Monte Generoso Hike

Top of Monte Generoso
Top of Monte Generoso

By Vicky · Published Jun. 12th, 2024

This hike up Monte Generoso is a wonderful half-day excursion from Lake Como with fantastic views and fairly easy trails.

Monte Generoso Hiking Map


The Monte Generoso hike starts from a car park on the way to the hamlet of Orimento. It’s free to park, but arrive early on summer weekends as the car park can fill up. From Argegno on the shores of Lake Como, it’s roughly 30 minutes drive. If you’re driving directly from the Swiss side and Lake Lugano, bear in mind that the pass on the SP13 over the border is quite steep and windy.


  • This walk is fairly easy with little technical difficulty, but you should be confident walking along fairly narrow paths and shouldn’t be afraid of heights.
  • There’s a fancy restaurant at the top of the mountain open for lunch only (reservations recommended), plus a cheaper self-service place open 10am-5pm.
  • If you don’t feel like hiking, you can take a cog railway to the top from Lake Lugano, but we think it’s much better to hike!
  • After the hike, why not go on a boat tour of Lake Como*?
  • For more walks and hikes, check out our Italy Hiking Page.

Monte Generoso Hiking Route

Semi-Wild Haflinger Horses  on the hike up Monte Generoso
Semi-Wild Haflinger Horses
Views over Lake Lugano to the snow-capped Alps
Views over Lake Lugano

From the car park, head up the road a few meters and turn after the building, into the forest. This easy track leads gradually upwards before reaching some open areas and a couple of farms. Around the corner, head left up through the little open area and along the track which continues upwards.

This short section through the trees leads you quickly upwards before you emerge at the ridgetop in the open. There are great views of the surrounding hills, the top of Monte Generoso, and a little bit of Lake Como in the distance.

We were lucky enough to encounter a small herd of semi-wild Haflinger horses here. This breed was developed in northern Italy and Austria, hardy animals suited to work in the mountains and always chestnut in colour with a paler mane and tail.

Walking up Monte Generoso near Lake Comoe
Hiking trail up Monte Generoso near Lake Como in Italy

Turn right along the ridge and hike along the obvious footpath along the grassy slopes of Monte Generoso. At the first saddle, you can see down to Lake Lugano and north to the often snowy Alps. The route continues onwards towards the surprisingly wild and rocky top. In places, the path becomes slightly narrow. Occasionally there’s a metal chain to hold on to but this isn’t at all necessary.

Eventually, after walking past the actual top, you reach a large path just before a fence. Turn right to walk straight upwards, and follow the path around to the right when you get to the top of the ridge. After hiking a couple of hundred meters further, you’ll reach the top of Monte Generoso.

At the top of Monte Generoso

Gorgeous views on a hike up a mountain near Lake Como
Italian mountain walk near Lake Como

Here there’s a large platform with fantastic views. There are several panels with panoramas of the mountains you can see and their names, along with a couple of benches. Stop here and take a break for a while to admire the view.

When you’re ready, descend down the main paved path to the distinctive architecturally designed ‘mountain hut’. There’s a self-service cafe here (open 10am-5pm) as well as a fancier restaurant that’s open for lunch (reservations recommended). You can also walk to the rooftop to enjoy the views, though they aren’t better than at the top of the mountain.

Views at the top of Monte Generoso after a hike to the top

Continue walking past the ‘hut’ to reach a panoramic viewpoint on the other side. You’ll pass the cogwheel railway station on your left, then take a small path to the right just before the next building with all the antennae. A short distance along here you’ll reach the viewpoint over Lake Lugano. There are great views back to the top of Monte Generoso and the spaceship-like hut.

Walking back down Monte Generoso

Walking back down Monte Generoso Mountain in Italy
Views near Lake Como

Return the way you came, but this time head straight onward past the children’s playground. Keep on this level, then turn right along the ridge to the viewpoint. At the junction, take the path left and slightly downwards to contour around the side of the mountain.

Keep to the higher trail and you’ll soon come to a nice picnic bench on a flat grassy area. Head onwards to loop around the hill and through a few small patches of woodland and farmland. Eventually, you’ll reach Orimento, a cute little hamlet. There’s a nice restaurant here, Baita Di Orimento Di Del Zoppo Loredana, if you’re hungry after the hike. Otherwise, head left down the road and you’ll soon be back at the car park and the end of the Monte Generoso Hike.

Best Guidebooks for Exploring Rome

Lonely Planet Rome*

DK Eyewitness Top 10 Rome*

Lonely Planet Italy*

For more mountain hikes, check out our Italy Hiking Page.

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