Big Bench – Alpe Chiaro

On 19th June 2022, thanks to the help of a helicopter a red Big Bench was set at Alpeggio di Chiaro (Vendrogno), right above Bellano.

It is 2,80m x 3,30m big and gives the chance to its visitors to take a deep breath overlooking the stunning view of Lake Como. Sitting on the Bench you can see Bellano and the two branches of the lake, Menaggio, Villa del Balbianello, Dongo, Gravedona, and much more…

This is not a common bench but rather one of those of the “Big Bench Community Project (BBCP)” Foundation: in 2009, the American designer Chris Bangle and his wife Catherine moved to the tiny village of Clavesana (Cuneo). One year later they decided to create the first colored Big Bench and the associated Foundation.

The vision the couple put as basis of the Foundation is the importance of taking a step back to look at the world “with the eyes of a kid”, therefore with an openminded and fresher approach, both alone and with friends.

The BBCP is totally nonprofit and any of its activities aims to support, even technically, the territory and especially the local craftmanship excellence.

Today the Foundation includes #266 Big Benches, #55 are under construction. The red Big Bench of Alpe Chiaro, numbered #223, is the first one certificated by the BBCP to represent the Lake Como area.

Any territory can use the typical design conceived by Bangle for free, thus get the certification by the Foundation, as long as it respects the original vision the benches must represent: the support of the local communities, tourism and craftmanship of the chosen location.

Lastly, a dedicated BBCP passport was created. It costs Euro 6 / 7 and it is possible to stamp on it the logo of each Big Bench and its geographic position.

Where to find stamps and passports

FONDRINI OSCAR FARMHOUSE

PUNTO VENDITA PRODOTTI DELL’ALPE (stagionale)

Loc. Alpe Chiaro – Bellano (LC)

Tel. 346.3775040 | Aperto tutti i giorni 8-20:00 da Giugno a metà Settembre.

GENIO SHELTER

Loc. Alpe Giumello, 7 – 23831 Casargo (LC)

Tel. 349.2920946 | Orari di apertura: da Giugno a Settembre tutti i giorni 8:00-19:00, da Ottobre a Maggio aperto il sabato e la domenica – e in tutte le festività – 8:00-19:00.

SHAMBALA HIKING LODGE

Loc. Alpe Giumello, 3/A – 23831 Casargo (LC)

Tel. 0341.802024 – 340.6722738 | Aperto tutto l’anno, esclusi i mesi di Luglio, Agosto e durante le festività natalizie. Aperto tutti i giorni 8:00-22:00, escluso il giovedì.

CAPANNA VITTORIA SHELTER

Loc. Alpe Giumello – Valsassina – 23831 Casargo (LC)

Tel. 0341.840164 – 348.9612499 | Aperti tutto l’anno. Dalle 9:00 alle 22:00, chiusura il martedì.

How to reach it

First of all, you have to reach Alpe Giumello by car, park there and take on foot the path toward Capanna Vittoria shelter; after that you will keep walking toward Alpe Chiaro, until you meet the first sign indicating the Bench. Slightly moving on the right and continuing the path until the Fondrini farmhouse, you will find the second sign that will lead you directly to the red Big Bench.

Alternatively you can reach it through the itineraries n. 12, 13, 14 and 15 of the trekking map Discovering Bellano, available at Info Point Bellano or at the following link: www.discoveringbellano.eu/it/sentieri/

Walking time: 20 minutes.

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