A Day Trip from Milan to Monte Barro, Regional Park near Lecco

A wonderful thing about the end of April and the beginning of May in Italy are two holidays – April 25, La Festa della Liberazione (Liberation Day) and 1 May, Labour Day. If you’re unlucky, both of these days, being six days apart, will fall on days like Wednesday. If it’s a lucky *leap* year, you’ll get two long weekends instead.

On a absolutely breathtaking sunny day, we headed out of Milan by car to the Province of Lecco, and to a regional park named Monte Barro. This park is also an archaeological site and protected area as it has some late Roman empire ruins, in the Parco Archeologico dei Piani di Barra, just below the picnic area.

Two asides: The DMBLGIT galleries are now complete with this month’s entries. Why not give Page 1 and Page 2 of the gallery a look? I also updated Snapshots of Italy with what I believe to be the picture of the world’s smallest car (and no, it’s not a Smart Car).

The park is relatively simple, with the main attraction being Mother Nature and some incredible views. There are also free-access barbecue pits which make it a great place to come with friends for a picnic lunch.

Time for Barbecue, Monte Barro, Regional Park, Province of Lecco

Afterward, you can lay down and look up at the trees and the impossibly green leaves while digesting. You can do this all afternoon, or if you feel up to it, go hiking on the numerous trails and paved roads up and down the mountain. Your butt will thank you (as mine still is).

Gazing at the green green leaves, Monte Barro, Regional Park, Province of Lecco

After a brief disco nap, you can head down to see the first of many breathtaking views – here is the Lago di Annone (closest), and further out, the Lago di Pusiano. Heading down from this overlook, there are the Piani di Barra ruins mentioned above.

Looking at Lago di Annone and Pusiano, Monte Barro, Regional Park, Province of Lecco

We decided to head higher than the picnic area, mostly because of parking availability, but I am so glad we did. We stumbled on an even more spectacular view of Lago di Como and the city of Lecco (opposite shore) and Malgrate below. I walked along a narrow path on the side of the mountain, and the wind was so fierce, it pushed me back against the slope. Luckily it wasn’t going in the other direction as there were no handrails and there was a straight drop ahead of me. But it was exhilarating and I stood there for some time until a father and daughter came down the path and stopped to stare at me. Perhaps they thought I might jump!

A view of Lecco (far shore) and Malgrate from Monte Barro, Regional Park, Province of Lecco

I walked around alone for a while, just enjoying the fresh air and the mountains that I didn’t know I missed until I was surrounded by green. The Monte Barro park is also protected due to its botanical diversity, and according to the website, “is the protected area in Lombardy with the greatest flora diversity.” I definitely saw some wildflowers I hadn’t seen before, and some large ants everywhere.

Flowers and a busy Ant on Monte Barro, Regional Park, Province of Lecco

We stayed all day, until the sun started to hide and the reflection on the lakes was blinding. Here you can see the furthest lake out, Lago di Alserio. If you go even higher on Monte Barro, you will see the Lago di Garlate, too.

Sunset on Lago di Annone and Lago di Pusiano from Monte Barro, Regional Park, Province of Lecco

Unfortunately, the official website of Parco Monte Barro and the majority of information (like the Monte Barro Wikipedia entry) available for the park are only in Italian.

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  1. says

    Or you could be really unlucky and have the festive days fall on your day off, but seeing as you work in a touristy zone means that you dont get a day off and have to work throughout the whole ‘ponte’. sigh. xx

  2. says

    that’s what I love about Italy…. no matter how many times you visit or how long you live there, there’s always something new and beautiful that you’ve never seen before. thanks for sharing Sara.

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