Seen from the lake, the little church of Saint Martin seems unreachable, but it’s only an impression because a comfortable mule-track leads, in about an hour of walk, to this beautiful natural balcony, placed at 472 metres on-sea-level.
The walk to the sanctuary of Saint Martin is within everyone’s reach; from the ferry pier of Cadenabbia, we start the ascent next to Hotel Britannia. Once reached the upper part of the village, we walk along the charming main street in the middle of the ancient hamlet until Saint Rocco’s Chapel. From here we continue along a little alley that, after crossing the old road, starts to go uphill following a pebble-stones mule-track in good conditions. The drop of about 250 metres is easily passed thanks to zig-zag system of the route that goes up very gradually with wide u-curves under the shade of a thick wood. Little devotional chapels accompany us until the end of the route under the woods, where a flat path starts that will end at the XVI century little church. In front of the visitor there will be one of the most suggestive views of the central lake: to the North we can see the upper part of Lake Como dominated by the sharp peak of Mount Legnone; in front there is the peninsula of Bellagio behind which the mountains of the Lecco branch stand out; on the eastern shore, Varenna and its colourful houses, clinging to the rocky slope and gathered around the Romanesque bell-tower. Under this beautiful balcony we can admire a plain covered with olive trees, the series of red roofs of the hamlet by the lake and the ensemble of the luxurious parks that surround the villas of Griante’s coast.