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view of Bellaggio from Monte Crocetta

Monte Crocetta

Hike

La Crocetta (500 m) is a panoramic point above Menaggio located in the hamlet of Croce, from where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Lake Como, the coast of Bellagio and the small neighboring towns. The territory around the Crocetta was part of the Cadorna Line, the line of defence of the First World War.
You can start the walk directly from Menaggio or you can take the bus or drive to Croce, 2 km from Menaggio

 

Description

Our itinerary starts in Piazza Garibaldi where the Menaggio tourist office is located.

Take Via Calvi and, half way up the street on the right, you find the church S.Marta. To be observed with attention are the historical bas-reliefs placed outside this small church.

At the end of Via Calvi is the parish church of S.Stefano of very ancient origins whose original Roman structures have however been lost. Inside the church there is a copy of a painting by Bernardino Luino depicting Maria with Jesus and an angel also called the Madonna di Menaggio; the original work is now at the Louvre.

Go behind the church (along Via Caronti and Via Leoni)  and take Via Castellino da Castello which leads up to the medieval part of Menaggio. The “Castello” of today gives only a faint idea of how it was in the middle ages. It was destroyed during the occupation of the Rhaetian militias in 1523. Left intact are parts of its enormous perimeter walls which you can admire at various points.

On the corner with Via Strecioum go up the long flight of steps to the left (Via Rezia) which lead to an underpass under the main road. Once at the other side of the underpass take Via Monte Grappa, which after 300 m leads on the main road 340. Cross it, then go up the steps and at the end turn right in order to pick up the cycle-footpath that follows the traces of the former railway line between Menaggio and Porlezza.

The raiway line between Menaggio and Porlezza was opened in 1884 in order to attract more tourists from northern Europe to the area. Arriving by train to Lugano the tourists were then transported by steam boat to Porlezza from where the train brought them to Menaggio. In 1939 the train line was abandoned.

The track enters a e valley and passes a 90 m long tunnel. Just past the tunnel turn left and follow the  lane that leads up to Croce. From a parking lot, from where you can see the impressive walls of the former target shooting, walk to the main 340 state road which connects Menaggio to Lugano. Follow it to the left as far as the traffic lights and then cross the main road.

Croce is the highest in elevation of the villages that are part of the commune of Menaggio and lies at the beginning of the Val Menaggio. It has a rural historic centre characterized by a typical little square of the 16th century. On its slightly raised surface the rituals of haymaking, of the harvest and the threshing, took place.

Pick up the Via Wyatt in the direction of the golf course (there is a big sign). The Menaggio – Cadenabbia Golf Club, founded in 1907, is one of the oldest golf courses in Italy. At the beginning of the road you pass an ancient washhouse and after about 200 m you turn left into Via Pigato. After some bends the road ends and you continue on a cart track. Before arriving at the Crocetta you encounter the first trenches.

Monte Crocetta is part of the great defence line called “Linea Cadorna”, built in 1915 along the Swiss-Italan border, out of fear of a possible offensive attack from the North. In the province of Como it extended from Monte Bisbino near Como across the mountain are of Val d’Intelvi along Sasso Cordona, Monte Galbiga and Monte Crocione and from there down to Monte Crocetta. The walkways have been restored and if you wish you can walk through them discovering the armored positions, the shelters for the troops and observation posts.

You then reach the little chapel dedicated to San Maurizio built by the “Gruppo Alpini di Menaggio” to remember the soldiers that fell during the two wars. Inside the church there are two frescoes of the local painter Buno Azimonti. Below the church is a bunker that contains the Sacrarium where all the fallen soldiers from Menaggio are remembered. From the church you have a most wonderful of Menaggio.

Close by the church is the other view point called La Crocetta (little cross) from where the view embraces the whole Centrale Lake area, the branch of Lecco, the Orobie Alps and to the North the Upper Lake Area and the Rhaetian Alps.

Directions & Parking

Map directions →

Parking

Parking possibility at Croce in Via San Rocco

By public transport

From Menaggio to Croce bus line C12 (direction Lugano)