One of the most interesting aspects of the project Non Solo Lago (Non just Lake) is that you can learn a lot about the history of Lake Como.
Northern Lake Como, often overlooked by tourists, is actually a perfect destination especially for those who love hiking. Have you ever heard of Valle Albano Park or Val Cavargna? Well I had, for I live here, but I’d never actually been there before. Last August Hiking Como Lake organised a trekking with their Alpine guide Francesca Mai and the support of Non Solo Lago (Not Just Lake).
I was one of the lucky participants. Our party of seven (Fancesca included) made its way through a foggy morning from rifugio Mottafoiada (1316m above sea level) to Rifugio S.Jorio (1988m above sea level), where we had a very filling lunch based on local cheese and cold cuts, pot roast and cornmeal.
On the second weekend of October Andrea Savonitto, manager of Rifugio Croce di Campo (1740m above sea level), organised a two-days hike in a valley just South of Valle Albano Park, Val Cavargna. I couldn’t take part in this hike, so why am I writing about it, too?
Because they have something in commo: both Val Cavargna and Valle Albano Park were the scene of massive smuggling during the 19th century, when the so called spalloni (couriers) used to illegally cross the border with Switzerland as soon as it got dark, carrying big baskets of straw called bricolle, and came back before dawn full of cigarettes and other comfort items that would later be sold on the black markets of Lecco and Milano.
The next century the same itineraries were used by fugitives at the end of World War II, who, with a reverse journey, would look for freedom in Switzerland.
For those who might be interested in learning more about the role of this territory in the Antifascist Resistance and in the end of the war, there is a whole network of trails, drawn from the original paths, and a museum in Dongo.
Caterina, Land Ambassador