A pleasant walk in Val d’Intelvi: the Hermitage of San Zeno (1025 m)
There are several pleasant walk in Val d’Intelvi, with more or less easy levels of difficulty, also suitable for families. A feature of most of them are the wonderful scenery, with a view of the lake or the surrounding mountains.
The Hermitage of San Zeno, probably not known to most, has the characteristic of reserving an unparalleled view of our lake Como, the Comacina island and the tip of Bellagio.
There are several ways to reach this lovely hermitage. We offer you the one that starts from Pian d’Alpe. The starting place is located on the road from Casasco Intelvi to Erbonne, a hamlet of San Fedele. In summer it is very popular because the large lawns lend themselves to picnics and barbecues. Most stop there, because they can be reached directly by car. This is also a starting point to reach the Prabello Refuge and Sasso Gordona, another of my favorite walks.
Interesting facts about the small town of Erbonne
Erbonne is located at an altitude of 936m, a few meters from Switzerland which can be accessed by crossing a cycle-pedestrian bridge and a mule track leading to the village of Scudellate in Val di Muggio in 20 minutes. Of the 200 inhabitants of the 1950s, 12 remained permanently residing. The buildings are well kept and the pavement of the streets has been redone. In 2002 the “small museum of the guard of finance and smuggling” was inaugurated, also called with the dialectal voice “Burlanda and Sfusaduu” obtained from the barracks active from 1947 to 1977, dedicated to this significant activity for these border valleys.
Itinerary of the pleasant walk in Val d’Intelvi
From the parking lot (960 meters above sea level) you can decide to go back on the road towards Casasco and take the first dirt road on the right or to cross the meadows until you reach a dirt road.
And on the right we will notice the fortifications that are part of the Cadorna line. For the entire route of the so-called trenches see this link. On the left, going down, we will take the path that leads us to the Hermitage, which we can already see in the distance.
Our path up to the church will be characterized by large wooden crosses (n. 14), a via Crucis that leads us to the summit. The path to the end becomes more demanding, more or less from the X cross. You then arrive at a gate which is recommended to always be kept closed.
Duration of the walk about an hour.
The small church was built by the Magistri Intelvesi returning from Verona, in thanks because the saint had saved them from a storm on the lake during their return trip to the Valley.
Over the years it has undergone several renovations also due to several collapses. The last one dates back to 1996.
Inside the fence there are picnic tables with an unparalleled view of our lake Como.
Upon returning, I recommend going near a private home to admire the statue of the Como artist Nicola Salvatore, who has always been in love with the whales he represented in his works.
Crossing the village of Casasco: very narrow, two-way street, but you can only pass one at a time!