The second part of this educational trail begins at the Autopostale PostBus stop in San Nazzaro on the cantonal road by the boat jetty. The trail climbs up to Vairano and its lovely playground next to the Osteria Vairano. The park is overlooked by imposing polished and rounded rocks that offer beautiful views of the lake, the Maggia delta and the mountains behind. There are three on-site panels: one about the view, with information about the mountains, one about the Maggia delta, and a third showing the route of the educational trail from Vairano to Contone.
The trail passes through Vairano, leaves the road and continues along a partly shaded path towards Piazzogna. Before crossing the cool Valle di Derbor and the stone bridge, a small detour takes you to the wonderful Parco Botanico del Gambarogno, particularly worth visiting in spring when the camellias are in bloom.
The educational trail continues towards Piazzogna, where there are two panels on the way into the town, one about the Stagno Paron, an important nature reserve in the Piazzogna countryside, and another that illustrates the geology and typical terracing on which the villages of Vairano, Piazzogna and Fosano are built. The trail goes through the middle of Piazzogna and past the playground, home to an old oven, and the pretty church of Sant’Antonio Abate. It then continues on towards Fosano, following a stretch of the cantonal road before taking a smaller road that climbs to the right. In Fosano, you will pass the oratory of Santa Maria degli Angeli, which contains some precious 16th-century frescoes painted by the workshop of Antonio da Tradate (ask for the keys at the tourist office in Vira). From Fosano, a mule track descends to the lake and public swimming area in Vira, offering an opportunity for a refreshing dip. The trail follows the lake, passing the boat jetty, beneath the 16th-century parish church of Santi Pietro e Paolo and the port – where you will find panels about the fish and other animals that live in the lake – before climbing back up towards the cantonal road. The town of Vira is worth a visit: with its typical lanes, small squares and the church dedicated to Santa Maria Maddalena. Vira regularly plays host to international outdoor sculpture exhibitions. The educational trail follows a stretch of the cantonal road, with a detour that leads to the station and ends at the Meschini municipal park in Magadino.
Magadino has a long and fascinating history linked to its important port, trade and the consequent wealth that lasted until the second half of the 19th century. This is illustrated by three themed panels in the park: one about the history of the park, another about the historical hotels, and a third about the advent of the railway, which led to the decline of the port as well as to socio-economic changes.
Taking your time to read the panels and stop to admire the landscape, you should allow at least two and a half hours.
The educational trail can be followed in the opposite direction.
There are grocery stores in San Nazzaro, Piazzogna, Vira and Magadino and at least one restaurant.
The public swimming areas in San Nazzaro, Vira and Magadino are open during the summer months.