The Strada Regia is an old Roman road linking Bellagio and Como along Lake Como. It’s a path really, maybe wide enough in places for a laden horse. We took 3 km of the 30 km track today from our villa at Torno uphill to Molina and back. It was a sweaty trek in midday heat but the views, lush bush, ancient stone walls and two elk making a dash for it made the walk well worth it.
Some of the track is now along the busy lake road so there are a few hair-raising blind corners to contend with.
Guard dogs ranging from black and tan mountain dogs to yappy ankle biters and possibly friendly labs leap against gates along the way just to wake you out of your reverie.
Stinging nettles nestle among thistles, blackberry and wild strawberry bushes and ferns reminiscent of Aotearoa’s forests.
Corners cradle Catholic icons and shrines, and a pathside Roman guard post only became visible on the way back.
Resting on a doorstep as we entered Molina we were passed by a motorcyclist on the steep stairlike path. Small Suzuki 4WD jeeps negotiated the narrow lanes like rally drivers.
At the end of the first lane we were greeted by the sight of the church and a restaurant. The church visit cooled us down before we tucked into beet risotto and tagliatelle with ragu.