Under ConstrHow to Reach us
From the nozzle of Germasino
We follow the road n^340 up of Lake Como till Dongo, where we take the main road westwards N^5 Rising to Stazzona Germasino and Garzeno.
Once in Garzeno, at the first right-handed bend, ignore the detour that leads to Brenzeglio (see the other route).
On the next left-hand bend, we take the detour to San Anna and the nozzle of Germasino.
The road through woods of chestnuts, goes up by several hairpin bends up the slopes of Mount Cortafon; exceed the church of S. Anna and the nearby small place of rest and comes to the nozzle of Germasino (d. 1239).
It then goes along the north side of the mountain, even at first paved and then dirt.
During the winter, the northern exposure of the route, from the mouthpiece until the hut Giovo, means that the road is icy or snowy.
We therefore need to park the car and start out knowing that we will reach the Rifugio San Jorio only after a dozen miles of road.
In the summer however, until the Refuge "il Giovo", the road is passable by car, preferably by an off-road because the road is not in perfect condition.
The first half mile or so, after the nozzle, are still unpaved. Then continue on dirt road proceeding almost flat and halfway into the woods.
Ignore a road on the left that leads to Alpe Brunedo and after 3.3 km of walking we arrive at a crossroads.
Some signs indicate that going to the right, after two hundred meters down slightly, we arrive at the Refuge Mottafoiada (d. 1316), while if you continue on the right to reach the shelters il Giovo, San Jorio and Sommafiume.
The dirt road starts to climb slightly and shortly after we can see on the right, beneath us, the Refuge Mottafoiada.
We continue then on a few bends, but always with little slope, leaving the woods and up the north side of Motto of Paraone (d. 1809).
We pass a small stream that descends from the left and passes under the road.
Then, before and after a bend, we pass twice under the power lines.
After another small stream of water passing under the road, we reach a fountain (d. 1595) upstream of which on the right there is a hut.
On slight traces of the path we can go right and reach the hut and then continue uphill to the right to a toll of the aqueduct back to tap the dirt.
In this way we'll shorten a little the path by cutting the hairpin. Of course, alternatively we can follow the road doing a longer tour.
On the right, on the other side of the valley we see a hut, and another one is on the valley floor.
Looking at the bottom, top right, we begin to see the outline of the Refuge San Jorio nearby the homonymous pass.
An almost flat stratch of road leads to the wide saddle of Motto Paraone between the two valleys of San Jorio and Albano where is located the Rifugio il Giovo (d. 1714).
If you have arrived here by car you have to park because the traffic is not further allowed.
Top right is clearly visible the Rifugio San Jorio.
The Refuge Sommafiume is rather farther and harder to be identified. People with binoculars or a good view can try to look on the left on top of a hill, at the head of the Valle Albano.
Follow the dirt road just after a few steps we reach a crossroads. To the right there are two wooden tables with benches and a cool fountain with a basin. The markings indicate to the left: the Pizzo di Gino (3.15 hours), Vegna (Cavargna Valley 4.15 hours), Refuge Sommafiume (1.15 hours) to Rifugio Menaggio (8.15 hours) on the right: Rifugio San Jorio (0.50 hours), the Pass San Jorio (1 hour), Lakes Roggio (1.30 hours) and Cardinello Mount (4.30 hours).
There is also a bulletin board on the left which indicates the Laboratory of Environmental Research and Education Nembruno.
Let's go to the right. The road has a little slope and alternates dirt roads to paved surfaces.
Near a motorway aqueduct (d. 1765), we ignore a small road that descends to the right Alpe Possolo.
We pass a bend where a small stream passes under the path. Here the wall of the mountain is covered with rhododendrons.
Just above there are several burrows of marmots that rush headlong at our appearance. Near the Giovo we met a deer. This shows how little these valleys are attended and how they are still pristine.
The bottom of the road becomes paved and will remain so until the refuge.
We make a turn to the right and pass in succession six streams that descend from the mountain and pass in the path.
Later on a path off to the right (d. 1915) and a marker indicates the Alta Via Lario, Lakes Roggio (at 1 hour) and Hut Como (8.30 hours). Continuing our walk the same trail reports the Refuge San Jorio (20 minutes) and the Swiss-Italian border.
A little further on there is a stake planted in the middle of the road to prevent the transit to those who had arrived here by car.
On the right side, a cable service to a hut that we see at the top.
A few more steps and the road ends in front of the Refuge San Jorio.
Time spent hours 3.20 - Difference in height: m. 741
We follow the road n^340 of the Lake Como untill Dongo, where we turn west towards the SP5 Rising to Stazzona Germasino and Garzeno.
Once in Garzeno, at the first right-handed hairpin, we leave the main road and continue straight through Via San Jorio (d. 640). Once crossed the village, we find a crossroads where the signs point left the Bridge of Saws and right Sanctuary Quanc, Brenzeglio (1 hour walk), and il Giovo and San Jorio shelters.
Head to the right. The narrow paved road leads into the forest, and overcomes the shrine of Our Lady of Quanc (d. 800) in front of which there is a large parking.
Later, at a right curve, the asphalt ends (d. 925). Here is a small open space and parking for three or four cars. The next stretch of dirt road is more suitable for off-road than for normal cars, however, proceeding with caution you can continue up to Brenzeglio (d. 979).
Reached the village, on holidays, we could not find a parking space which is already occupied by locals.
In this case you can leave your car a little before at an open space located on the right between a rock waterfall and a niche containing a black madonna (d. 965).
At the beginning of Brenzeglio there are a fountain and a fork. The markings indicate to the left: the Bridge and the Alpe di Fraccia Begue; to the right: il Giovo at 2 hours walk, the Refuge S. Jorio at 3 hours walk and the Refuge Sommafiume at 3.10.
We walk on a dirt road uphill through the woods a mid hour walk the old houses and the "mason". These last are buildings with the rural characteristics of these places, consisting of a barn on the ground floor and a deposit of leaves in the attic. The roof is pitched and very high and is covered with straw.
Left to right another fountain, we pass the last houses and on an almost flat path through meadows and a few walnut trees, we begin to walk halfway up the right side of the valley Albano on the southern slopes of Mount Cortafon.
We pass under a cable car and uphill we reach the homes of the Monti di Ciaccio (d. 1020).
The road alternates on dirt, pavement or concrete.
We find another cable car and the water that washes down from the right and wets the road.
We follow a steep path and then continue on an almost flat gravel.
At a curve to the left we see a stream below. Then we continue to climb with several switchbacks.
Higher up, there is a hut on the meadows.
A path coming from the right merges into the lane (d. 1110).
Continuing with a series of bends we reach the houses of Piazza Cavada (d. 1175).
At a bend we review the underlying stream and, after a section through the meadows, we come to the last three mountain chalets followed by a fountain which does not throw water (d. 1210).
We can see another house, a little 'off the road and go on a road with little slope and several curves.
Later, at a bend on the right (d. 1375) in the distance we begin to see the white outline of the Refuge il Giovo. On the opposite side we can see a part of the Como Lake at the foot of Mount Legnone.
We reach the Dosso of Brent and cross it almost flat (d. 1435).
Then we get a slight slope to the Alpe Brento where there is a hut, a long barn and a spring whose water is flooding the road (d. 1461).
We pass two tolls aqueduct and a dent then a stratch of paved road reverts back to dirt and in the distance we see the Giovo Refuge.
Of the pathway we find a marble plaque in memory of two deceased financiers.
We walk along a flat stretch up to a curve to the left where a stream wets the path, then we continue uphill.
Another stream passes under the road. Now the slope increases.
We find a plaque in memory of two customs officers and their dog, who have been overwhelmed by an avalanche (d. 1630) and shortly after another plaque in memory of two other financiers.
We walk along a stretch of pavement and we still see the bottom of a commemorative plaque, this time it's in bronze and is reminiscent of a partisan.
We get back on gravel, and reach the wide of saddle the Motto Paraone between the two valleys of San Jorio and Dongan a where the Rifugio il Giovo is located (d. 1714).
Left to right, the shelter and the fountain, we continue on a flat path following up the pylons and we take the dirt road that comes from the nozzle of Germasino (see first itinerary).
Then continue as described in the first route to Rifugio San Jorio.
Time spent hours 2.50 - Difference in height: m. 1001uction