Distance: 7.5 km • Time: 2 hours • Medium difficulty
The tiny picturesque village of Brinzio is nestled in a charming, alpine basin between the northern slopes of Campo dei Fiori and Monte Martica. The third stretch of the No. 10 trail, which links Brinzio to Velate, starts on the corner by Via Piave meets Via Virgilio.
Start walking along Via Virgilio which passes along the banks of the north end of the tiny Lake Brinzio after a couple of hundred yards where the Rio Brivola flows out of the lakelet.
Cross the provincial road and follow the trail that wends its way between a large grassy area and the western slopes of Monte Chiusarella. After a few hundred yards this trail meets the unsurfaced track that leads to the Donati quarry, which has been closed for many years, above the old Riana kiln. If you follow the road downhill, you can get to the kiln in just a few minutes.
But our trail continues along the tarmacked provincial road for a few hundred yards until we reach the houses in the “Gottardo” area where there is a turning nearby on the right onto Via Salve Regina, which goes up the hill. Take Via Salve Regina and follow the unsurfaced track that takes you to and through a hamlet known as Campasc and wends its way across the eastern slopes of Sacro Monte.
Follow this steep road until you reach the hamlet of Prima Cappella and join Via del Santuario, just below the Oratorio dell’Immacolata Concezione and the Arco del Rosario. This arch also marks the starting point for the “Via Sacra”.
Leave this large village square and continue southwards by following a narrow trail that after about ten minutes or so takes us to and across the pebbly river banks of the River Vellone. From here you can turn right and follow a trail that runs alongside the river and takes you to the “Marmitte dei Giganti” in about a quarter of an hour. We follow the No. 10 trail though off to the left and up a short climb until we reach Via Adda.
Follow the road down into the centre of the village of Velate. Pass through Piazza Rizzi and then on through Piazza Santo Stefano, and you will find yourself on the corner of Via Piatti and Via Duca D’Aosta, where our trail ends. This is also where you will find the first section (Velate-Orino) of the No. 10 trail.
The village of Velate is a very old hamlet, or castlery, that was part of the city of Varese. Velate is in a quiet, peaceful setting far from the busy streets of the city centre and other main roads.