The Pizzetti Aided path is one of the most beautiful and rewarding paths of the pre-Alps around the city of Lecco. The path is never difficult, aided in the most exposed and steep points, it offers truly magnificent glimpses of the lake. It can be combined with many other climbing routes to Monte San Martino, the Medale and the Coltiglione.
The starting point of the itinerary is the village of Rancio Alto above the city of Lecco. From Lecco take the road that leads us towards Ballabio up to an evident double hairpin bend in the middle of the houses. Near the second hairpin bend, we will notice that on the left a road continues straight and we take it (via Quarto). We continue about 200 meters until we see a paved road on the right near a clearing that rises steeply with a rusty white bar open. We take this steep climb. We will make a first hairpin bend to the left and we will reach a crossroads where we continue to the right uphill. We continue a couple of minutes until we reach a bar where we park.
Directions for Google Maps available here.
From the car park we go up the cemented road to the bend where we will leave the road and continue straight ahead following the mule track. We will notice anti-landslide nets and a ladder that will allow us to pass to the other side. We take it and continue along the path until we see a sign on a stone and a white sign indicating the Pizzetti Aided path. We take the steep uphill path climbing up into the woods. We continue in steep slope up to a successive saddle in which we will hold the left (to follow the indications and the yellow sign). We continue uphill in the woods with the first glimpses of the panorama of Lecco and Lake of Como reaching the beginning of the real path (45 'from the parking lot).
We start climbing a non difficult rocky gully by going up few steps at the end of which we will have a crossroads. We can consider indifferent to continue to the right or left. We will keep the left coming to the canal that divides the two "Pizzetti". This section is aided with chains and presents us with a chimney-gully to be climbed. There are good natural grimps that together with the chain allow us to go back up this short aided stretch. Once out of the gully we will follow the path that runs along the hillside on a narrow ledger with a wonderful view on the lake. We continue uphill and arrive at a series of aided sections: we climb a boulder from the outside in an rather exposed strech, conitnue along a exposed traverse with good natural and artificial holds (brackets) for the feet. We continue the path slightly exposed but not difficult path up to the last aided stretch. We have to go down a vertical wall downhill from a spur. At the end of this section the difficulties end.
The path continues between ups and downs until the last stretch of chains near a fairly supported stretch but which could be slippery in the days after heavy rains. We continue the path, which in the meantime has returned to the woods, up to reach the closeby Rifugio Piazza, destination of our itinerary (1h 45 'from the start - 2h 30' total).
It is possible to descend along the Pizzetti Aided path (1h 30 'from the hut - 3h 30' total).
If you wanted to take another aided downhill path, you could continue from the hut uphill towards Monte San Martino and from there we have two opportunities:
The Pizzetti Aided path is very scenic and combines technically low difficulties with a wonderful lake view. If you decide to follow it in the summer months, take into consideration the low altitude and the exposure mainly in the east and south, therefore generally in the sun. Take plenty of water with you.
The Path of the Pizzetti allows you to be chained with other downhill trails. A longer and more demanding alternative is to take the downhill path to return from Ferrata to the Corno Medale. For this itinerary consider about 6h 30 'total.