Torno is a small suburb on the branch of Lake Como that leads to Bellagio.
From here starts a new itinerary that will lead us to the discovery of Montepiatto and its mountains. But let’s start step by step, because today every place, every track, will tell us something.
Torno as well as Blevio that precedes it is very small and rises about halfway between Como and Bellagio. It is characterized by a dense maze of narrow streets full of steps that suddenly overlook the lake.
It’s not easy to park in Torno, we suggest you three points (see map below) outside the village; going further it’s practically impossible to find it. On the right before the tunnel that leads to the village you will find a clearing and turning left before the tunnel, you will find others, both not paying.
Today’s itinerary will start from the main square of the village, which overlooks the lake, at the height of the Church of Santa Tecla.
Following the signs of the Strada Regia you will soon find yourself on the path towards Montepiatto. Blevio or Molina is indifferent because today’s route will be feasible as a loop on both sides. Today we are going up on the side of Blevio. Following the first signs you will easily arrive outside the village and you will start to see the first signs for Montepiatto and Pietra Pendula.
From here the path begins to climb with increasing gradient and you will find yourself on a long mule track that will accompany you until Montepiatto. There will always be signs to keep you company, although the ring can be approached from different points, with different climbs and different slopes.
The stepped mule track will keep you company throughout the climb and will last a couple of kilometers, just enough time to get about 400 meters of elevation gain. Every now and then along the climb you can enjoy some beautiful views through the trees.
One last effort before arriving to Montepiatto and what we will have in front of us will be a small mountain village with a dozen houses, some still inhabited! You will find a playground and also a crotto where you can stop and eat. Here in Montepiatto, time seems to stand still, everything is cared for and kept well and people take care of the territory. You will also find many indications for all the things to see in the surroundings.
We will take you to discover the various points where it is worth going, starting from the church in the farthest part of the village, up to the Pietra Pendula and the Castel d’Ardona. For all these places you can hardly go wrong given the numerous signs of which is dotted the village. Turning left as soon as you arrive in the village you can reach the church from which you can enjoy the best possible view of Lake Como.
We are sure that here your eyes will freeze for a moment and you will stop for a moment to admire the view in silence … so we will give ourselves a break …
Moving forward on the path behind the church wall, you’ll quickly arrive at Pietra Pendula. The name sounds bizarre, but look at its shape and you’ll understand why.
It arrived here from Val Masino through glacial movements, about 50-60 thousand years ago. You can easily recognize it by its mushroom shape.
Returning towards the center of the village we will continue straight uphill towards Castel d’Ardona, located in the highest part of the mountain behind Montepiatto, about 950 meters above sea level.
The path here begins to become more challenging because you need about 500 meters of elevation gain to get to the top of the castle.
Unfortunately the castle or what remains of it is in a state of abandonment and it is a pity. It is not easy to reach this point, also because it is located in the highest and least accessible part of the mountain.
In the final part, follow the path to Baita Carla and after another ten minutes of walking you will find the castle on the left, hidden among the shrubs and plants.
What do you think the view might look like from here? We anticipate something! Who wouldn’t want a window like this on Lake Como?
Continuing further in this direction it will be possible to go as far as Brunate, but today we are going back towards Montepiatto and then towards Piazzaga.
Once we get back to the fork we took earlier to climb up to the castle, we can continue straight ahead to go towards Piazzaga and finish our loop today.
We will also find ourselves in front of several routes, all well signposted.
If you are tired you can also turn in the exact opposite direction to the one indicated in the photo and you will cut off part of the descent, without passing through Piazzaga. On the way back there will always be plenty of views towards the lake as the path remains facing Bellagio.
Trail type: asphalt, mule track, dirt
Water: there are many fountains on the road, as well as you can find it up in Montepiatto