Stage 2 – From via Castel Baradello to St. Eutichio’s Cross
Pass over the iron bar through the narrow passage on the right.
Go straight on the wide trail that winds through the wood with a gentle slope until you reach a stairway of about one hundred steps. Before the stairway, on you right, note some small granite columns and a pillar with the writing “Parco della Rimembranza”.
Follow the fenced stairway; at its end, the path is paved with pebbles, and continues to rise gently uphill (concrete wall on your left for the first stretch). You will pass a bench and a granite tub on your right, until you reach the hut called Respaù di sotto. The hut, owned by the city of Como, has recently been re-opened and serves as an hostel for young travellers. Above and below the hut, traditional terracings have been restored and host vineyards, orchards, officinal plants and mulberry trees. On the right, you can enjoy a good view of the Baradello castle.
After leaving the hut on your right, continue on the path number one of the Parco della Spina Verde, that in this tract follows the ridge of the hill. After a brief, steeper stretch on stone steps, the path reaches a plain and becomes wider. On your right, an arrow points to the “sentiero degli alberi” (tree path), on your left another arrow points to Monte Caprino. Further on, another arrow points to a scenic viewpoint (the sign says “punto panoramico”).
By staying on the main track, you will quickly reach the hut called Respaù di Sopra, which is managed by the National Alpine Troops Association, section of Como. After the hut, which is on your left, you will pass alongside its wide meadow. On the right, an arrow would lead you to the Baita Elisa (restaurant).
Now the trail follows a cart-road that gently descends to a three-way junction, marked by the signs of the Parco della Spina Verde (40 minutes from the start).
The road on the left reaches the archaeological site of Pianvalle and San Fermo (see deviation PIANVALLE) ; on your right, the trail number 4 of the Parco della Spina Verde would bring you back directly down to S. Abbondio and the city of Como.
At the centre, the path number one of the Parco della Spina Verde goes straight on to reach St. Eutichio’s Cross, and is described immediately below.
STRAIGHT WAY TO ST. EUTICHIO’S CROSS
By keeping on the path number one, at first you will find a rather steep and stony ascent; after you pass under a trunk, the path becomes more comfortable, and evolves in a cart-road in the vicinity of a well visible repeater. You will leave the repeater on your right and follow the cart-road, passing on the right of a private hut that dominates the top of the hill. Here the trail rejoins the Strada Pio Bagatti, coming up from the Baita Pianvalle (see the deviation below).
You will finally reach a crossroad, marked by two arrows. Going straight on, you would arrive to the Baita Monte Croce (restaurant). Turning instead on your right, you take the final stretch of the path that leads to the St. Eutichio Cross. After a short ascent, you reach the open space where the cross stands (20 minutes; one hour in total).
DEVIATION TO PIANVALLE
When you are at the three-way junction, instead of going straight to the cross, take the cart-road on your left and, in about five minutes, you will be at the archaeological site of Pianvalle, marked by a yellow sign. To visit this very interesting site, take on your left and pass aside a wooden bar that marks the beginning of the archaeological area.
In front, you have the rock of Pianvalle, where various prehistoric symbols are sculpted. You can get around the rock, whose area is fenced. First ascend on your left, pass on the left of another bar, go through four steps and pay attention to some emerging roots. On your right, always following the fence, begin to descend twenty steps, then other seven steps. The rock of Pianvalle can be seen on your right. Pass a small bridge, turn right, and descend other five steps, then turn left, and you will reach the site of the prehistoric village of Pianvalle. The village itself features the foundations of a few houses, arranged around the two sides of a main street, delimited by round stones covered with moss. To go back on the main trail, descend eight more steps. Once you are on the trail, turn left; you will pass by the Baita Pianvalle (restaurant) and reach a crossroad in five minutes.
At the crossroad, if you keep straight on, you will descend in about twenty minutes to the hamlet of Prestino. Follow via Ronchetto and via Bregno to reach Via Gabriele D’Annunzio, where the bus stop is.
If instead you take to the right, ascend towards St. Eutichio’s Cross along the cart-road whose construction was promoted by Pio Bagatti, a local benefactor. After three bends, the cart-road rejoins the trail number one of the Parco della Spina Verde just after the repeater (eleven minutes; twenty-five minutes in total, not counting the time to visit the site of Pianvalle).
Starting point via Castel Baradello, iron bar at the entrance of the trail number 1 of the Parco della Spina Verde
Finishing point St. Eutichio’s Cross
Route description hiking trails, some stretches of cart-road
Total length 3,5 Km
Travel time (on foot) 1 hour
Difficulty tourist trail
Rise 205 m
Maximum height 505 m slm
Pavement hiking trails and stretches of cart-road
Public transportation to starting point none
Public transportation from finishing point none
Parking areas on the starting point none