The Antica Strada Regina, built by the Romans, was an important road connection along the west side of the lake, between Como and the alpine passes. At some points it follows the same route as the current lake side road but it runs mostly parallel to it. This stretch starts at Nobiallo (part of the commune of Menaggio) and leads along the slopes of “Sasso Rancio” to Rezzonico with splendid views of the lake.
ITINERARY:Menaggio-Nobiallo- Sasso Rancio -Acquaseria - Molvedo - Santa Maria – Rezzonico
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 3 hrs
ASCENT: 150 m
DIFFICULTY: steep ascent over Sasso Rancio
TRAIL SIGNS: some wooden signs indicating “il Sentiero del Giubileo 2000”
CONNECTIONS: Menaggio can be reached by hydrofoil, boat or bus line C10,C12
Rezzonico is connected by bus line C10
ROUTE: In Menaggio from Piazza Garibaldi follow the lake promenade “Lungo Lago Castelli” and pass by the Lido of Menaggio. Then follow via Roma and turn right into via Cipressi. Just past the campsite Europa you end up on the main road. Follow the sidewalk to the right till you reach the entrance of a tunnel where you pick up the pedestrian road on the right side of it. It passes the rock-climbing face and ends on the main road again. Cross the road in order to follow the side walk. After 100 m leave it and take the street to the left that leads uphill to the Carabinieri station. You enter the centre of Nobiallo which used to be a fisher men’s village and pass the church of S. Bartolomeo and Nicolao with its leaning bell-tower of the 13th century. At the end of the village there is the Sanctuary “Madonna della Pace” built in 1660. From here the “Vecchia Strada Regina” starts to climb up the slopes of Sasso Rancio where in the 18th and 19th century there were iron mines. You see the famous “Villa La Gaeta”, built in the twenties and used as location in the James Bond film “Casino Royale”,below you. Past a “modern residence”, you continue straight on and then the track eventually leads down steeply to the former lakeside road used before the tunnels were built. Go left and you arrive on the main road in between two tunnels. Paying attention to the traffic, follow it to the entrance of the next tunnel where you take the former lake side road on the right of the entrance. After 30 m there is a track on the left which leads above the entrance of the tunnel. The track conducts through the woods to the first houses of the town Acquaseria. Cross the bridge over the river Serio and enter the centre of the town. When you reach the church of S. Abbondio take the street on the right side of it. Follow via Regina Margherita and at the end of the town, at a fork, take to the right (left the road leads up to Pezzo).The street eventually becomes a cobble stone track that leads to the village of Molvedo. In Molvedo, the Antica Strada Regina is interrupted by the park of Villa Camilla. To bypass the park you ascend to the hamlet Mastena. At the end of the cobble stone street connecting Acquaseria with Molvedo, near an old cabin of the electricity works, take the mule track to the left. Once at the hamlet turn right,cross the centre of the village,and at the stream called Cellino take the mule track that descends to the right. It leads to a road which you cross twice. At the end of the small street, go left and you arrive at an oratory. We recommend a small detour to the lake to admire the church of Santa Maria (1464) next to the ruins of an old roman fortress. Turn back to the little church and then cross the road leading up to the various hamlets of San Siro. Continue on the Antica Strada Regina among small kitchen gardens and between stone border walls in the direction of Rezzonico. Just before arriving at Rezzonico, on the right, you pass the“Castellaccio” which is what remains of a medieval watch tower. Around its remains there is a picnic area with fountain. The cobble stone path ascends to the ex lakeside road which you cross to enter the centre of Rezzonico. We highly recommend you go down to the lake side to the little picturesque harbour. Then pass under the portico and go up one of the cobblestone steps that lead up to the castle of Rezzonico with a 14th century tower. From here you go to the main road where you find the bus stop.