Stage 3 – From the Church of S. Francesco to Gajum
Leave the precinct of S. Francesco by the passage on your right, and, after turning right, take the asphalted Via Gajum. Walk this road uphill, following the signs indicating the footpaths to Canzo’s Horns, Cornizzolo, and Alpe Alto, classic foothill excursions destinations. After 80 metres, on the right side of the road, a niche in the wall of a beautiful holiday home at number 4 houses a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes. After about 170 metres, the road bends to the right, and, after a further 30 metres, to the left: continue to follow it and leave it after 90 metres, taking, to the right (following the trail of footpath no. 3 leading to the Cornizzolo), a track made of cobbles covered with grass. After about 50 metres you will reach a small clearing with gravel and grass, shaded by large lime trees (please mind the step), occupied by the Chapel of S. Michele, built on a hexagonal plan. This place was used as a hospice during the cholera epidemic of 1863 and perhaps also during previous outbreaks of the infection.
Leave the square from the left, and, after a short stretch of grass, follow the cobbled path that descends from mount Pesora for about 50 metres until, by turning right, you once again join the asphalted Via Gajum. After approx. 530 metres, you will see on your right the old building of the “Fonte Gajum” Hotel Restaurant and Bar, now closed. Immediately after this building, turn left and cross the bridge over the Ravella stream which is protected by approx. 50 cm high concrete abutments, surmounted by a 70 cm high wooden railing. Opposite is the Hotel Restaurant Sorgente, the only one open in Gajum; on the other side a short deviation leads to a pitch on the bank of the Ravella stream where the spring, a parallelepiped made of stone blocks with two spouts, is located. The fame of this water is so widespread that it attracts many people from outside Canzo, too; a municipal ordinance limits to six the number of bottles which can be filled consecutively. In the Sixties of the last century a private company was established to bottle the spring water, later sold by the owners to the Bognanco corporation; now the plant is no longer active and part of the Gajum water feeds the fountain inside the garden of Villa Meda.
The name Gajum derives from the term Gaúmm in local dialect, which indicates the hull of the nut. Gajum is a classic point of rest and refreshment for hikers who for more than a century have been venturing on Canzo’s Horns, Cornizzolo, Sasso Malascarpa, Prasanto and Mount Rai through the Ravella Valley. You can still see the stone tables and benches dating back to the nineteenth century, when this place was discovered from the tourist point of view. There are several car parks in the area. However, during the summer season, Via Gajum is closed to traffic on Sundays and public holidays, therefore impeding access.
Point of departure Canzo, Church of S. Francesco
Point of arrival Canzo, Gajum
Path type tourist
Total length approx. 1130 m
Travel time on foot 20 min
Rise 75 m
Maximum height 485 m
Paving asphalt, porphyry cubes, cobbles, grass
Public transport to the point of departure –
Public transport from the point of arrival –
Parking at the point of departure yes
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