From Casenda proceed towards S. Fedelino, where the famous Romanesque church can be visited on request. Furthermore, if you don’t want to walk all the way to Dascio, boat transportation is available in S. Fedelino. If you prefer to walk instead, take the road to Dascio and start climbing the gentle slope there. The whole trail is marked by the Italian Alpine Club (red-and-white markings). You will then walk for half an hour at an altitude of 500 metres. Here the vegetation has more surprises in store for you: the tangle of branches and thick plant litter give way to the occasional Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and to dense scrub where tree heath is interspersed with broom shrubs (Sarothamnus scoparius) and Scotch Heather (Calluna vulgaris). In June and July the full bloom of the heathland can be enjoyed. However springtime, when tree foliage is not too dense, is the ideal time for admiring the panorama.
Back in the forest you will find imposing, old trees bearing witness to the old mountain-dwellers staple: the chestnut. Walking among these ancient chestnut trees is like visiting a living open-air museum. The chestnut tree was so important that the people of the area called it simply “the tree”. Chestnuts were eaten in many different ways and used for barter, to pay rent or to pay back debt. The small stone sheds where chestnuts were processed are still being used by some locals and, with a little luck, can be visited. Continue your descent toward Sorico, with the suggestive view of the nature reserve. In springtime and summer the deep shades of blue of Lake Mezzola meet the brilliant greens of the Pian di Spagna to create a vivid mix of colours. All around you the Rhaetic, Lepontine and Orobic Alps soar into the sky with the Sasso Manduino and Monte Berlinghera to the north, and the Monte Legnone to the south. Walk on along the stone path descending from the wood to a cluster of houses and a paved road. The long and narrow Dascio lake is an ideal bird-watching spot for aquatic birds: an easy stroll with park benches for rest and information panels on the ecology, habitats and migration habits of the nature reserve’s most common birds. Then you will arrive in Dascio, where you can rest or continue on the paved road along the Mera River to Sorico, where many accommodation opportunities await you. Just before Sorico, near the Passo bridge, you will find the Como-to-Colico line bus stop. In Colico you will also find accommodation facilities.
Trail description: Arianna Aceti, Pian di Spagna and Lago di Mezzola Nature Reserve.
Environment, NATURA2000, Protected areas
The Pian di Spagna Nature reserve is on the Spluga migratory route for birds and is one of the of the Alps’ shortest crossing points. Here many migratory routes cross and, during winter, the area is a refuge for several wetland birds. Wetlands are of crucial importance for the survival of many animal and plant species and particularly for birds, as a stopover site during migration. The area constitutes a unique example in Lombardy of the complex interaction of humans and animals in building a biodiversity-rich habitat.
Many wetland species of continental interest are present in the area. Also very significant is the presence of wetland birds, both nesting and wintering. Of outstanding interest is the nesting colony of mute swan. The otter has been observed in the area.
For further information, please contact:
Consorzio Riserva Naturale Pian di Spagna - Lago di Mezzola
Sede: Via Della Torre 1/A - 22010 Sorico (CO)
Tel: 0039 344/84251
Fax: 0039 344/94556
Fauna, Natura2000 species
Insects: Cerambix cerdo
Amphibians: Bombina variegata
Birds: Bubo bubo, Aquila chrysaetos, Tetrao urogallus, Lanius collurio
Bats: Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, Myotis blythi, Myotis myotis
Other species of interest:
Mammals: roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), Eurasian badger (Meles meles), least weasel (Mustela nivalis)
Extra information: riservanatpiandispagna.it
Protected areas, proposed Emerald sites, Natura 2000 sites
The Lake Mezzola and Pian di Spagna area is an internationally protected wetland area under the Ramsar (Iran) Convention and, as an important stopover site for migratory birds, it is also a recognized IBA site (Important Bird Area).
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.
- Chapel of San Fedelino
- Other trails in the area:
• Life Trail
• Roma Trail
• Sasso di Dascio nature trail.
• Riserva Naturale del Pian di Spagna nature trails.
Next stage: Emerald Trail Grisons-Lombardy: Stage 9
Stage before: Emerald Trail Grisons-Lombardy: Stage 7
Key figures for the last 12 months (since September 2015)
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Compared with all other Hiking tours in the Lombardia region
Tour history (B01360)
First published: Montag, 24. März 2008
Last updated: Dienstag, 11. Februar 2014
Tour published by: GPS-Tracks.com powered by GEO-Tracks GmbH