Ancient Via Regina
Discovering the ancient Via Regina
The ancient Via Regina or Regal Road goes from Sorico along the western shores of the Lario and various trails according to each era, that connects the Northern and Southern sides of the Lario, Como and Sorico.
Lake Como was always a natural way to connect the different towns facing its shorelines. Back in the time of the Roman Empire, Como became an imperial outpost towards Raetia, playing a fundamental role for asserting control over Alpine crossings and transalpine roads that lead into the Milanese plains. The land path over the western shores that later became Strada Regina became ever more important, documented with that name for the first time back in 1187.
That way, navigators, soldiers and merchants used the water paths while the land road was used for local traffic, cars, muletracks or for walking, making for a real transportation system of the Lario, an articulated network of routes that mostly went towards the Alpine passes to the north and the hub of the Po Valley and capital of Milan to the south. Como was an important military and commercial hub that was closely linked to Milan as a communication channel by land while the western lakeshore of the Lario converges in Como.
Nowadays this itinerary makes part of the current 340 and 340 dir state roads, it keeps splendid historic traits that are properly connected to local walking trails, guaranteeing a continuity with the main path. All of this in the middle of a scenery that is famous for its unique beauty.
The ancient Via Regina has been part of the Frankish road or Via Francigena; proven not only by the documents but also the extraordinary number of Alpine-inspired monuments and the presence of a network of shelters reserved for pilgrims headed to Rome.