Lake Como and its infinite experiences: sights to see, places to live and activities all in one place! 

Let’s go to Orrido di Bellano!

Lake Como offers infinite sights to see and to admire all year round, together with a lot of places to experience.

Not far from our Hotel Loveno there’s a place of incredible beauty and charm. We’d like to take you to Orrido di Bellano, a place which hides mysteries and legends, ever since.

Bellano is a small town on the eastern shore of the lake, in the Province of Lecco, famous for its natural 15-thousand-year-old ravine, the Orrido, welcoming every year hundreds of tourists.

We’re talking about a natural gorge created by the erosion of the Pioverna river and the Adda Glacier which, over the centuries, have shaped the rock into gigantic potholes, gloomy ravines, and suggestive caverns.

But let’s go deeper and find out what this place to experience holds us.

Experience Orrido di Bellano on Lake Como, you’ll love its history and curiosities.

A real exciting experience on Lake Como is enjoying a visit to Orrido di Bellano a natural gorge with waterfalls.

Over time, the water has carved the gorge and shaped the imposing rocks of the mountains, creating a gloomy and evocative environment. The dark roar of the tumultuous waters and the terribly wild beauty of nature have always inspired mysterious tales and legends. In fact, these places are still shrouded in an aura of mystery thanks to the many legends and storytelling handed down.

Just at the entrance of the Orrido, you’ll find the “Cà del Diavol” (Devil’s House, in English), one of those places evoking chills and fears in most people, making the Orrido even more charming and mysterious.

It is a three-story pentagonal little tower, built close to the Pioverna river, whose origin and function are unknown. Some studies make it back up to the late XVII century, probably with the aim of controlling lake navigations. 

Its name is linked to the mythological figures, including a satyr and the devils, who decorate the top floor facade. The turret has an unusual charm in its aspect which has given rise to numerous rumors about the real functions of the building. Given the esoteric symbols abundantly present on the walls of the “Devil’s House”, many are ready to swear that there, until recently, satanic or pagan rituals were celebrated. 

Nowadays the turret is a work in progress, ready to be transformed into a museum.

About Bellano and its sights to see.

Bellano is a quaint small town that has always been linked to water: not only to that of the lake but also to the Orrido’s one because, with its power, it has guaranteed, for centuries, the strength necessary to move the machines of its numerous factories to ensure citizens work and well-being. 

From the primitive system of canals and tunnels to the more modern penstock system, the waters of the Pioverna were exploited first by the ironworks, spinning mills, and cotton mills and then by the more recent hydroelectric station; all these activities have in common the place where they arise or have arisen: the mouth of the canyon, the best point to take advantage of the natural water jump.

Its waterfall is in fact another main attraction of this staggering place, which we value as one of the best places to visit while you’re around.

But it’s not the only sight to see. For trekking and hiking lovers, Bellano is the place to be.

The Sentiero del Viandante is a half-coast path that runs along the eastern shore of Lake Como, joining Lecco and Colico, touching all the municipalities of the coast, continuing towards the Valtellina thanks to a network of paths, offering to all the “wayfarers”, astonishing views and sights to admire.

Same thing for the “Ancient Route of Valsassina”, discovering the hidden side of the Bellano area, and many more.

Hiking around Bellano is one of the best ways to experience more of the landscape and visiting the Orrido is one of the must-to-do things!

Geography of the Orrido and location 

Just a footstep from Varenna, and located in the heart of Bellano, the Orrido is a breathtaking natural wonder which worth a visit.

But how it was born?

Created 15 million years ago, the Orrido was born from the erosion of Pioverna river and Adda Glacier only in part.

Almost all the slopes of the ravine are affected by the deep-seated gravitational slope deformation (DGSD), a phenomenon that determines its shape and position. The deformation caused by the DGSD is maximum at the confluence of the two valleys, since at the edge, the slope is attracted by the force of gravity, on both sides, that of the tributary valley and that of the main valley. 

In these conditions, the watercourse that runs through the tributary valley is often obstructed, or even closed, by the movement of the slopes and is forced to dig a gorge to pass. This is what happened to Pioverna river, in correspondence with the Orrido, which is located at the confluence of the Val Muggiasca and the valley of the lake. Due to the tectonic movements and consequent earthquakes, the DGSD affecting the slopes has narrowed the Pioverna in correspondence with the Orrido, creating the deep canyon.

Visits and tourism

The narrow canyon can be visited thanks to a system of walkways anchored on the high walls overlooking the water, perfectly illuminated even in the evening when the charm of the place takes on different shades.

The walkway has recently been lengthened to reach the large waterfall and to offer the visitors an amazing experience.

Orrido di Bellano is Bellano’s main tourist attraction and one of the most fascinating places to see on Lake Como.

You can reach it by car, taking the ferry to Varenna from Menaggio, in 40 minutes.

The tourist office is available every day of the year for all the visitors coming to this place. 

Since it’s full of stairs and small passages it is not recommended for families with strolls, but all the children are welcome, the toddlers do not even pay for the tickets.

For all info about how to get there and tickets you can ask us at Hotel Loveno, or just surf the internet to purchase the tickets online or by WhatsApp.

In any case, it will be a pleasure for us to show you all the sights, attractions and places to see on our beautiful Lake Como, maybe in front of a glass of good wine on our Hotel Loveno’s terrace!

Contact us to discover more

– Sara