Stage 5 – Artists’ paradise
After having walked until this point immersed in a medieval atmosphere, where the intense civic and religious life of the islanders up to the Island’s destruction of 1169 seems to echo out from the past, this stage draws us near to a different world. With your back to the entrance of the church, take the dirt track on your left going eastwards, called the “Sentiero degli artisti (Path of artists)”. It begins with 12 stone steps going downhill (the right edge being protected by an iron railing) and after approx. 20 metres of flat land you reach the first of the three Houses for Artists in rationalist style, built in stone and wood by Tremezzo architect Pietro Lingeri in 1933 to accommodate artists from all over the world wishing to enjoy relaxing and quiet periods in contact with nature. Continuing for a further 50 metres you reach the second house and you can also see the third, a little lower down on the right. It should be remembered that the houses are not open for visits unless you take a guided tour, as they can be temporarily inhabited.
Those who wish may continue along the “Path of artists” that runs along the eastern shore of the island, which offers a splendid view of the Point of Balbianello in Lenno, and then returns to the clearing which hosts the ruins of the Basilica of S. Eufemia.
Otherwise, turn back to the complex of Ss. Faustino and Giovita and continue along a footpath which is initially paved, then cobbled and terraced while running downhill (with some broader plateaus now and then), which at first takes you to the entrance of the “Locanda dell’Isola” restaurant and the “La botte” bar, the only points of refreshment on the Island, and then, after a wide bend and 7 paved steps, to the small wooden house that acts as an info point/ticket office. The last stretch is protected on the right edge by a metal railing, about one metre high.
Walking back on the first stretch of our route you return to the pier where the private boat which will take you to the mainland is moored. In front of the pier, on the “puncia” (a local term meaning “point”, peninsula) of Sala Comacina, stands Villa Rachele, formerly Beccaria, quietly overlooking the lake, with its simple and neat architectural features, typical of the first half of the 19th century.
Point of departure Comacina Island, complex of Ss. Faustino and Jovita
Point of arrival Comacina Island, pier
Path type tourism-excursion route
Total length approx. 300m
Travel time (on foot) 10 min
Maximum height 215m
Paving dirt track, grass, stone, concrete
Public transport to the point of departure –
Public transport from the point of arrival boat (see the Navigazione Lago di Como website)
Parking at the point of departure –