September 13 - 19, 2020 // Trail Difficulty: easy to mOderate
Experience elegant Lake Como on a week-long walking trip, with panoramic mountain paths and lakeside strolls between romantic villages. Wander along Bellagio’s chic promenade and visit the exquisite Villa Carlotta and Villa Balbianello with their immaculate gardens. This hike will allow us access to gorgeous remote nature as well as inviting waterfront towns.
What to expect in the Italian Alps
A select group of 15 people will recharge while being offline - walking and wandering in small groups through the picturesque backdrop of the Italian countryside. These 15 will discuss a question and then swap topics when a line of thought has run its course. The path we follow through Lake Como’s mountains and towns will help guide interactions: the path will narrow to restrict a discussion to a single pair of walkers who can fit together on the trail. And later, as larger spaces open up, the path will allow for us to regroup, slow down, and take stock of our surroundings.
Ideas tend to flow more freely in a Walkshop than they would around a conference table. People are more inclined to ‘think outside the box’, and come up with fresh and radical insights and innovations when they go off the grid for a few days. And by the second day of the hike - the normal inhibitions and pretense all melt away while you focus on the trail, your destination, your companions, and yourself.
We hope you can attend in Fall 2020 to gain new insights and build new connections.
Trip Details: Sept 13 - 19, 2020
Ticket Cost: $4,799
Price includes a stay in hand-picked accommodation in the mountains and enjoy true country hospitality and locally-sourced fresh food at an authentic agriturismo/farmstay. We will stay in small family-run authentic hotels that are ideal for walkers (of a 3-star standard).
Your price also includes:
A personalized Walkshop lightweight hammock, for use on the trail!
A Walkshop 26 oz. Aluminum Water Bottle
Pick an item of hiking gear from our Walkshop Store (comes free with your ticket)
Access to the Walkshop global community - including the online community portal and slack group
Sunday, Sept 13th: Fly to Italy (Milan or Venice)
(You can optionally leave earlier to get over jetlag if you prefer)
Monday, Sept 14th: Arrive in Cernobbio, Italy
Lake Como in Italy’s Lombardy region is the most stylish of the Italian Lakes, filled with elegant villas and formal gardens, and surrounded by a fantastic network of lakeside paths and mountain trails.
Arriving at Como train station (just a 1hr train ride from Milan or 3h30 from Venice), you can jump on a ferry or fast boat (15 mins), or take the bus (30 mins) to Cernobbio (payable locally).
First Day on the Trail - 9km
Monte Bisbino to Schignano
Today’s easy walk starts with a transfer high into the mountains, to Monte Bisbino at 1325m. Revel in the outstanding views over Lake Como before you set off on a high level track which takes in Monte San Bernado (1351m), and Monte di Binate (1279m). Descend to reach your charming agriturismo, a farm-stay deep in the mountains where you can relax and recharge your batteries.
Second Day on the Trail - 11.5km
Intelvi Valley walk
Your farm-stay is the perfect spot from which to explore the mountains above Lake Como. With a network of trails on your doorstep, discover the ‘Prealpi Luganesi’, and walk towards Monte Generoso in the east, which at 1700m towers over neighbouring Lake Lugano.
Clarity Through Chaos Workshop
Mid way through the Workshop, we will take a break from the trail and keep you on your toes (even when you're not on your feet) with a series of workshops on the theme of chaos, creativity, and innovation. There are advantages to being messy. Chaos is a necessary component of innovation, and breaking out of routines can lead to creativity. The Lake Como Walkshop will bring different perspectives and dive into how to inject cultivated chaos into your organization to create bigger creativity. We’ll go through the 8 steps to transform into an innovation-led organization, dive into how to cultivate a language of openness and to counteract anti-patterns, and demonstrate how everyone in your org can contribute to the conversation.
We will refer to these two books - our homework for this Walkshop:
Fourth Day on the Trail - 10.5 km
Bocchetta di Nava to Menaggio walk
After breakfast, start your walk to Menaggio. Head inland and wind your way up peaceful footpaths across limestone mountain flanks to the Boccetta di Nava. Descend on forest trails to Croce, where you can take a bus to the lakeside at Menaggio.
Menaggio boasts a picturesque old cobblestone centre. The waterside piazza has several cafés that are perfect for lake-gazing and people-watching.
Fifth Day on the Trail - 11.5km
Sentiero del Viandante walk
Jump aboard a ferry for the short hop across to Varenna, a quieter spot whose pastel-hued houses seem to cling impossibly to the steep slopes that rise above the lake. Take a scenic train north along the eastern shore of the lake to Dervio, then walk back to Varenna along the Sentiero del Viandante 1 pathway. You can halve the length of this walk by only taking the train as far as Bellano before walking back to Varenna.
Alternatively, if you haven’t already visited Belllagio or Lugano, you could explore further afield today.
Saturday, Sept 19th: You made it !
For those who are looking to return home, take transportation back to Milan or Venice and head home. Optionally, stay an extra night in Bellagio and explore this gorgeous Italian city.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's included in my ticket purchase?
Stay in friendly, family-run guesthouses, inns, and hotels along the way
Relax in private bedrooms and accommodation
Big breakfasts will keep you going all day long
Luggage? Don't worry, we'll move it for you! All you have to do is focus on the hike - your gear will be waiting for you at the next B&B.
Detailed maps/notes mean you'll never get lost (And waterproof map-case keeps your maps dry)
Get insider tips on the best places to eat and drink along the way
Explore the local history of Italy and discover the most exciting attractions on the trail
Access to the Global Walkshop community (online portal, slack workspace, etc). The learning and engagement doesn’t stop when you’re off the trail - it’s just that start of your engagement with this community of executives, designers, authors, speakers, and hikers.
Some hiking gear (Walkshop water bottle, personalized lightweight hiking hammock, and some gear for the trip)
Your RSVP covers the hotel costs at each stop along the trail and breakfast every morning. (Any trail snacks, lunch, dinner, and evening drinks will be on you). Airfare and transport to and from the trail will be your responsibility - but all transport once we arrive around the trail (including moving your luggage each day from stop to stop) will be provided for you.
What will we be eating along the way?
Every morning, you will get a complimentary breakfast before we hit the trail. Lunch will be ordered individually, based on preference. Each night, we will book dinner reservations for the group. Feel free to pack any snacks or drinks you’d like for the trail.
What should I pack for the trip?
Extra cash (Euros) - most places will not take Credit Card
Backpack that can get wet and survive
Phone charger and converter
Lots of extra socks
Good hiking shoes (plus an extra pair of shoes)
Swim suit (optional) for hotel pools, sauna, hot tub
Rain gear and extra clothing. Dressing in layers allows you to adjust to changing weather and activity levels. Two rules: avoid cotton (it keeps moisture close to your skin) and always carry a hat
Spare plastic bags (keep things dry)
Sunscreen and sunglasses
Band-Aids (in case you get blisters)
Knife or multi-purpose tool.
What will the weather be like?
Typically in September, Italy has highs in the 70s (F) and lows in the 50s (F)
How should I train / prepare for the hike?
The hike in Lake Como is easy to moderate - but still a good distance each day. Everyone should start a stretching routine before going on the trip and start increasing the amount of physical activity they experience in a typical day in anticipation for the trip. To help build an endurance, consider switching to a standing desk, purposefully start walking more on the weekends, or take your next 1:1 on foot and walk around the block as you talk with your peers!