This walk follows one the many itineraries leading through the Park Val Sanagra an area rich in flora, fauna and antique rural settlements. This itinerary will show you various features of the Val Sanagra: the wonderful natural setting and traces of traditional activities like mills, lime-pits and furnaces.
At Menaggio, form Piazza Garibaldi take Via Calvi. At the end of it you cross the main road and you turn into Via Caronti, along the left side of the Parish church St.Stefano. At the end of the street turn right and after 30 m turn left into Via Castellino da Castello.
This cobbled stone alley leads to the upper part of the town called Castello. The “Castello” of today gives only a faint idea of how it was in the Middle Ages. In fact it was completely destroyed in 1523 during the occupation of the Rhaetin militia. Left intact are parts of its enormous perimeter walls which you can admire at various points.
Just past the church S.Carlo (1614) the via Castellino da Castello ends into Via N.Sauro which you follow to the right (follow the side walk). Go up the steps on the right side of the Hotel Loveno and back on the road follow it to the left. At the next bend, (where there is a laundary mat) pick up the continuation of Via N. Sauro to the left.
You are now in the hamlet Loveno with its splendid villas. To begin with, on the left at the beginning of the street, there is the Villa Bel Faggio and after 200 m you pass Villa Garovaglio Ricci part of Villa Vigoni now owned by the German Federal Republic which hosts the Centro Italo Tedesco Villa Vigoni. To be able to see the villa and its park you can join a guided visit tel. (+39) 0344 361232.
You pass the church San Lorenzo with its baroque facade, turn left in order to reach the sport centre and then, after a brief ascent, you arrive at Piamuro a big pasture (40 min. from Menaggio). From here follow the trail n°4 of the Parco Val Sanagra in the direction of Mulino della Valle. Just past the little Chapel dell’Artus (read the interesting legend), the track leads down to the river Sanagra.
Do not cross the bridge but continue on path n°4, that passes by the ancient kiln Galli that has been recently restored and now hosts the seat of the Val Sanagra Park.
The kiln is an example of a traditional activity. The clay of the river and its water power was used in order to make bricks and roof tiles.
Slightly further you reach La Chioderia (412 m), till 1820 a mill and then a factory where nails were made. Now-a-days it is a trout farm with a typical inn.
Continue on path n 4. Just past the trout farm you pass the trail head of path n° 3 for Barna. Those who wish to shorten the walk can follow this path to Barna (25 min) and from there walk back down to Piamuro (25 min).
Trail 4 continues straight on to Mulino Carliseppi (456 m), a mill where not much time ago wheat and corn were ground.
Cross the old stone bridge and pick up the path to the right which leads along the bank of the river Sanagra further into the valley.
You cross another bridge at the foot of Sass Corbée where the passage of the river is obstructed by enormous boulders. Steps hewn in the rock make it possible to climb up the huge monolith. From here pay attention to the trail signs that will lead you to an ancient lim-pit called Fornace della Calce.
Here take trail 4a to Barna to the right. Further along the trail you pass a shrine from where you have a nice view of the Sanagra valley.
Once at the village Barna head for the Church square with its lovely fountain and the Church of S. Maria Maddalena. From here take the street that directs out of the town towards the parking.
After just 50m, turn right into Va Belvedere and at the end of the street pick up the trail to the left that descends in bends back to Piamuro.