini.

The seventeenth-century Villa Carlotta is also very beautiful, rich in works by Canova; its Italian gardens are marvelous with tall green hedges that touch the lake waters, fountains and variegated vegetation made of ferns, bamboos, plane trees, sequoias and finally azaleas which show their most beautiful face in spring.

The Greenway of Lake Como finally ends in Griante , a village that rises right on the central part of Lake Como, in front of the ever-present Comacina island and with the Dolomite mountains in the background.

Between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Griante became the favorite tourist destination of the Germans and the British, due to the placid and peaceful atmosphere that has always been breathed in the town. It is not surprising that here Giuseppe Verdi, at Villa Ricordi, composed some of the most beautiful arias of the “Traviata”, or that Stendhal found inspiration to write “La Certosa di Parma”.