Monday, 20 June 2016

High Above Lake Como at Rifugio Menaggio

The Brexit referendum looms on Thursday and I have given myself a media ban until Friday, as I have spent far too much time reading articles of all different newspapers and fretting over my future in Italy as an extra-communitaria. My emergency plan is applying for Italian citizenship, which gives me funny feelings. A. said after eating my pasta pomodoro of Monday night that I've already passed HIS Italian citizenship test. If only it was so easy!

Today I read two posts from expats who are giving up on life in Italy. I can't say it has never crossed my mind, but I'm trying to stay focussed on the positives, because moving back to Bristol seems a whole lot harder than we expected. 

My parents came over to visit me and my Dad was well enough to do the hike far faster than me up Monte Grona, which is one of the Alps running along Lake Como's Western shore. We may have disagreed on the EU but we certainly could all agree on the beauty of the views and the delights of eating polenta in a mountain refuge. 

Details of the walk below if anyone is interested.

It looked like it might rain.

But the clouds kept swirling around us and giving glimpses into Switzerland.

Destination: Pizzo Coppa (very funny to google image) and WHAT A VIEW
 Drive to Breglia and take the small steep road signposted for Rifugio Menaggio and Plesio. The road is mostly asphalt so don't let the unasphalted bits put you off. At the end of the road there is a car park.  (When visiting the alps in the summer it is generally a good idea to arrive before 10.30 if you want to find parking).

Starting point:  The car park above Plesio at about 996m. Follow the trail for Rifugio Menaggio. It climbs through the woods and then levels off, offering stunning views of the lake and Refuge. 

When you get up to the Refuge (1383m) about 45 mins later you have several options. We did the short version which is going along the fairly narrow path to view point Pizzo Coppa (1420m), admiring the view and then heading back for lunch at the Refuge

From Pizzo Coppa you can take the Direttissima (difficulty: Experienced Excursionist) up to the top of the mountain, or you can go up to the top of Monte Grona (1736m) a slightly less alarming way - if like me you are afraid of heights - via the Via Normale which takes about 90 minutes.

The views from the top are EPIC, but you need to be physically up to it because the second part of the walk is strenuous.

More info from the Walking Englishman HERE.

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