Romy von Etappen-Wandern

Via dei Monti Lariani – long-distance hiking above Lake Como in Italy

Romy von Etappen-Wandern

Via dei Monti Lariani – long-distance hiking above Lake Como in Italy

Hiking Collection by Romy von Etappen-Wandern

The Via dei Monto Lariani is a long-distance hiking trail from above Lake Como in Italy. The route runs along the west side of the lake from the north shore to its south shore, taking around seven to nine days. It’s easy to lose yourself in the wonderful nature here as you really do hike off-the-beaten-track through remote areas. Fortunately, you have this Collection on hand to keep you on the trail.

Can a route that runs just a few kilometres from Lake Como really be exciting? After eight days hiking here, I can say with conviction that it absolutely is. The path is very varied: You hike through chestnut and beech woods, cross adventurous rivers and winding streams. The path reveals wonderful panoramas over the Italian Po Valley and over to the great Piz Bernina, standing at 4,000 metres (13,123 feet). You walk along old, stony paths that lead though gentle meadows. Sometimes, you come across old war installations from the First World War, or donkeys, cows, and goats. You can try and take a photo of the geckos and fire salamanders.

In short: The Via dei Monti Lariani is a great trail which makes mountain hiking really fun, especially in the low season. You can find all the stages here in this Collection. We hiked the trail in October, but we had to leave the trail twice to find accommodation as the ones along the way had already closed.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    02:15
    3.49 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,825 ft

    Oh yeah, you haven't heard from me for three whole weeks and I was actually quite lazy. I couldn't bring myself to go on a major hike. I wrote a lot of new articles for the blog, and the Bernina Tour has already been prepared 🤗 (Blog 👉 etappen-wandern.de). But now I have to go out again. The weather has already ended the season in the higher elevations and if I can't go that high, then at least I want some sun.So now we are hiking the unknown Via dei Monti Lariani high above Lake Como in Lombardy. And on our short stage (we only arrived today) the sun really shone 😊. We started right on the lake and climbed 900 meters. Since we only sleep in boarding houses, the backpack only weighs seven kilograms without water. In the end, probably around 5.5 kilos. That means not even 900 meters of altitude are exhausting 😁.It's more of a cultural than an alpine path, because we walk on old connecting paths from place to place and from alpine pasture to alpine pasture. I already got a foretaste today and I'm looking forward to the next few days, because I like the people in Lombardy very much : lively, affectionate and sociable. Yes, I am here to a certain extent out of solidarity, because since the pandemic outbreak in Bergamo not many seem to drive here anymore ...Only Lotte worries me a little, she has stretched her foot a bit and doesn't run smoothly. I hope it's all good tomorrow.

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    07:54
    14.6 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,600 ft
    3,550 ft

    The second day is done! This Via dei Monti Lariani is a wild, adventurous path. There are none where bridges should be. This leads to wild river crossings and sometimes wet feet. There, where there should be paths, there are sometimes none at all and you make your way across the forest. Where there should actually be markings, you know ... You could also say that the long-distance hiking trail is not in particularly good shape.However, the path is still (or because of it) fun! The small, steep and sometimes overgrown paths led us through extensive forests today. Have you ever hiked through a chestnut forest in autumn? Danger! Chestnut shock hazard. But I don't want to complain, because I don't have any paws that constantly step on prickly covers. Ouch. But neither that, nor a small sprain, didn’t matter much to the best walking dog in the world. As always, Lotte arrived at the destination confidently before me.There was also: colorful forests, old mountain villages, beautiful views of Lake Como, goats, horses, cows, donkeys, sheep and game jumping away. What can I say, I'm looking forward to tomorrow!

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  • 06:03
    11.9 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,725 ft
    3,750 ft

    Walking the Via dei Monti Lariani is a bit like a scavenger hunt for adults 😆. Sometimes the paths sink completely into the leaves, sometimes they end in a meadow and you have no idea where to start again. The markings are poor, but sometimes a point shows us the way, sometimes a cairn or a tin sign half eaten by the tree. And sometimes only komoot saves us. Without the navigation app, I would probably still be wandering around in the forest. Despite the weak GPS signal, I always find my way back when I get off this one. A real life insurance.But you don't believe how much fun the path is. Here a cheer when you've found your way again, there a big grin when we have made the next river crossing without wet feet. Every now and then the hands are used and steep slopes (elf-like 😉) mastered. A real little adventure playground where we are amazed like children when we can see Lake Como from above. And all of this in the best hiking weather with sunshine ☀️.

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    06:23
    10.8 mi
    1.7 mph
    4,450 ft
    2,650 ft

    Wow, I didn't expect that from the path. Today there was even a real alpine feeling. Directly from the lake we climbed to the Sasso di Musso at 1,140 meters. Quite directly (without getting lost) we first went through the forest, then through the middle of an extremely cute herd of goats and at the end through a rocky landscape, where we also needed our hands. The view over Lake Como was really phenomenal and in combination with the warming sun I could have sat here forever.And otherwise the path today was very varied and beautiful. In addition to the usual changing markings, there was now also a red and white flutter tape. I don't care, the main thing is to find the way to some extent. Today I also met two other hikers who walk the Via dei Monti Lariani. How did I recognize her? On the trekking backpack and the fact that you wandered through the forest with your mobile phone in hand 😂.

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    05:54
    12.1 mi
    2.1 mph
    3,050 ft
    4,800 ft

    Oh, how nice it is when rain is announced and the sun shines almost all day. In addition, I didn't get lost once today, the premiere on Via dei Monti Lariani. On well-marked and developed paths I climbed a few meters again until I came to a place where I just couldn't explain to myself how it was supposed to go past the cliff. The solution was banal and yet unexpected. A 120 meter long tunnel led us through the mountain.Immediately I was emotionally back on the Sentiero della Pace, the Italian Peace Trail, which I hiked for eight weeks in a row last year and about which I wrote a hiking guide. It leads through great alpine landscapes and to theaters of war of the First World War in the Alps. This long tunnel at Monti Brente today was also completed between 1916 and 1917 and was part of the defensive bar to the north. Exciting!We then dismounted from the way to Lenno because we couldn't find any more open accommodation and are taking a break tomorrow due to the weather. My feet may have cheered a little.

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    04:26
    9.51 mi
    2.1 mph
    3,925 ft
    2,000 ft

    Today it was a few steep meters back to the way! It feels like we have hiked almost 1,000 meters in altitude with an incline of over 40 degrees. What is usually even fun on stepped paths, is something on flat surfaces that makes even well-trained hiking calves groan. Once at the top, there was not only our first summit cross, but also a great view of Como and later also Lake Lugano.The whole day we were accompanied by a friendly gray sky and icy temperatures. On the descent, I wore everything I found in my backpack: a total of five layers! Our stage was therefore more like a speedhiking, after all it took us an hour and a half less than expected. Shortly before the goal, however, the sun finally managed to break through the clouds. There was even t-shirt weather for the cyclist ☀️.

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    06:28
    14.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    3,300 ft
    3,250 ft

    The Via dei Monti Lariani has not yet shown itself as promising as it is today and this stage is definitely one of the nicer ones. We hiked for a long time above the tree line and looked to where the Alps end and the Italian Po plain begins - an unbelievable feeling. Especially when we turned the next corner and could not only look over Lake Como, but even as far as the 4,000 meter high Piz Bernina in Switzerland.In addition, there were cuddly mountain goats, bathing, dog-loving cows, plenty of sunshine and lots of bright autumn colors. And as if that wasn't enough, I passed a real fortress from the First World War. Even for me as an alpine war expert, it is astonishing how far to the west the military armament stretched back then. So, a really varied, very lonely long-distance hiking trail that has already earned the recommendation to hike afterwards - even if the last stage is still ahead of us.I know that many of you are looking longingly or enviously at my journey of discovery on Lake Como. I don't want to hide the fact that I have a bit of a guilty conscience too. I think if my journey started today, I wouldn't go on it. But probably more out of fear of the quarantine than of the infection itself. After all, here we mostly hike all alone in the mountains - social distancing in its purest form, so to speak. So I still want to enjoy this hike, gather strength for the next few weeks and months in which I feel “locked in” again. And I hope to be able to please one or the other of you with the pictures and reports.

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    05:13
    11.2 mi
    2.2 mph
    2,375 ft
    4,250 ft

    Just walk from the north to the south shore of Lake Como, who can say that about themselves? Lotte can do it, so can I! Today, after eight days, 142 kilometers and 7,400 meters in altitude (ascent) we reached the end of Via dei Monti Lariani.Today's stage was certainly not the most beautiful of the way, but that was certainly also due to the weather. At over 1,300 meters it's pretty shady without the sun and we weren't able to enjoy the really great foresight. But we already had great views and many hours of sunshine in our luggage. Towards the end, when we were just descending one of these stony connecting paths between alpine pastures and villages, the sun came out again and gave us a great last view over Lake Como.Probably the VML was the last foreign trek for this year. So I am really grateful that the path was so varied and exciting. I liked the small paths, the sometimes difficult path finding, the views, the Italian food and the facing people. I can certainly benefit from that a little.And if you want to save the tour: I have created another collection for the route, you can find it on my profile!

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    8
  • Distance
    88.0 mi
  • Duration
    44:35 h
  • Elevation
    24,250 ft
Romy von Etappen-Wandern

Via dei Monti Lariani – long-distance hiking above Lake Como in Italy