Sasso San Martino

Sasso San Martino

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 46.00573°N / 9.22667°E
Additional Information County: Menaggio/Griante
Activities Activities: Hiking, Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 2684 ft / 818 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Sasso San Martino

The southern section of Prealpi Comasche (Generoso group) is bordered to the N by the Porlezza plain that joins the CERESIO lakes (Lake of Lugano - W) and LARIO (Como Lake - E).

The ridge south of this plain starts to the W from Monte Galbiga, passes along the Monte di Tremezzo, the Monte Crocione and ends, strong and rocky, to the East above Tremezzo town, with the Sasso San Martino.

SASSO means STONE and giving a look from the East to this (minor) summit is easy to understand his name : a huge and wide (more than 1km) rocky wall rises, little above the lake. for about 650m.
Due to its position, of course, from the summital ridge (in the few parts without trees) you can have a fantastic panoramic view on the Como lake and Bellagio's peninsula.
A striking view of Como lake

Shrine of San Martino

On its east flank, at about half wall there's the famous Shrine of San Martino.
The building is composed of three distinct parts, clearly built in different periods, which most ancient parts date back to the Romans.
As a matter of fact, it seems that on that spot there was a roman military guard place with a watchtower and annex facing south, and a detached small house for the soldiers facing north.
Here, during some digging to restore the building, were found some roman miscellaneous items and some gold coins of the roman period.
In early Middle Ages, the two primitive buildings were joined together to form the archaic nucleus of the church.
Only later, after the rescue of the statue of the Holy Virgin in 1628, the door in the northern wing was opened and the church was enlarged to give shelter to the increasing number of devotes, while the front porch was added during the following century.
San Martino Shrine

Getting There

Good hikes along marked paths, from Griante and Croce di Menaggio.

  • For the hikes from the Eastern side (Como lake):
    Milano --> A9 Como --> exit Como North -->direction Menaggio --> up to Griante (beyond Tremezzo and Cadenabbia)
  • for the hikes from the Northern and the Western side (Porlezza plain)
    ditto, once in Menaggio follow toward Porlezza till the small hamlet of Croce di Megaggio)
    coming from Switzerland (Lugano) you have to cross the customs

    Red Tape

    There are some difficult rock routes on the East wall (directly above the lake):
  • 1) Orsi - Bianchi '84 ED-, 6a - A2 440m;
  • 2) via della Banca '86 TD-,6a 70m;
  • 3) via del Caminone '81 D+,5 200m;
  • 4) via Valstera '88 TD,6a 80m;

    book: Val Menaggio e dintorni; arrampicate e scialpinismo - Ed. Albatros, Milano 1991


    B&B casapini
    B&B azaleahouse

    Route from Griante to San Martino Shrine

    Start from Piazza San Rocco in Griante; take the road marked with San Martino blue sign. You are now at Carsolina, a very old cluster of Griante. At the end of this alley you find yourself on the road which takes you both to San Martino and Rogaro. If you decide to go back to the lake, turn right, otherwise, carry on straight until you reach the path to San Martino. You’ll find it at your right; a few steps down lead you to a small bridge and there you start your way up through fields and woods. Along the path, you’ll see some tiny chapels with mosaics depicting the Misteries of the Rosary. Half the way up you’ll find the Alpini’s Chapel dedicated to Saint Charles and, from there on, no more steps! Be sure to wear proper shoes and to take with you some drinks or something to eat because you will not find refreshments at San Martino. From that point you’ll enjoy one of the most beautiful views of lake Como. (aprox.1 h.).
    It is not advisable to take the path that leads to Pilone because a good piece of it is partially disrupted!

    Mamo ... RIP

    Massimo Comotti, known to the SP community by his username mamo, died on New Years Eve 2009 in an avalanche during a ski tour to Rothorn / Corno Rosso di Trinitè. The avalannche, about 100m wide swept him onto the surface of a frozen lake at about 2700m of altitude. The iced surface broke and Massimo drowned in the lake. Any help came too late. His two ski touring partners survived the accident as if by miracle, one of them seriously hurt. Weather conditions were very serious with high winds and huge amounts of snow.
    Massimo grew up in Gressoney in Aosta Valley, the site of his untimely death. In recent years he had moved to Porlezza, near Lake Como, where he made his living as an architect. Aged 44, he leaves behind his wive and a young daughter.
    Mamo joined SP in April 2004 and took part in the community until ten days before his death. He contributed several mountains and routes, among them Rothorn / Corno Rosso di Trinitè, the mountain which was to be his last.
    This page will be kept in honour of mamo, an excellent ski alpinist.

  • Children


    Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.