This itinerary winds through the heart of Sorico, showing the main monuments and places where the presence of San Miro has left an indelible mark on the town.
It starts from Piazza Cesare Battisti, the main square of the town. Opposite, you can immediately admire the marvellous Church of Santo Stefano 1, built in 1443 to replace the parish church of Olonio, but radically remodelled at the beginning of the 18th century on the initiative of the Giulini family.
Take Via Cesare Battisti located at the beginning of the square. Walk along the street as far as the paved road that is also used as a bike path. Along the way, you will see the town’s ancient washhouse 2, no longer used today.
Continue for about 200 metres, turn left towards the lake. At this point, the Mera river flows into Lake Como creating a unique spectacle, with Monte Legnone in the background. To the right of the forecourt there is a beautiful tree-lined avenue, whose beech trees turn a beautiful orange-red colour in autumn. Continue on the left along the paved road for another 300 metres, turn left and follow the road that runs alongside the San Miro stream. It’s worth mentioning the presence of a small dilapidated tower, which is testimony of the ancient watchtowers positioned in strategic points of the town. From the 16th to the 19th century, Sorico was the border between the Canton of Grisons and the Duchy of Milan and served as a military outpost and a crossroads for trade to northern European countries.
Continue for another 100 meters and turn left. Walk along the road and past the carpark to the public playground. At the end of it, there is a beautiful fountain with the contemporary art installation “L’unione delle forze” (The Union of Forces) 3, which was created by the Brianza-born painter and sculptor, Paolo Polli. Through the fusion of everyday materials, he manages to create sculptures of rare elegance and lightness that betray the real material composition. The chromatic contrast of the shapes corresponds to the idea of the union of different expressive forces.
Go back to Piazza Cesare Battisti, cross the Regina State Road and turn right into the red asphalt road parallel to the main road. Please note that this part of the route is not suitable for people with reduced mobility as it has uphill sections on mountain tracks.
Continue for about 200 meters, and cross the bridge over the San Miro stream. Keep left on the cobblestoned Via Antica Regina. Cross the second bridge over the stream. After the bridge, turn left and continue on the mule track that plunges into the woods. After a few steps you will see a mighty stone tower, now a private residence, testimony of the various watchtowers positioned in strategic points of the town. Behind the tower, protected by a large boulder, is the grotto 4, today reduced to a aedicule, where San Miro died in 1381. The saint, venerated for his miraculous ability to bring rain in times of drought, was born in Canzo in 1345 and devoted his life to poverty, solitude and pilgrimage. Continue uphill along the mule track to the Fonte di San Miro 5, an elegant little chapel that protects the perennial source of water that, according to legend, was miraculously sprung by the hermit. After a short climb you finally reach the portico that closes the entrance to the churchyard of the Church of San Miro 6. Of Romanesque origin, it was originally named after San Michele, but in the 15th century it was dedicated to the hermit saint following the discovery of his body inside the church, where his remains still lie. From the beginning, the sanctuary became the destination of numerous pilgrimages, so much so that it was enlarged and enriched with valuable frescoes.
A spectacular view of the lake and Monte Legnone can be admired from the church. Go back to Piazza Cesare Battisti along the same uphill route.
|Starting point||Piazza C. Battisti|
|Arrival point||Piazza C. Battisti|
|Height difference||160 m|
|Duration||50 minutes on foot without stopping|