February 27, 2024 0 Comments Walks

The Trail of Expressions… for walking while having fun!

In summer, the desire to be outdoors seems insatiable! And here, on Lake Como, one of the most pleasant ways to do this is certainly by going into the mountains. So today I am going to tell you about a walk, the one along The Trail of Expressions (Il Sentiero delle Espressioni), to be marked if you are looking for a route that is not too complicated, not too long, but still with lots of surprises!

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Hi, I’m Marta, Local Blogger of Lake Como! Would you like to include the Path of Expressions in your itinerary? Discover my Travel Designer service!

It is a perfect hike to do especially in spring or late summer and one that I would avoid in winter, as it is almost entirely in the woods and on the less sunny side of the valley.

I love it and at the end of the article I will explain why, but let’s go in order and start with the information that probably interests you most!

What is the Trail of Expressions in the Intelvi Valley ?

carving along the Trail of Expressions, Lake Como

The Trail of Expressions is an itinerary created in the forests of the Intelvi Valley, above the village of Argegno, which combines art and nature in a very special way! In fact, the entire route is enlivened and embellished by dozens and dozens of wood carvings, created by local expert carvers, and winds through pastures and unique panoramic views!

Inaugurated in 2014, thanks to a successful area enhancement project coordinated by local associations and authorities, it is in fact constantly evolving.

Yes, because the artists of the M.A.SCH.E.R.A association, the same ones who make the masks of the famous Schignano Carnival, are full of imagination and every year enrich the already large group of sculptures with new characters.

Pleasant and not too demanding, it is suitable for people with a minimum of training.

Many people ask me if it is also suitable for families with children, and in these cases I answer by using numbers, so that everyone can get a better idea of the characteristics of the itinerary:

  • the length is approximately 7.5km
  • the difference in altitude is 370m
  • the walking time is about 3 hours

I would add that it has no dangerous spots, if you stick to the route, and that it is well signposted.

The cultural association M.A.SCH.E.R.A. of Schignano was founded in 2010 with the aim of bringing together in a single group people united by a passion above all for the art of mask carving and, more generally, for the costumes, characters and history of the historic carnival. Another distinctive trait of those who are part of this precious group of people is the love for their country and local folklore traditions.

How to get to the Trail of Expressions and where to eat

First you must reach Schignano (village above Argegno), then the hamlet of Posa, the starting point of the trail.

starting point of the Trail of expressions

Starting point of the Trail of Expressions (Posa)

It must be said that there are not many places to leave your car here, so if there is no parking space, you can continue on to Almanno, about 300 metres further on.

The path begins with a steep climb starting between two farmsteads.

In about 20 minutes you reach Alpe Nava and from there continue first to Alpe Comana (Agriturismo Pratolina), where it is possible to eat, then climb to the top of Monte Comana (1096m), by far the most scenic point, and then head towards Roccolo del Messo (1165m).

panorama lake como

From the top of Mount Comana

The most challenging and steepest section is the one leading to the viewpoint on Monte Comana, but I assure you it is absolutely worth it!

What the sculptures represent and what I liked

You will immediately notice that the wooden sculptures depict and evoke different worlds, some of them interconnected and often strongly linked to the history of the area.

In particular, five themes can be identified:

  • agriculture, food and, in a broader sense, life
  • the expressions, or even emotions, of the soul (this is the first group of sculptures to be created and from which the entire route was named)
  • smuggling, a widespread phenomenon in these lands in the past
  • myths and legends of the forest
  • the Great War

If everything I have told you so far still hasn’t convinced you to set out, I will conclude by telling you what I love most about this path:

1# The setting in which it winds, which is simply magnificent! You are completely immersed in beech and coniferous forests and the glimpses you get are extraordinary and regenerating.

Panorama of the Intelvi Valley, along the Trail of Expressions

2# The playful side of the route: it is not a point-and-click walk, but a real treasure hunt, discovering one ‘character’ after another. The fun aspect lies in discovering, in the most disparate spots, wooden sculptures of all kinds, woodland creatures, faces and figures, the fruit of the artists’ creativity.

wooden sculpture along the path of expressions

3# The craftsmanship of the carvers. It is all noticeable and one is surprised to see how simple logs and barks become true works of art!

Wooden sculpture 'the course of life'

4# The idea of enhancing the mountain through an ancient expression of art that is strongly linked to tradition and territory.

In short, a must-try!

If you like walks on Lake Como, discover my favourites!