Path1. Amongst lakes, hills, castles and beautiful pleasure villas: the Walk of the Graces

This path starts from Piazza Sant’Eufemia in Erba, the square overlooked by the church of the same name, one of the most ancient parishes of the entire Diocese of Milan, with an imposing Romanesque belfry which has become the symbol of the town. The trail enters into the old fortified area of Villincino, the “cradle” of the noble family of the Carpanis, and, after touching Villa Majnoni d’Intignano and the provostship church of S. Maria Nascente (Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary), rises to Erba Alta (Upper Erba), which hosted another old fortress probably built between the 10th and 11th centuries to keep watch over the Pian d’Erba (Erba Plain) and the lakes of Brianza. This area was chosen in the 18th and 19th centuries by wealthy Milanese families for their magnificent country houses, which played host to famous writers, poets and artists, such as Vincenzo Monti, Carlo Porta, Giulio Carcano, Andrea Appiani, Antonio Canova and Francesco Hayez.

ìThe best known of these mansions is Villa Amalia, the scene of Ugo Foscolo’s romantic and tormented love for Maddalena Marliani Bignami, the owner’s daughter, i.e. the charming priestess dancer immortalized by the poet in his short poem “Le Grazie (The Graces)”

The last point of interest of this itinerary is another noble villa, Villa Ceriani, which is now a municipal property and site of the Erba Civic Museum, a good opportunity to investigate the history of the town and its surrounding area.

Path details

Point of departure Erba, Piazza Sant’Eufemia
Point of arrival Erba, Villa Ceriani
Path type urban route (stages 1, 2, 3 and 4)
Environment urban area
Total length approx. 3.4 km
Travel time on foot approx. 90 min (excluding visits)
Difficulty tourist (stages 1, 2, 3 and 4)
Access see single descriptions
Other recommended means of transport  –

Overlapping / Intersections with other paths



Click here to download information about this path


Silvia Fasana

We would like to thank Dr. Barbara Cermesoni, director of the Erba Civic Museum, Prof. Alberta Chiesa, and Prof. Rosella Spinelli Colombo, for their invaluable collaboration.


Giorgio Costanzo

Further information on the path

Rise: approx. 80 m
Maximum height: 355 m
Paving: asphalt, stone slabs, cobbles, gravel, concrete tiles, stone setts, concrete, dirt track
Public transport to the point of departure: ASF bus service (see bus company website); Trenord railway station in Piazza Padania
Public transport from the point of arrival: ASF bus service (see bus company website)
Parking at the point of departure: yes

Want to know more?

Historicals figures
Giuseppe Parini
Simone Cantoni
Leopoldo Pollack
Ugo Foscolo
Francesco Hayez
Giulio Carcano
Giuseppe Terragni
Carlo Emilio Gadda;
Mons. Aristide Pirovano

Our main bibliographical sources for this path have been a series of tourist brochures published by the Municipality of Erba, in particular:
G. Mauri, Alla scoperta di Erba e dintorni. Itinerario N. 1, Comune di Erba, Erba s.d.
G. Mauri, Alla scoperta della Vecchia Erba. Itinerario N. 2, Comune di Erba, Erba s.d.
G. Mauri, La via dei castelli. Itinerario N. 3, Comune di Erba, Erba s.d.
F. Isacchi, Il Museo di Erba. Itinerario N. 4, Comune di Erba, Erba s.d.
G. Mauri, Tra chiese e conventi. Itinerario N. 6, Comune di Erba, Erba s.d.
F. Isacchi, Castelli e rocche medievali nel Pian d’Erba, in Quaderni Erbesi, vol. IV, Erba 1981.
M. Colombo, Licinium. Un teatro una storia, Nuoveparole, Como 1991.
S. Fasana, G. Mauri, A. Molteni, Il Pian d’Erba e i laghi Briantei, Bellavite Editore, Missaglia 1998.
V. Longoni, Immagini della devozione nel Triangolo Lariano, Comunità Montana Triangolo Lariano, Canzo 2000.
L. P. Gnaccolini, M. Pasinetti, M. Rossi, A. Spiriti, M. C. Terzaghi, S. Ventafridda, G. Virgilio, Guide della Provincia di Como – Il Triangolo Lariano, Amministrazione Provinciale di Como, Istituto per la Storia dell’Arte Lombarda, Nodo Libri, Como 2002.
V. Longoni, Guida alla scoperta del Triangolo Lariano, Comunità Montana Triangolo Lariano, Canzo 2004.
S. Fasana, Tra i due rami di lago. Natura da proteggere nel Triangolo Lariano, Comunità Montana Triangolo Lariano, Canzo 2006.
S. Fasana, Un Triangolo da scoprire, Comunità Montana Triangolo Lariano, Canzo 2008.
M. Colombo, Teatro Licinium. Una storia che continua, Accademia dei Licini, Erba 2009.

Municipality of Erba website
Pastoral Community of S. Eufemia in Erba website
Erba on Wikipedia
Upper Brianza tourism website
“Alta Brianza” website Conceived by Stefano Ripamonti, a young Erba researcher who unfortunately died at the age of 26 in 2013, this website is a true mine of information on Upper Brianza in general, and the town of Erba in particular. The website is constantly update by his family so that Stefano’s work may not be lost.