The mountain shelter “Croce di Campo” is located in Val Cavargna at 1741 m, a fantastic balcony overlooking the Lepontine Alps. From the rifugio you can reach the surrounding peaks such as Pizzo di Gino (2.245 m) and Cima Pianchette (2.168 m). The shelter is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the year, daily from half June till the end of October. Tel. (+39) 371 3869842 or (+39) 339 4376683.
San Nazzaro, clustered to the south slope of Pizzo di Gino (2245 m), lies at an altitude of 995 m in in the remote valley of Cavargna. The people of this valley once led a hard life and smuggling and migration were a reality in the local area. The last 50 years many farmers left the agricultural activity and went to work in the close by Switzerland. This improved the living standards and brought modernization to the valley.
When you arrive at San Nazzaro get off the bus at the stop close to the Parish church (ask the driver for the chiesa) dedicated to the Saints Nazzaro and Celso. From the bus stop ascend via Burena on the right which leads up to church. It is of very old origins but nothing has remained of the original small church since it was enlarged in 1908. From the church follow the bend in the road, ignore via Carde, and proceed along the cement road that climbs up steeply above a small water canal that delimits Contrada Canale. Then turn right in via Cos Pumbal and after a few meters take the steps on the left. Then turn right again ignoring the path that leads to a big fountain and after 20 m, at the height of an old mountain hut, take left. The old mule track connecting San Nazzaro with Tegnivo starts here. You ascend through the woods until you reach the hamlet of Tegnivo, ancient May hay and home of miners who were employed at the mines of Tecchio and Val Caldera in the 17th and the first half of the 18th century.
The beautiful view embraces Monte Galbiga 1698 m in front, the slopes of Monte Garzirola 2103 m on the right and the small church called la Regina dei Monti on the left. Follow the level path to the left. It leads below a chapel and leaves the small village. You reach a fork on a slope. Leave the level path, and instead ascend the mule track with the red trail signs to the right that quickly gains altitude. After a few bends you arrive at a small house. From here, on the left, a small road leads to a fountain and a row of wooden huts in the locality called Tecchio 1287 m. They were built to form a campsite but now abandoned. Behind the huts, two flight of steps lead up to a road that, to the right, leads to Rifugio “Croce di Campo”, visible high up on the right. We recommend though to follow the shorter trail through the pine woods to the left (sign sentiero nel bosco). After a steep ascent of about 20 minutes the trail leaves the woods and ends on a mountain ridge which you follow uphill. It eventually ends on the road leading to the rifugio. From here you can choose either to follow a series of short cuts or to follow the road. Before arriving at the rifugio you can spot in the distance the alpine farm house Piazza Vacchera below the impressing rocky pyramid of Pizzo di Gino 2245 m.
From rifugio Croce di Campo you have a breathtaking view. On the left you can spot a small part of Lake Como and the Grigne 2410 m, in front there is Monte Crocione1640 m, Monte Galbiga 1698 m and on the right Cima Fiorina and Monte Garzirola 2013 m.
From the rifugio “Croce di Campo” it is possible to continue with wonderful walks on marked paths toward the peaks, from which you can enjoy exceptional views of the lakes and the mountain ranges of Lombardy, Piemonte and Switzerland.
- to Pizzo di Gino a 2245 m (2:00)
- to Cima Pianchette a 2168 m (1:30)
- to Monte Tabor 2080 m (2:00)
- to Monte Bregagno 2107 m (4:30)
Note: From Tecchio the road to Rifugio Croce di Campo is only accessible for jeeps and after paying a toll of 5 euro (tickets available at Bar Pinchin at San Nazzaro).
Directions & Parking
By public transport
Bus C14 from Menaggio to S. Nazzaro.