Stage 1 – From S. Abbondio to S. Carpoforo or to Baradello Castle
The trail starts from the Basilica of S. Abbondio.
After visiting the basilica, step up and cross the small parvis towards the pedestrian crossing you find on the left, and cross it.
Follow the gentle slope on the right, called via Pedemonte, to avoid the traffic of the nearby via Regina Teodolinda. After about 200 meters, regain the via Regina Teodolinda, and keep on the narrow pavement on the right, alongside the cemetery. Unfortunately, you will have to step down on the road to overcome a chapel, and to regain the pavement afterwards. After the main entrance of the cemetery (on the right a small parking lot can be found) and the bus stop, follow the main road and keep straight on. When you reach a wall, that interrupts this historical road, turn left towards the church of S. Rocco.
After visiting the church, turn right in via Teresa Rimoldi. This road without pavement starts climbing the hill towards the outstanding Baradello Castle that dominates the trail. On the left, you can see the ancient church of S. Lazzaro, which, unfortunately, now is in a very dilapidated state. On its facade, once a beautiful “danse macabre” was painted. The fresco was covered in the XIX century, as it was considered of bad omen. Its copy can now be seen in the City Art Gallery of Como (Palazzo Volpi).
After passing under the railway bridge, you find on the left the via Federico Barbarossa, a steep stairway, which is a shortcut of the main trail to the Baradello Castle.
About 200 meters forward, the trail to St. Eutichio’s Cross leaves via Rimoldi, to get on the right via Castel Baradello, which goes back northward for a short stretch – on the left it is rejoined by via Federico Barbarossa. By staying on via Rimoldi, instead, you will easily reach the ancient church of S. Carpoforo (see deviation 1).
After about 200 m., via Castel Baradello turns left and climbs decidedly up the hill. Here you enter the Parco della Spina Verde (Green Spine Park), marked by a green panel on the right.
After a bend, you reach the site called gènocc (“the knee”). On the left, a farmstead incorporates a few remains of the church of S. Martino in Silvis (look at the lunette above the portal). An iron cross commemorates the martyrdom of Saint Carpoforo and of his companions.
Further on, you’ll reach the bar indicating the way to Baradello Castle (see deviation 2); on your right, at the base of a rampart recently built to stop a small landslide, a narrow trail leads shortly to the start of the trail number one of the Parco della Spina Verde, signalled by a map, and by an iron bar (10 minutes; 25 minutes in total).
DEVIATION 1: THE CHURCH OF S. CARPOFORO
Keep straight on via Rimoldi. After about 10 minutes’ walking, just before the road starts to descend towards the road to Milan, turn right on Via San Carpoforo, that leads to the nuns’ monastery on the right and to the Basilica of S. Carpoforo on the left. The Basilica is open on Sundays, from 10 to 18 (between April and October) and from 10 to 14 (between November and March). An adventurous, and rather scrubby alternative route to the Basilica, starts right at the beginning of via Castel Baradello, on the left, marked by the green sign of the Parco della Spina Verde. The path starts with a short stairway, then continues up to S. Carpoforo. Grass on the route can be quite high.
DEVIATION 2: THE BARADELLO CASTLE
If, instead of taking the trail number one of the Parco della Spina Verde, you continue along the road on the right, which from this point onwards becomes a cart-road, you will be taken uphill, through a wood of chestnut trees and robinias. On the right, the bell tower of the church of S. Carpoforo can be seen between the leaves. After a couple of bends, just before passing alongside the small building that is the siege of the Club Baradell (public toilets), a marked trail on the left (arrow) will bring you back on the main trail in about 15 minutes’ walk. To visit Baradello Castle, instead, climb another couple of bends and reach a panoramic viewpoint on Como on the left, close to an ancient tower with ogival windows. On the right, you see the imposing tower of the Baradello Castle. The tower can be reached by climbing the sixty-six stairs that will bring you to the entrance (twenty-two minutes in total from the start of the deviation).
Starting point Basilica of S. Abbondio
Finishing point S. Carpoforo or Baradello Castle
Route description paved or asphalted roads
Total length 1,5 km
Travel time (on foot) 25 min
Difficulty tourist trail
Rise 85 m
Maximum height 300 m slm
Pavement asphalted roads without pavement, except for a short stretch in via Regina Teodolinda. The shortcut of via Federico Barbarossa is a steep stairway. Cart-road and stairway to the Baradello Castle
Parking areas on the starting point free parking is possible for most of via Regina Teodolinda between the railway station and Sant’Abbondio, and also afterwards, in the vicinity of the cemetery; right before the basilica, there are six or seven places. In front of the cemetery you will find a paying parking lot.