European Trail E1 from Oriano Ticino to Sesto Calende (E1 is a 4200 km-long trail from North Cape, Norway to Capo Passero, Sicily). “Sentiero del Verbano” from Sesto Calende to Laveno Mombello and Angera. Boat trip to Maccagno and connection to the Valli del Luinese Emerald Trail.
Take Trail E1 south from Orianto Ticino to road Sempione SS33. Follow the main road for a short while, then turn left on Viale Ticino. Make a right on Via Leandro Mattea, a cycling and walking track along the river, to the town of Sesto Calende, where you will be walking the Viale Italia, a fine tree-lined tow path. In the town centre (Piazza Garibaldi is located halfway along Viale Italia to the left) take Via dell’Olmo north to Via Alessandro Marchetti, a flyover over the Milano-Domodossola railway. After that you will be in the vicinity of San Donato Abbey from where Verbano Trail signs will lead you all the way to Angera.
San Donato Abbey is the starting and end point of the Verbano Trail (Sesto Calende – Laveno Mombelo, follow VB signs). The 9th century abbey is Sesto Calende’s main landmark. Follow VB signs (on Via San Donato, Via del Passero, Via San Vincenzo) to San Vincenzo, by the wooded morainal hills where the San Vincenzo Oratory awaits you. The small church was built in the late 11th and early 12th centuries. Follow Via Branchio northwards paying attention to the signs reading “Sass de Preja Buia”, which is a natural landmark of Lombardy. The “Sass” is an serpentine erratic boulder left over by Quaternary glaciations engraved with prehistoric drawings. Follow the trail along the paved but rather rough road climbing steeply to the Cascina Livelli area (294 m). Turn left to north-west through the Rio Capricciosa Valley and chestnut wood on what used to be the main road between Sesto Calende and Taino. Past the Rio Capricciosa you will walk a demanding stretch to get to via Bilesa, a dirt track heading north to north-west to Cascina Bilesa (319 m), an old rural and now partly residential hamlet. Cascina Bilesa was already mapped on 1722 charts drawn by Mary Theresa of Austria. Follow the signs towards Taino on a track that still retains traces of the old cobblestone pavement. South of Taino the track cuts through a fine mixed forest interspersed with patches of pinewood. Head north through the hills where the still visible terraces bear testimony to the farming communities that once inhabited these areas. The first houses of Taino are found in the areas of Monzeglio and Ronchetto. Proceed north-eastwards, cross Via Milano and continue straight on leaving the Via M.L. King behind on your left. A few metres further on you will once again find a paved portion of road in Via Valle del Sole. Follow it to the right and leave it by the third bend, in the vicinity of the Taino sports grounds on a dirt track heading north to north-east. The track will take you to Capronno, in the Angera municipality. Follow Via S. Ambrogio (266 m) to the left towards the town centre where a restaurant with rooms can provide accommodation. Past Capronno you will find yourself on the Via Virgilio scenic point. Then head to Mottava and Via Fiume, cross Via S. Isidoro (223 m) and the railway lines. You are now on the Angera flood and glacial plain. Via al Fiume turns right and enters Via Paludi. Follow it to south-west and ignore Sentiero del Verbano signs by Cascina Paludi. The rest of the trail, all on paved road, will take you along the Lake Maggiore’s towpath to the Angera Pier, the access point for all Lake Maggiore boat services. To get there continue beyond Via Paludi, take Via dei Fiori and make a right on Via Torino. Continue on Via Torino for a while and make a left on Via Arena. Follow Via Arena to the Lake Maggiore towpath in Angera. At the end of the lakeside walk you will find the Navigazione Lago Maggiore pier.
Trail description: vieverditicino.it and Parco Fiume Ticino.
Landscape, NATURA2000, protected area
The “Ticino River Park” covers both sides of the Ticino river, in Piedmont and Lombardy respectively. The Park territory is managed by two management institutions: Piedmont’s Parco Naturale della Valle del Ticino and Lombardy’s Parco Lombardo della Valle del Ticino. The park in Piedmont is smaller and does not cover urbanized areas. Its activities are therefore restricted to nature conservation. The Park in Lombardy, on the other hand, extends from Lake Maggiore to the Po River, and covers the territory of 47 municipalities. The park therefore has competences not only on nature conservation aspects, but also on historical, archaeological, architecture, and agriculture aspects. The park concept aims at harmonising nature protection and the human presence. (Source: parcoticino.it)
For further information please contact:
CONSORZIO PARCO LOMBARDO DELLA VALLE DEL TICINO
via Isonzo, 1
20013 Pontevecchio di Magenta (Mi)
Tel. +39 (0)2/972101 Fax +39 (0)2/97950607
Wildlife, Natura 2000 species
Invertebrates: Cerambyx cerdo, Lucanus cervus
Fishes: Cobitis taenia
Amphibians: Rana latastei
Birds: Ixobrychus minutus, Ardea purpurea, Aythya nyroca, Milvus migrans, Pandion haliaetus, Porzana porzana, Caprimulgus europaeus, Alcedo atthis
The drained Quassa wetland area has been spared the urbanisation that interested other areas and still has important natural characteristics. The local Golfo della Quassa park, covering the Punta di Ranco and Punta della Fornace in Ispra, was established to protect the rare species that found their habitat there.
Landscape and nature
The Lombardy brook lamprey and the Italian agile frog are among the area’s rare animal species. The yellow waterlily, the Verbano water chestnut and the royal fern are the most outstanding plant species in the region. Numerous rare bird species are also present, among them the little bittern, the whooper swan, the black-crowned night heron, the purple heron, the honey buzzard, the black kite, the osprey, the western marsh harrier, the common tern, the Eurasian nightjar, the common kingfisher, the bluethroat, and the ortolan bunting.
Protected areas, proposed Emerald sites, Natura 2000 sites
- Palude di Bruschera Natura 2000 site
- Ticino River Valley Regional Park
- Quassa Gulf, Local Park
WWF’s tips for hikers
Plan each stage carefully, purchase a 1:25000 map, use light but sturdy equipment (hiking boots, rain cape, binoculars…). Be sure to carry a small supply of water and food. We suggest you taste local food (possibly organic) at resting places and restaurants.
Do not litter, do not pick up flowers or rocks and in no way disturb the local fauna. It is unsafe for inexperienced hikers to leave the marked trails and it may cause disturbance to wildlife.
- Parco di Oriano Management Centre (Museum of Natural Sciences) Sesto Calende (VA)
- San Donato church, Sesto Calende
- San Vincenzo chapel, Sesto Calende
- Cascina Bilesa, 18th century rural hamlet, in Capricciosa
- Palazzo Serbelloni, near Taino
- European Transport Museum
Stage before: Emerald Trail Ticino-Varese Province: Stage 19