The Wayfarer's Path of Leonardo da Vinci

escursionist path of Lake Como
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The Way of Leonardo, Sentiero di Leonardo or Sentiero di Leonardo da Vinci is an ancient itinerary that begins in Lombardy on Lake Como between Milan and S.Bernardino in Switzerland and continues across Lierna Lake Como. Leonardo da Vinci frequently walked this route. Along the way you can see the Tourist Passport Credential prepared by the government of Lombardy Region.


The trail of the Wayfarer is an ancient road frequented by Leonardo da Vinci that, immersed in the great Lombard mountains on one side and along the shores of Lake Como on the other, can guarantee in any period an exceptional view both on the water surface and on some of the most beautiful alpine reliefs.

The Leonardo Trail is a walk that spans 15 stages and follows a historical trail, built over the centuries for the logistical and economic needs of the local people even before for tourist purposes.

Closely linked to Leonardo da Vinci – and a continuous presence all along the route – is the theme of the waters of the Martesana, where Leonardo left his design contributions to the conches of the Adda River and Lake Como. Leonardo's Path meets Lake Como and Adda, with the ancient hydroelectric power stations, the navigable canals built over the centuries to unmistakably characterize the territories crossed. In Vaprio d'Adda there are the Leonardo museum on the martesana's haze and the house of Francesco Melzi, where Leonardo stayed for a long time and from whose exposed windows on a turbulent stretch of adda river deepened the theoretical study of water and fluids. Melzi was the universal heir to Leonardo's Codes, long housed and kept in this building.

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The trail starts from Milan and arrives at Trezzo on the Adda along the Alzaia del Naviglio Martesana. From here you continue to Lake Como in Lecco following the Alzaia of the Adda River to reach Lierna Lake Como overlooking Bellagio, and then Fiumelatte arriving on foot to Switzerland.


Milan is very close to Leonardo's Genius: here you can find its traces in many places, such as the Cenacolo Vinciano, Piazza Scala (with the statue of Leonardo), the Museum of Science and Technology, the Ambrosian Art Gallery, the Conca Leonardesca del Corona St. Mark's Street, the Bronze Horse at San Siro, Casa degli Atellani and Castello Sforzesco.


Trezzo sull'Adda.

Lecco Lake Como.

In Cornate d'Adda and Paderno d'Adda (LC) you can still see the locks of the paderno waterway from Martesana to Lake Como, from Leonardo first studied and conceived, and in Paderno there is also a Leonardo museum.

In Imbersago there is the ferry on the Adda, a working copy of the original project, depicted by Leonardo in the "Windsor Code". Some glimpses of the risers of the river appear in the "Virgin of the Rocks" and the "Gioconda". Especially the Visconti Bridge of Lecco is well recognizable in its forms behind the Mona Lisa.

The route continues on the trail along the Piani dei Resinelli and runs from Lecco to Abbadia Lariana on Lake Como.

Mandello del Lario Lake Como.

Lierna Lake Como.

From here Leonardo da Vinci looked at the tip of Bellagio and found inspiration. It is said that from which here Leonardo was inspired to paint the Monalisa.

Lierna Borgo Sonvico-Genico (km 3,8/ h 1,40).

This is a very suggestive itinerary for the passage between some ancient churches dating back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; in particular, that of S. Eufemia in Olcio and S. Michele in Lierna, others are seen, however, well, but in the distance, like that of S. Ambrogio (also in Lierna). Along the stretch, before reaching the goal of Lierna Borgo Genico, you come across Lierna in Borgo Sornico, the hamlet that precedes it. Lierna Sornico has a noteworthy footprint of the 16th and 17th centuries, fully recognizable by passing under the characteristic "Punt de la Nini". From Lierna Gènico you have a broad view of the village and you can see all the splendor of the peasant world, because it is the highest and isolated Borgo of Lierna.

Fiumelatte Lake Como.

It is the shortest river in Italy on the border with Lierna and the object of Leonardo's study that speaks of it in its Atlantic Code.

Bellano Lake Como.

Piona Lake Como.

Piantendo Lake Como.

Next stop is the one that comes from here to Piantedo along the "Sentiero del Viandante". The Grigne mountains and Valsassina were visited by Leonardo during numerous excursions, reported in the notes of his Codes.

Then continue on foot along the Francisca Way from Piantedo to Chiavenna.

Samolaco Lake Como.

Chiavenna Lake Como.

Valtellina and Valchiavenna were also visited by Leonardo da Vinci during his many excursions on the Lake Como, particularly during the trip to Innsbruck, Austria, on the occasion of the wedding of Bianca Maria Sforza and Maximilian of Habsburg.

Via allo Spluga Madesimo.

From Chiavenna, Leonardo's Path continues to Madesimo on the Via allo Spluga and then crosses the Passo del Baldiscio, the highest point at 2,350 meters, between Lombardy and the Swiss Canton Grigioni, to San Bernardino, where the route ends.


S. Bernardino - Swiss.


  • Punt de la Nini. In the ancient village of Lierna in Sornìco. One of the most beautiful secret spots in all of Lake Como. From here starts the Via di S. Michele, the main stretch of the Mandello-Lierna trail, so called because it was the probable residence of Mrs. Nini.
  • Monte Fopp (1079 m). Mount of Lierna that rises in Lierna in the stretch of Lierna Borgo Genico and Lierna Borgo Ortanella; characterized by the presence of "fopp", that is from the local doline dialect.
  • Croce del Brentalone (654 m). It is the most known and photographed Cross of the Wanderer of the whole Lake Como, this guarantees a wonderful view of the wonderful antique village of Lierna on the oriental side of the Como Lake.
  • Pian di Spagna (200 m). It is a flat nature reserve extended for 1600 hectares between the provinces of Sondrio and Como, thanks also to the intervention of the presbyter don Guanella. On its floor lie 3 alpine groups: the Lepontine Alps, the Rhaetian Alps and the Orobie Alps.
  • Il Sentiero del fiume. This is a very suggestive stretch that starts from the Rongio hamlet of Mandello del Lario and passes in the middle of two beautiful valleys: the Val Mèria and the Valle di Era.
  • Fiumelatte. It is a torrent in the end of Lierna: the "Fiumelaccio", which crosses the Varennese hamlet of Fiumelatte, which bears the same name. It's a great tourist attraction and you can see upstream its roar and its characteristic frothy white color like fresh milk passing along the SP 72, and then falling in Lake Como.
  • Borgo di Castello (Lierna, 23827, frazione Castello, loc. Riva Bianca). It is an ancient village well-known by the lake, once you arrive in front of the white-water resort in Lierna. This presents some stories and roles in different eras, here arose the dynasty of the Savoy, it seems, then, there has also stayed the Queen Teodolinda and for a while it was suspected that this was the house of Lucia in "The Betrothed" of Alessandro Manzoni.
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