Distance: 10 km • Time: 4 hours and a half • Medium difficulty
To reach the start of the No. 14 trail set off from Via Marconi (the SP 62 provincial road), cross Piazza Galvaligi (the town square with the parish church) and follow Via Trieste until you reach the junction with Via Trento.
The trail starts from Via Trento, a quaint cobbled road winding through the highest and oldest part of the village, a neighbourhood called “Casèè”. The name “Casèè” comes from the local dialect and means “the place where cheese is made”. Follow the trail up the hill along a stretch of the cobbled road, which becomes a mule track after a few hundred yards and leads to Pian di Martica.
Keep following this mule track as it climbs up through some beautiful woods, which are mainly made up of beech trees and carefully managed by the woodcutters from Brinzio, until we reach the turning for “Pian di Sciott”. From here the No. 14 trail continues on towards the left.
Just a little further on, near Prà di Sciucch, is a turning off up the hill for the trail offering a fifteen-minute walk to an archetypal alpine pasture in Pregambarit, which has a large expanse of grassland and several picturesque, old-fashioned chalets.
The trail continues with short flat stretches interspersed by brief uphill sections and passes through “Preveràà”. After another climb the trail reaches “Magolcio” where you will see the No. 16 trail (Bedero Valcuvia-Monte Martica) on the left that heads down the north-western slopes of Monte Martica to meet the No. 15 trail (Ganna-Brinzio) and then on towards the village of Bedero Valcuvia. We are now within the boundaries of the Martica-Chiusarella nature reserve.
The army road winds down the hill with many turns and hairpin bends, passing the remains of trails on the left that lead down to the inaccessible and rugged part of Val Castellera below.
We descend from the peak of Monte Chiusarella through the vast expanse of meadows known as “Prati Magri”, and head southwards until we are back on the army road.
Once back on the army road we first come to a trail on the left that leads down to Val Fredda below. Just a little further on near a bend in the trail is a turning on the right that takes you in just a few minutes to one of the few springs that exists on the dry, rocky southern slope of Monte Martica. The spring is called “Funtanin dul Dès”, and its source is at the head of the Dès valley.
Next the army road takes you through a succession of hairpin bends on the way to Pian Waldes, a picturesque highland area with a vast expanse of meadows known as “Prati Magri” and dense woodland where Scots pine trees grow.
The army road continues on down the south-eastern slope of the mountain, passing a turning on the right up to a mobile phone mast. After just over half a mile you reach Alpe Ravetta where you see a farm with stalls for the livestock.
A few hundred yards past the farm you come to a gate to a villa and this is where you turn off the unsurfaced army road. This is a convenient place to join the trail for people who have turned off Via Per Bregazzana.
Next follow a mule track through some coppiced woodland until you reach the fences around the cultivated fields that belong to the “I Mirti” farm.
The trail continues down the hill; first along a mule track, and then on an unsurfaced track called Via del Giglio until you reach Piazza Don Ernesto Ersi where you will find the parish church for Bregazzana, which is a tiny, ancient, rural hamlet in a pleasant, elevated position just a few miles to the north of the city of Varese. Not far from the village are the Art Nouveau buildings that make up the Poretti Brewery on the edge of Induno Olona, and just a little further are the Valganna gorges, which are recognised as a natural monument.