Travel along the waterways, discovering the colours of the Park

Length: 24
Ground: mixed
Difference in level:
Interest: Cultural  Naturalistic  
Difficulty: easy


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This route begins from the railway station of Castano Primo. On the banks of the Villoresi Canal lies the town, with different elements of cultural content,found in the historic center.Also found here is the Villa Rusconi, which dates back to the seventh century. The entrance to the garden is displayed with a beautiful baroque style. Displayed inside the villa are stuccos and frescoes with mythological and allegorical scenes. The church of San Zenone is found close by, in Piazza Mazzini. Inside this church is where theoriginal apse of the fourteenth century is kept.  Also found and guarded in this church, is the precious crucifix, which is said to have miraculous powers.
Once you have left the village of Castano Primo, you then take the towpath of the Villoresi Canal and continue in the direction of Nosate, where the lovely church of Santa Maria in Binda is found.  You then pass the first bridge over the Industrial Canal and then in a rapid descent head towards the towpath of the Naviglio Grande Vecchio. The towpath, that also leads to the Castellana, is unpaved and crosses one of the most interesting naturalistic points of the park: The Turbigaccio, the area between Ticino and the canals, where you can find the woods and a large amount of birds.
Here on after the path opens up many panoramic viewpoints across the valley. On clear days the Monte Rosa that is in the middle of the circle of the Pennine Alps, appears in a spectacular way.

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On the left, near the Bridge of Oleggio, you can see the Paladella of the Spaniards that indicates their conquest of the Naviglio Grande.This is the point where the waters of the Ticino are diverted to feed the Canal Grande.  When you have reached the Ponte Oleggio you then cross the road and continue north along the Ticino River.At this point we highly recommend that you take a detour to the Park Center “Ex Dogana Austro Ungarica” in Tornavento, where you can take a break.  In order to arrive to this destination, you must turn right after the Bridge of Oleggio and then turn left onto the towpath of the Industrial Canal. After travelling a short distance you then come across an unexpected rise in the height of a small resting area along the Industrial Canal, later turning right in the direction of Via Gaggio and Port Road. The road is unpaved and the climb is steep, but when you come up to the Villoresi Canal you can enjoy one of the most beautiful vantage points that the entire park has to offer. The blue river runs through the green forests capturing the crown of the Alps, gathered from Monviso and beyond the Sempione area. The structure of the Park Center Dogana is located a few meters from the Historic building.  It is also a major communication point for the Park, with the selling of typical products branded ‘Parco Ticino’. As well as being home to some offices, the Park is also open to visitors, on Saturday and Sunday with its exhibitions, its events and its‘themed tastings’.  Found in a building on the right of the parking lot is the store with the local products of Ticino Park.  Here many traditional foods of Ticino Valley are found.  From the Park Center you are then able to take Gaggio Road, which is connected to the town of Lonate Pozzolo.  For many years this was formed as one of the most important streets that connected the areas of Pianalto and Ticino Valley. The area that remained after the heavy operations for Malpensa 2000 is characterized by the presence of the last stretches of moorland living in the area and in the entire park.  Before heading to your next destination, we suggest a stop at the Belvedere of the square of Tornavento where you will enjoy another beautiful landscape.

In order to arrive back to the original path we must retrace back to the path that leads to the towpath of the Industrial Canal, leading back to Bridge Oleggio. Once you have reached the Bridge you must then take the dirt road, running along the river.  You later take the road that leads to the towpath of the Industrial Canal and turn left in the northerly direction, heading towards Castelnovate. This location illustrates the presence of an ancient castle, of which only the ruins remain today.  You continue on the trail of the towpath leading towards the Frazionedella Maddalena in Somma Lombardo.  When you have reached the first bridge that crosses the canal and at the end of the forest you take the dirt road to the left that leads to the Farmstead Belvedere and finally arriving on the paved roads of Somma Lombardo.


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