I just can’t get enough of Italy. I feel great there, I love the atmosphere, the cuisine, the melodious language. And wine and cheese. There’s just one thing that pisses me off about Italy.
How can they make two maps of the same place – each of them looking completely different and none of them reflecting reality?!
For the second time in a bit over a year I arrived to Bergamo airport. I visited the cute town of Bergamo last time and I recommend you to do the same thing if you haven’t yet!
Last time I also went to Lecco by Lake Como to hike Monte Resegone. And even though this time we planned to go to Garda lake instead, for a couple of reasons we chose Como again. The main one being accommodation prices – almost twice as expensive by Garda lake, despite the non-touristic season!
So out of all possible things to do in Lake Como, we went to Lecco, again. And we went hiking again. But I didn’t mind at all. I could do that every weekend. I’d love to get an Italian villa around there (ok, a cottage house works too 🙂 ). On one of the days the weather forced us to spend a few spontaneous hours in Milan. On the next day it got much better and we climbed Monte Barro, mountain 922 m (3025 feet) high.
For the next trip I will consider choosing another lake nearby – there are some amazing hikes by lake Iseo too!
Hiking by Lake Como: Trail from Lecco to Monte Barro
We learnt last time on Monte Resegone that it’s quite difficult to hike in Italy without a map. The trails are not well marked and it is really easy to lose the way. That’s why this time we immediately went to tourist information on Piazza XX Settembre. We took a big pile of maps and information folders thinking that with this equipment we cannot get lost. No way.
How naïve we were…
It should seem strange to me immediately that we got two maps of Parco Monte Barro. Each of them with different trail marks. Each of them with different shape of the paths.
All happy and positive, we took a bus number 4 from Lecco city centre to Malgrate Gaggio (last stop). We walked to the place where both maps said the trailhead should be. And we saw this:
Great start, isn’t is… 🙂 We didn’t get discouraged though, we turned left and followed the fence hoping for a path going up. And we found it! The path wasn’t marked at all but at least the direction was right…
On each trail intersection we looked for signs with no success. I tried to look at the paths on the map – but which map to choose if both of them look differently?
In result, we decided to take the path which goes steeper up every time. Believe it or not, this method worked! After some time I noticed signs on trees (do I have to mention they didn’t match any of the maps? 🙂 )
Eventually we reached a very well marked path which matched one of the maps! From this place on finding the way wasn’t a problem at all because there were signs everywhere. Congratulations, Italians! See, it’s not that hard!! 🙂
If you are afraid of heights, you don’t have any hiking experience or you notice one of the four signs you shouldn’t hike Angels Landing in yourself, you can take path 301 and hike around Parco Monte Barro. The trail offers panoramic views of the lake and isn’t very demanding.
If you are ready for a more exhausting and very steep trail, take path 304 to the top. The views are even more breathtaking – but you have to earn them.
Even though reaching the top of Monte Barro is much easier and a lot (!) shorter than Monte Resegone, there are still places so steep that you need to use your hands.
The whole lake Como isn’t visible from top of Monte Barro but there is an amazing view on the other side. When we were there the sky had colors of the sunset… even though it was noon! Reaching the top took us around 1h 30 mins.
We went down with trail no 302. It’s also very steep at times. We stopped in Eremi di Monte Barro restaurant on our way. We drank a local IPA and it turned out that Italians can make good beer after all… 🙂
From there we took the trail number 301 down. We passed our familiar unmarked part again too. The whole hike took us 4 hours (beer break included!). I strongly recommend you the hike. If you don’t hike often, make sure to check how to prepare for a hike.
I just can’t get enough of Italy. I love the atmosphere, the cuisine, the melodious language. And wine, and cheese. If only they learnt to mark their trails well… 🙂
And if you liked this post, please use the buttons below and share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or pin it on Pinterest! Thanks!