This uphill route (1.8 km long and a height difference of 323 m) is recommended for skilled hikers. According to some historical references, this route was highly frequented for many centuries and thus named «track of the past». It is also called «track of the dead», yet not because of its structure: in past days, the inhabitants of Melide would carry their deceased beloved ones along it all the way to Carona, where the funeral took place. Most of this part of the itinerary is along unpaved paths in the woods. If there’s enough time in your schedule, stop by at the «Swissminiatur» in Melide, a sort of outdoor museum with miniatures of the most picturesque places in Switzerland.
Past Carona the road is unpaved. Before arriving in Torello, a place known for its small pastures, an old farm house, the church and the breathtaking view over Lake Lugano, hikers walk by the Madonna d’Ongero sanctuary; besides its Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross), there is an excellent viewpoint over the Collina d’Oro.
The excursion continues along an easy trail that leads through the Monte Arbostora forest. The path only has a slight gradient, which makes the walk between the Madonna d’Ongero sanctuary and the alpine pasture particularly enjoyable. Alpe Vicania is a quiet alpine pasture home to a homonymous grotto, where hikers can have a bite and recharge their batteries amidst the ultimate tranquility of this place.
After a short ascent the itinerary leaves behind the meadows and enters the woods along a large trail. It is easy to walk, despite the slight gradient, and it leads to the botanical park of San Grato. Between the alpine pasture and the garden there is a viewpoint in the area of Tenza. The San Grato botanical park lies about an hour’s hike from there on through the Monte Arbostora forest. The view from there extends to the alpine mountain tops. The park covers an area of 62,000 sq.m. and is a real treat for nature-lovers. It has the largest collection of azaleas, rhododendrons and conifers in the entire insubric region. There are also about 5.5 km of themed trails, an excellent restaurant, and a playground for children. Carona lies only few minutes from here on foot.
This part begins in Carona and follows a paved uphill road towards Ciona, along a flat, unpaved road in the woods. After Ciona the route then shortly continues along another road up to the intersection, where it then turns onto the trail towards the summit of Monte San Salvatore. The track between Ciona and the mountain top is entirely in the woods and is about 1.7 km long (270 m height difference). On the top there is a restaurant for gourmets and a self service, both of which have a terrace with a view as well as a picnic area. The San Salvatore suggests some culture, too, i.e. a small museum and a little church, situated at 912 m. and which offers an unbeatable 360-degree view from its roof terrace. The museum displays antique objects of the Arch brotherhood of Good Death as well as some fossils and minerals in a smaller area. Furthermore, two educational trails tell of the beautiful local flora.
To get to Melide you can take the postal bus, train or boat, while to Carona only the postal bus.
A cable lift descends from the San Salvatore towards Paradiso (departures every half hour from morning to evening, March through November).
Key figures for the last 12 months (since September 2015)
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Tour detail views
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Compared with all other Hiking tours in the Ticino region
Tour history (B00810)
First published: Donnerstag, 12. Oktober 2006
Last updated: Dienstag, 28. Januar 2014
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