Image 0 - Meride - top of Monte San Giorgio - Meride
Image 1 - Meride - top of Monte San Giorgio - Meride
Image 2 - Meride - top of Monte San Giorgio - Meride
Image 3 - Meride - top of Monte San Giorgio - Meride

Meride - top of Monte San Giorgio - Meride

From the summit of San Giorgio, at an altitude of 1,000 metres, you can enjoy a panorama spanning the lake and mountains, providing unforgettable views of the region.

Monte San Giorgio achieved its prestigious inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2003 in recognition of the world's most important fossil deposit from the Middle Triassic period, and as an area of geological interest.

There is the option to park just outside Meride then walk into the historic heart of the traditional town. The path to the summit begins at the Church of San Silvestro. Climb up a wide paved mule track in the shade of a dense wood. The trail soon becomes flat. After about 45 minutes you reach Cassina, where on a beautiful meadow 886 m a.s.l. there is a chapel and the small Rifugio Adenofra.

Taking the path that goes up to the right of the chapel, after a few minutes you arrive, with a small detour, at an excavation site for fossil-hunting. Then return to the chapel and follow the official yellow signs to San Giorgio. It takes about 35 minutes to walk to the top of the mountain, with a final climb that is steep and quite challenging. In the last few metres, the path will join others coming from Serpiano and Riva San Vitale. 

At the top, 1,097 m a.s.l., there is a small unmanned shelter where you can get water. 
The view from here is stunning. You can admire the shores of Lake Ceresio with the typical Swiss and Italian lakeside villages and hamlets, Malcantone, Morcote, Arbostora, San Salvatore, Rovio and Arogno.

For the descent we recommend following the yellow signs for Serpiano, Crocifisso and Meride. The route takes about an hour, but allows you to reach one of the most interesting parts of the geo-paleontological path that winds around Monte San Giorgio, including on the Italian side, with plenty of illustrative panels.
Approaching Meride, you pass by an old oil shale mine and another important research site, the excavations at Acqua del Ghiffo and the Spinirolo Factory.

Nearby you can stop at the panoramic terrace of the Val Mara, where you can admire and almost touch the imposing rocky cliff. Here you will find information panels, binoculars and other useful tools to discover the surrounding environment.

After a few minutes you reach the picturesque village of Meride, 586 m a.s.l., where the paleontological experience continues with a visit to the Fossil Museum, designed by the Ticino architect Mario Botta. A fascinating place that lets you immerse yourself in San Giorgio as it was 240 million years ago.


  • Hiking boots
  • Sun cap
  • Water-bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Hiking map
  • Camera
  • Food

Montagnepulite: This project was born to promote an effective management and sustainable use of mountain huts in Ticino, and in particular the litter management. The responsible management of litter in the mountains is a matter of common sense. We can all contribute: https://www.montagnepulite.ch/en/golden-rules

Alternative routes


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