Tag Archives: hiking

Let’s go on the Wasserfallweg!

If you’re in Valle Isarco for the scenery but on a tight schedule, the waterfall trail in Barbiano will give you a bit of everything in a little more than half an hour. We ambled at an easy pace through chestnut groves, farmsteads, and pine forests before reaching the falls, and were treated to utterly stupendous views of the valley and mountain range along the way.


The trail starts right outside Haus Urban (where we were staying).  How cool is that to have a street address named Wasserfallweg or Via delle Cascate!


The trail is well marked and goes through beautiful alpine country.


Chestnut trees…

…but please do not collect the chestnuts, danke! The trees are on private property. At this point you can go left for the lower part of the waterfall (inferiore – 20 minutes) or upper part (superiore – 50 minutes). The upper trail has a steeper climb.


Verboten!

Claimed by a mass of climbing rosebushes, we thought this old farmhouse was vacant until we turned the corner…


…to be greeted by this cute little fella and his siblings. They were curious in our presence but a sign in bold print said: Füttern verboten! Sorry, no snack bars for you buddy!


Next to the goat pen was a fruit stand selling a punnet of apples for 1€ – honor system style.


Again, no gathering chestnuts! From here the trail leads into pine forest, and in a little while you reach the falls.

It’s possible to do a loop trail via the upper part of the waterfall but that’s for another visit and I know we’ll be back.  Altitude at starting point: 836 meters (2743 feet), and ending point: 1047 meters (3435 feet).

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Greenway del Lago: a full day on the lake


View above Lenno on the Greenway del Lago.

On the western shore of Lake Como, the Greenway del Lago is a 10.5 kilometer walking path that stretches between Colonno and Cadenabbia di Griante. Marked by painted signposts and metal plates with the Greenway logo, the path gives visitors a multitude of viewpoints from which to admire the surroundings as it follows through the lake’s upper villages as well as along the water’s edge.

We opted to walk a third of the route, beginning from the town square in Lenno and ending at Gelateria Helvetia along the lake in Tremezzo. Timed right, ambitious walkers can turn this into a full day’s outing by first visiting Villa Balbianello in Lenno before embarking on the Greenway, then continue on to Villa Carlotta (take into account that you’ll want, at the very minimum, 90 minutes to tour the villa and stroll the gardens) before taking the ferry back to Lenno or any other port stop. Our half-day excursion in late April included a small detour for lunch at Pizzeria Balognett, a family-run business operated right out of the owner’s home.

Greenway del Lago signposts and metal road plates as we started off from Lenno.

From Lenno, there are only a couple of uphill climbs before it all flattens out. Getting to Pizzeria Balognett (see the K marker on google map) was a little tricky as it required a small detour, turning left on via Febo Sala (I) instead of right which leads to the main highway; road signs weren’t always so obvious. It’s all downhill after the pizzeria.

At Bar Gelateria Helvetia

Checking the reviews on Tripadvisor, Bar Gelateria Helvetia seems to be thee place to stop for gelato and other good eats. I don’t remember the name of that gelato creation but the frozen dessert on the right was named cassata.

Official website of Como’s Greenway del Lago

Deerspotting at Torrette, Valle Varaita

So there we were, all four of us, thinking that it was high time for lunch. We walked up to a clearing and suddenly MotH says in a hushed tone of voice, “Capriolo! There, under the tree! No, make that two, no three of them!” Now I am as blind as a bat without binoculars and I thought he was just pulling my leg. Roe deer over here of all places? My thinking was that they would have either smelled or heard us long before and escaped to higher elevation.


Deerspotting at Torrette, Valle Varaita

From where we stood (about the length of a football field), my telephoto lens was probably a couple hundred bucks inadequate for the distance. They took off in a flash as soon as we edged closer, but that wasn’t the last we were to see of them. On the return we encountered one of the deer standing in the middle of the path. It cut through the woods in the direction of the village and Mister B immediately gave chase before he was stopped by a patch of thick brush. The deer, not really digging our having disrupted the peace, started barking from somewhere in the woods. It sounded like, let’s see… something that was hacking a big ball of phlegm? At first I thought it was a wild dog, not believing that deer made any kind of noise at all. Listening to this sound clip, you realize it is sooo not Bambi.

hiking-torrette
Up ahead the trail (between the field posts) was cut short by a mass of snow and rubble.

MrB-torrette