A walk among pasture fields and over steep slopes to the church of San Lucio (1542 m), which stands on the border pass between Val Colla (Switzerland) and Val Cavargna (Italy) and offers amazing views over the surrounding mountains and the Alps. In the past thiswas an important transit route. Near the church, the refuge “San Lucio” providesrefreshments and lodging and is open all year round mob. +39 3383110521.
Cavargna (1071 m) is the highest municipality in the province of Como and lies in the remotevalley of Val Cavargna, clustered to the slopes of Monte Garzirola. From the bus stop, head to theParish church and take the track on the left side of the church climbing uphill to the “Colonia”. Thepath follows a short stretch of “Sentiero delle 4 Valli”, a 50 km long hiking trail that takes you fromBreglia, above Menaggio, to Dasio above Lake Lugano. The trail winds up its way through four valleys- Val Sanagra, Val Cavargna, Val Rezzo and Valsolda – and can be walked in three days. The path skirts the edge of a beech wood called “Bosco Sacro” – which forms a natural barrier againstsnow and landslides – before entering the steep, narrow Val Marda. After crossing the bridge over thestream in the Val Molino, the trail ascends the opposite side of the valley. At the fork you turn rightand follow the track through the pastures toMonti Coloné(1400 m, 1 ½ h), where you find a groupof houses. From here the view embraces the Val Cavargna. To reach San Lucio, take the small trailbehind the fountain leaving the “Sentiero delle 4 Valli”. The path winds up the steep slope over thepasture fields to the crest in the direction of the church of San Lucio(1542 m). The church stands righton the Swiss – Italian border. It dates back to the 15thcentury and has always been a cultural anddevotional point of reference for Swiss andItalian people. Inside, there are paintingsfrom the 15thup to the 17thcentury and a15thcentury wooden statue whichrepresents Saint Lucio, patron of shepherdsand cheesemakers. He is celebrated on the12thof July and 16thof August with apopular festival attracting a lot of peoplefrom the surrounding Italian and Swissvalleys.Next to the church, you can find RifugioSan Lucio, a former Customs police barracks built in 1903.
Customs Service used to patrol the border and check for contraband. As amatter of fact, smuggling was a widespread phenomenon in this region, due to the poor livingconditions. When the economic conditions improved in the 1960’s, the barracks was closed and leftabandoned until it was turned into a Rifugio in 1999.
Walk To Monte Garzirola
From San Lucio you can reach the top of Monte Garzirola (2116 m) following the signs at the rifugioSan Lucio (1h 45 min).
Note: We advise you to visit the Val Cavargna Museum in front the Parish Church in Cavargna. Themuseum illustrates the local history and customs focusing on the smuggling phenomenon and the oldsiderurgical activities. www.valcavargna.com
Directions & Parking
By public transport
Per Cavargna in autobus C14 in auto: per s.s. 340 fino a Carlazzo, poi per s.p.10 fino a Cavargna.