Stage 3 – From Rovenna to the church of St. Nicholas in Casnedo
From the Rovenna War Memorial take the paved via della Libertà, keeping to the left; after approx. 40 metres you will find an uneven asphalt pavement, which ends after 5 metres in conjunction with the exit ramp of the adjacent parking lot. After another 10 metres the pavement ends, joining the road: however, take care to turn right in order to not trip over the base of the signalling devices.
After about 5 metres, take Via Monte Santo on the left, downhill; this stretch is paved, and runs between private property enclosures. The name of this hamlet is Porgino. After about 200 metres, this section of via Monte Santo leads into via della Libertà, which you cross on the pedestrian crossing. You then carry on along via Monte Santo, climb 6 short wide steps, made of cobblestone mixed with asphalt (with treads about a metre wide and 5 centimetres high), and then on uneven asphalt.
After approx. 70 metres, the left edge is marked by a low barrier that is about 3cm high to start with, gradually rises to a height of approx. 40cm for about 40 metres, and then stops short of the last 5m of the road (here it is therefore advisable to keep to the right). From this section you can enjoy a beautiful view of the centre of Cernobbio, with Risorgimento Square, the Riva (Bank) par excellence, the Church of St. Vincent, a former parish already mentioned in a document dating back to 1183, and the current Church of the most holy Redeemer, built in the 20th century.
You then once again cross via della Libertà, and continue on the right for 30 metres, where you will find the Church of Our Lady of Graces in Toldino (next to the C28 Rovenna – Como bus stop to Como), rebuilt in the early seventeenth century by Como nobleman Giovanni Ambrogio Carcano, and radically restored in 1984. Right beside here, the Rovenna primary school building (now demolished and replaced by a private home) once stood, which was the historic home of the Art and Craft School of Rovenna, established at the beginning of the last century.
You then have to cross the road again in front of the restaurant “Il Gatto Nero” (there is a C28 Rovenna – Como bus stop to Rovenna here, too), being very careful as there is no pedestrian crossing. By taking via Monte Santo downhill, which is in uneven asphalt in this section, you enter the centre of Toldino. After about 15 metres you must again pay attention, as a water drain grid occupies the width of the road in its entirety. After a further 80 metres you will arrive in the square named after Apollo Pieroni(1860-1935), vice-mayor of Rovenna, where you will see a beautiful fountain with a granite basin, next to the slabs of the rock which surfaces at the base of the dry stone wall supporting via della Libertà. On the left, at the beginning of via Asmara (not included in this route), a niche in the dry stone wall, highlighted by a concrete piece of work imitating the surfacing rock and surmounted by a cross, hosts a small picture, protected by a grate, of the statue of Our Lady of Bisbino, currently located on the church’s high altar; at its feet, the Shrine. You then turn right onto a staircase of 12 asphalt steps.
A detour in via Moltrasio leads to the still cultivated agricultural plateau of Cassinella; after about 30 metres, to your right, you find a seventeenth century (1608) sandstone portal, walled, and surmounted by an arch with the trigram indicating Christ (IHS) as its keystone, and a bas-relief of the Madonna and Child. This portal, according to Irene Fossati in her book Cernobbio. Guida ai luoghi e alle cose (Cernobbio. Guide to places and things), probably comes from one of the several small convents scattered on the hill.
Walking back from the base of the asphalt steps, turn right, and after about 25 metres, ignoring the junction with via della Libertà (where there is a C28 Rovenna – Como bus stop to Rovenna), continue to walk downhill along the 16 cobbled/asphalt steps. First you will flank a large gray building, where you can get a glimpse of a number of fine architectural details, such as the cornices, the terrace with wrought iron railings, and the gate to the garden: this is the Pieroni house, which enjoys a panoramic view of Cernobbio and the first basin of the lake. The cobbled steps give way to a rather uneven mixed concrete and asphalt road surface, which only occasionally lets sections of the old cobbled street resurface. After approx. 90 metres, you are back in via della Libertà, which you cross on the pedestrian crossing. Then you have to proceed slightly downhill along via Monte Santo, the first part of which is paved with cobblestone (the rest being a mix of cobbles and asphalt), walking between private property enclosures on each side of the road. After about 120 metres the road passes over the stream that flows from the Buco della Volpe: ignore the asphalted side-road that rises to the right, and take the cobbled street running downhill on the left for 150 metres. From here you can enjoy a beautiful view over one of the most famous and prestigious mansions of Lake Como: Villa d’Este, the internationally renowned deluxe hotel.
The left verge of the last 80 metres of this section is protected by a low wall the height of which gradually increases from 60 centimetres to one metre. After about 25m from the start of the low wall you find a series of 30 short wide cobbled steps, with wide treads, leading to the end of this section. At number 21, in the hamlet of Pollirolo, formerly Fontanella, to your left there is a building that was once the ancient Grotto of the “Puliroo”, a typical nineteenth-century inn, now a private home.
You will end up in via della Libertà, where there is a C28 Rovenna – Como bus stop to Como, and, just behind it, a small parking area. This part of the route is shared with a section of CamminaCittà Cernobbio Path 1- Stage 3, coming from the Garden Valley below. Turn left downhill along via della Libertà, cross the bridge over the Garrovo stream and continue until you reach via Angelo Noseda which goes uphill, after you have crossed the road (be careful, as there is no pedestrian crossing). Continue on the left of the road for approx. 75 metres, until you reach via Casnedo, which runs downhill. The first section of the road is cobbled and with terraced steps (24), then, as it turns right (there’s a fountain) it becomes flat and paved with asphalt until one reaches the flight of 10 steps which, on the right, leads to the churchyard of the Parish Church of St. Nicholas in Casnedo, the point of departure and also of arrival of our itinerary.
Point of departure Cernobbio, Rovenna, War Memorial
Point of arrival Cernobbio, Casnedo, church of St. Nicholas
Route type a mix of urban and excursionist
Total length approx. 1250m
Time on foot 35 min
Difficulty Tourist-Excursion, downhill, sections showing a mix of cobbled-concrete-asphalt paving and steps
Rise 450m asl
Maximum altitude 450 m slm
Paving material asphalt, cobbles, flags
Public means of transportation to the departure point bus service (see bus company website)
Public means of transportation from the arrival point bus service (see bus company website)
Parking at the departure point yes