Lake Como’s Serene Side Along the Greenway Walk

Greenway Walk

The Greenway Walk is a welcome diversion from the glitz, crowds and confection normally associated with Lake Como. This ten kilometre walk runs along the western edge of the lake, with some of the path cutting into the hills above the glamorous mansions. I did this walk last October, starting on the northern end, just outside Villa Carlotta although the most commonly mentioned start point is Colonno on the southern end. It’s an easy walk that can be enjoyed by most folks and can be walked in both directions. And there are lots of places to stop for a drink or in our case, a nice fruit popsicle.

Tremezzo, Lake Como
Start of our Greenway Walk near the Villa Carlotta
Villa la Quiete
The grand Villa la Quiete is one of the lake front’s historic villas

The path is well marked with markers in the sidewalk where available and if not, there are also signs like that pictured below to direct walkers. After walking along the lake, we saw this sign that directed us up the road behind the lake front buildings to the small town of Mezzegra.

Greenway Walk
The Greenway Walk is well marked

The small town or village of Giulino di Mezzegra is where Italy’s fascist leader Benito Mussolini was killed at the tail end of World War II. If you have time and interest, you can arrange to see the house where this happened but in our case, we continued along our walk.

Giulino di Mezzegra
The Piazza Giuseppe Rosati in Mezzegra – the village where Mussolini was killed

There are some super views of the lake from the vantage points along this stretch of the walk that runs through Mezzegra.

Lake Como view
View of the lake from Mezzegra

From Mezzegra, the path cuts through the back of houses as it heads back toward the lake front near the town of Lenno. Because we’re right on the shore of the lake at this stage, it’s possible to take a dip in the water. This is also a good place to grab a drink or a popsicle.

Lenno in Lake Como
The lake front at Lenno
Lake Como's Lenno
One of the interesting lake front homes in Lenno

The path cuts behind the Villa Balbianello, which we had visited previously by boat. There is a short part of the walk here that was less bucolic and for a stretch there is little to view until it winds around the Villa Balbiano. Once we head into Ossucio, we crossed a roundabout, and after which we hit some nice views again, above the Sala Comacina. The walk winds down toward the lake again reaching the romanesque church, San Giacomo.

Lake Como villas
A view of the Villa Balbiano as we walked by
Walking above Sala Comacina
The path above Sala Comacina
Greenway Walk view
Looking back toward Sala Comacina
San Giacomo at Ossuccio and Sala Comacina
San Giacomo is a picturesque church on the lake front
San Giacomo church between Ossuccio and Sala Comacina
The front view of the church

We were nearing the last stretch of our walk, which runs on the Via Civetta above the town of Colonno. There are some good views of the town with its church bell tower. The path was a little uncertain as we wandered between the houses but eventually we found some stairs that led down to the main road.

Lake Como Greenway Walk
Great view of Colonna and Lake Como from the Greenway Walk path along Via Civetta

After walking down to Strada Regina, the main road, we walked northward a little until we found the bus stop. There was a little cafe opposite the bus stop where we bought our tickets and had a nice cool drink before hopping on the bus toward Tremezzo. Alas, the frequency of the buses could mean a slightly longer wait so the walk should be done with no fixed timetables. In some ways it’s probably easier to start the walk at Colonno as it’s easier to catch the ferry back to Como or any of the other main towns from Tremezzo. However, as we were staying in Bellagio, it saved us time to undertake the walk in this direction. We hardly saw anyone else doing this walk and pretty much had all the views to ourselves. Naturally, we celebrated with a good meal at a wine bar and followed up with an aperol spritz at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo. A good source of info on the walk can be found on the Lake Como Newsletter website.

Lake Como's Grand Hotels
A cool drink at the lake front bar of the Grand Hotel Tremezzo