Experiencing the Woods
You cannot think about Meride without considering the woods that surround it
The woodland is an experience in itself, that will offer you a sense of wellbeing, of deep connection, and of different experiences depending on the time and season in which you choose to cross it. The trails in the woods unwind between copses of beech, birch, oak and chestnut trees.
The woodland is the light that filters through leaves, the sweet smells of natural essences, the leaves and the mushrooms, the cyclamen and wild gladiolus, the ferns and wild garlic that cover the underbrush. It is the rocks faces to climb, the songs of the streams, the serenity of the river, the calls of thousands of birds. It’s the footsteps of the deer and wild boar that you can see at night moving through their branches. It’s the snow that shimmers in the moonlight and leaves way for the primroses to rise at the first sign of warmth, they are the rich gold of chestnuts in the autumn. It’s the colour of butterflies, of grassy plains: it’s a place to live, both day and night.
You will be able to choose between hour-long, half-day, or full-day walks in the woods, either departing on foot from the Locanda or trying out locations further afield by setting off by car or bus. Whether you are looking for easier walks on flat ground or a more challenging uphill hike, there is something available for any and all types of travellers.
You’ll be able to set off on foot from the Locanda itself, venturing out into the many trails full of hornbeams, hazelnut and chestnut trees, beeches and birches. In less than 30 minutes you can reach the Sermonte, a woodland that rises up to a beautiful viewpoint with any old bench on which to sit and gaze at the town and the valleys from above. Or, crossing village lanes and vegetable gardens, you will reach the Giurà, the land on ancient vows. Alternatively, over the hill with the San Silvestro Church, built in the 1600s over Meride’s historic castle, you will look south over the woods towards Milan in the distance. Or you can walk towards the ‘Madonna della Campagna’ (the lady of the countryside) and the ‘Camino Spinirolo’, the historic ichthyol manufacturing works constructed in the early 1900s, which sits beside some magical grassy plains.
For those who instead want to lose themselves in the woods, tours of varying lengths (from one hour to a day trip) depart from the Locanda itself: trails that run alongside streams and rivers, where in the evening you might cross paths with deer and foxes; wakes towards Mount Poncione, with its historic trenches from the First World War, or that descend towards the Brusino Arsizio Lake or to the Riva San Vitale, from which you can take a boat across to other woodlands with even more trails and magnificent views. If instead you prefer to stay a little closer to home, other paths lead to the heights of Monte San Giorgio, where in just two hours from the Locanda you will reach the old hermitage of Manfredo the Blessed, with its little church that overlooks some beautiful views of the lake and the Alps.
For those who enjoy mushrooms or chestnuts, the woods can be a place of amazing discoveries. The Monte San Giorgio and Serpiano are places where, in 1800, the collection of chestnuts proved to be a significant source of sustenance for the local population. Even today, these woods attract many such seekers. In the Brusino Alp, beside a mountain pasture that offers high-quality cheeses and cured meats, four millenary chestnut trees with hollow trunks have been producing magnificent golden chestnuts for centuries.
But in the woods, the Locanda also organises unexpected events: guided trips that invite you to discover the sounds of the woods at night, that seek to find the many unique herbs the mountains have to offer, or that visit the remains of the trenches from the First World War.
Simply ask us for suggestions about the types of trails most suited to you.