This suggestive route runs mainly on the morainal hills north of the Ticino River Park. The first part of the trail from Gavirate to Lake Comabbio lies outside the Park’s protected area but runs through the Palude Brabbia Nature Reserve and, partially, through Lake Comabbio Natura 2000 site.
Follow the road from Gavirate to the lower side of town. Take the Lake Varese cycling and walking track to Bardello: walk through the village and follow European Trail E1 signs through the wooded area on Lake Biandronno (a high conservation value marsh) to the village of Bregano. Keep following E1 signs over low morainal hills to reach the catchment area of lakes Monate and Comabbio. Continue on paved and dirt road sections and leave Travedona behind you until you cross the Vergiate/Besozzo highway to Comabbio, situated between its namesake and Monate hills. In Comabbio turn in the direction of Osmate. The slightly uphill paved road will give you wider and wider views of Lake Comabbio. After approximately 25 minutes you will get to an isolated farmstead, Cascina San Giorgio. Leave the paved road and follow the sign to the left on the track to Fontanazze (red-and-white E1 trail marks). You will soon be at a crossroads: take the Via Caravaggio to the right and turn left after approximately 200 metres on a rural road on the wooded slopes of Monte Pelada (471 m), one of the most elevated hills in the area. Keep on E1 Trail a little short of the ridge in the proximity of the road to Lentate (entrance to the Ticino River Park) and Sesto Calende. In the Lentate Verbano woods an erratic boulder, called the “Sass de la Pedana” (“Rock of the Footprint”) bears an engraved foot sign that may be an early Iron Age trail mark. Pay attention to the red-and-white trail marks posted at almost every crossroads. In the Case Santa Fé farmstead area the trail climbs slightly before heading down to Sesto Calende and Oriano Ticino where the Ticino River Park information centre is located.
Trail description: vieverditicino.it and Parco Fiume Ticino
Landscape, NATURA2000, protected area
Landscape and nature
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: Coenonympha oedippus, Graphoderus bilineatus, Austropotamobius pallipes, Osmoderma eremita
Fishes: Cobitis taenia
Amphibians: Triturus carnifex, Rana latastei
Birds: Botaurus stellaris, Ixobrychus minutus, Nycticorax nycticorax, Egretta alba, Ardea purpurea, Ardeola rallide, Ciconia ciconia, Aythya nyroca, Pernis apivorus, Milvus migrans, Circus aeruginosus, Circus cyaneus, Circus pygargus, Pandion haliaetus, Falco columbarius, Falco peregrinus, Porzana parva, Porzana porzana, Himantopus himantopus, Sterna hirundo, Chlidonias hybridus, Chlidonias niger, Caprimulgus europaeus, Alcedo attis, Luscinia svecica, Ficedula albicollis, Lanius collurio
Bats: Myotis bechsteinii, Myotis emarginatus
Landscapes and habitats
Protected areas, proposed Emerald sites, Natura 2000 sites
- Lago di Biandronno Natura 2000 site
- Palude di Brabbia Natura 2000 site
- Lago di Comabbio Natura 2000 site
- Ticino River Valley Nature 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.
- Centro parco “Oriano”
History and culture
- 14th century Magioni Puricelli palace.
- Voltorre Cloister, in the Benedectine Monastery
- 15th century San Giovanni e San Giorgio church, restored in the 18th and 19th centuries
- Contemporary San Michele church.
- San Carlo church in Arnino, (1672).
- Trinità Church (1710) built on a 17th century chapel site.
- 13th century San Vitale e Sant’Agricola church, in Oltrona.
- Church of the Madonna delle Vocazioni, San Carlo and San Luigi chapels.
- Museum of the pipe (free entrance, reservation required).
Source: Interreg Charta Itinerum Project
Next stage: Emerald Trail Ticino-Varese Province: Stage 20
or: Emerald Trail Ticino-Varese Province: Stage 21
Stage before: Emerald Trail Ticino-Varese Province: Stage 18