Today, with my loyal dog Chicca, I decide to explore the bridleway that from Pognana reaches Palanzo and the small church know as “Chiesetta del Soldo”, located on a breath-taking lookout on the Lake.

These spots are on the so called “Via Regia”, “King’s road” in English, a long path dating back to the Roman Age, connecting Bellagio with Brunate.

  • Ascent: 250 meters
  • Kind of trail: easy bridleway, suitable for all
  • Route Lenght: approximately 1 hour, plus to the time to visit Palanzo and the famous giant press.
  • Where to eat: Peppo’s bar in Pognana, Ristorante San Giorgio in Lemna

If you wish to reach Pognana by car from La Corte di Zizi or Cernobbio, take the SS583 heading to Torno, drive until you reach Pognana, where you can park your car right after the Meridiana Restaurant in Via Aldo Moro, or on the uphill between the City Hall and the cemetery.

If you wish to use public transport instead, you could take the C10 bus from Cernobbio and reach the Sant’Agostino stop, from which you have to take another bus, the C31, or reach Pognana by ferry directly from Cernobbio pier, in less than one hour; if you need to buy bus ticket when in Pognana, you can find them at Peppo’s Bar, near the City Hall.

I start my trip going behind the cemetery and going right, following the signs pointing the Via Regia and getting to Canzaga, a borough of Pognana, a small and lovely village. I continue to walk straight and I see a giant barrel on my left, while I arrive on a square where the Church of San Rocco is located.

I stop here for a bit since it’s the perfect spot to get some nice panoramic pictures.

I go down the staircase and find myself on the Strada Regia, keeping the left and crossing a bridge, until I start an easy uphill trail. After several hairpin bends, I see some steps and get to the Madonna of Loreto Chapel (now I’m a village called Palanzo).

I follow a paved road and, keeping left, I enter this well preserved Middle Age village, reaching the St. Ambrogio square. On the left, some signs point the Via del Soldo, a trail between fields and gardens that becomes a Via Crucis, until the Church know as “Madonna del Soldo“.

The Church is located on a panoramic terrace, with benches and a wide yard: I’ve reached my destination, so I rest here for a bit, enjoying the view.

If I were to continue for another 20 minutes on the paved road, I’d reach the San Giorgio Restaurant in Lemna for a tasty lunch.

On my way back, once I reach the St. Ambrogio Church, I pay a visit to the famous XV century giant press, well known for the local fair in October, located on a small street near the Church and always open for visits.