Orrido di Bellano

Useful Information

Location: Bellano
Open: APR to MAY daily 10-13, 14:30-19.
JUN daily 10-13, 14:30-19, 20:45-22.
JUL to AUG daily 9:30-19, 20:45-22.
SEP daily 10-13, 14:30-19.
OCT to MAR Sat, Sun, Hol 10-12:30, 14:30-17.
05-JAN 0-24.
Fee: Adults EUR 3, Children (5-14) EUR 2.50, Seniors (65+) EUR 2.50.
Groups (15+): Adults EUR 2.50.
Groups (40+): Adults EUR 2, with appointment.
Classification: GorgeGorge
Light: n/a
Dimension: L=100m
Guided tours:
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: many staircases, not accessible
Address: Orrido di Bellano, Tel: +39-3385246716, Tel: +39-3397125267.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.



Orrido di Bellano (Ravine of Bellano) is a gorge located near the town Bellano. Like the other few towns located at the eastern shore of lake Como, Bellano was built on the sedimentary fan of a river which flows into the lake right here. The shore is pretty steep, and there is not much space to build houses, except for this fan. The fan is produced by the river Pioverna, which cut deep into the rocks of the cliff and because of its high gradient and the resulting energy, it formed a gorge and produces a lot of debris. In the middle of the city the river is calmed down by modern technology, but at the end of the flat fan, where the steep cliff starts, the gorge begins.

This gorge is actually located right in the middle of the city, as the steep slopes surrounding it are part of the city with many houses. The upper end of the gorge is marked by the motorway, which runs along the east coast of Lake Como. This motorway is pretty exceptional, as it is underground most of the time. It appears on one side of a steep gorge and crosses a bridge, just to enter the next tunnel on the other side. Here in the ravine it also has an exit for the town Bellano.

According to legend the gorge is the place were Taino was buried. He was a famous warrior and conquered a lot of wealth, and when he finally died his comrades looked for a place where to bury him. When they found the gorge they buried him together with his treasure in the gorge. They dammed the water, dug a hole in the riverbed where they buried him and covered the tomb with a rock slab. When they finally removed the dam, the water returned into its bed and concealed the grave forever.

The town and the gorge were mentioned in 1617 in the book Il Larius by the local poet Sigismondo Boldoni. Larius is the Latin name of the lake Como, the whole book was written in Latin.

The trail into the gorge starts in the middle of the town. A flight of staircases leads down to the torrent. The trail is well developed, it was actually built for the construction of a hydro-electric power station at the end of the gorge. The water is transported from the upper part of the valley to the generators in the town through massive tubes. To cross the gorge it was necessary to build several tunnels.

To make the visit more interesting, there are various strange sculptures along the trail. There is a mummy in a coffin and a witch. Rather new is a series of dinosaurs, which were placed all along the trail. They are probably only a temporary exhibition. And finaly, without any explanation or connection to the site, there is also the skeleton of a cave bear (Ursus spelaeus).