Sorgente Fiumelatte

Useful Information

Location: At Fiumelatte.
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstKarst Spring
Light: n/a
Dimension: n/a
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Address: Varenna Tourist Office, Tel: +39-0341-830367. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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The Sorgente Fiumelatte (Resurgence of the Milk River) is a karst spring only 250 m from the shores of Lake Como. Draining the mountains on the east shores of the lake it has typical behaviour of a karst spring, low yield in summer and autumn, high yield during snow melt and after very heavy rains. From mid-OCT to MAR it usually dries completely. That's why it is also called Fiume delle due Madonne (River of the two Madonnas), alluding to the festivities Madonna del Rosario (07-OCT) and Annunciation (25-MAR). The yield of the spring responds rather quickly to weather changes. The resurgence is actually a river cave, where the cave river emerges. The cave is until now not explored.

With only 250 m length the Fiumelatte river is said to be the shortest river of Italy. The name "river of milk" is a result of the steep ground and the mineral rich water. Most of the time it looks quite milky, for one because the mineral colour tzhe water in a typical glacier blue and second because of the numerous rapids and waterfalls.

The spring is mentioned by Pliny the Elder, Lazzaro Spallanzani, and Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo da Vinci mentioned it by the name Fiumelaccio in his Codex Atlanticus.