Where there is nature there is distancing!
Valtellina as a destination for relaxing, itinerant, natural and gourmet holidays.
Valtellina is a well-known destination, much appreciated for its wide green expanses, the countless paths perfect for trekking lovers as well as its food and wine tradition. The classic valleys are now well-known destinations, but there are also a series of lesser-known, less frequented routes, characterized by still uncontaminated beauty.
From Valchiavenna to Morbegno, from Valmalenco to Val Bondone, between Sondrio, Tirano, Aprica and Teglio, up to the Alta Valtellina della Valfurva, beauties to discover, in the midst of woods, parks, important slopes and greedy attractions.
Let’s see together the possibilities of excursions and the delights to taste.
Here 5 different areas to discover, including walks and peaks:
1-Valchiavenna: Nature and relaxation at the temple of San Fedelino
Valtellina is not a valley known only for its natural beauty, the ancient villages and the peaks that touch the sky. There are several places that almost jealously guard monuments that tell the history of the territory.
One of these is undoubtedly the Temple of San Fedelino, one of the testimonies of Romanesque art in Lombardy. The Mera River accompanies tourists along the route between flat expanses up to the small church of San Fedelino, and even further on to the Novate lake which offers very suggestive views. The journey can continue to the town of Dascio, through chestnut groves and woods, until you reach a wonderful viewpoint and admire the naturalistic area of Pian di Spagna.
2-Morbegno and surroundings: Between the majestic peaks of Valtellina and Lake Como
Another noteworthy itinerary for its natural beauty and enchanting views is the one that leads from Morbegno toAlpe Piazza, Refuge at 1835m. Those who decide to stop here will be able to taste the typical Valtellina products and enjoy the wonderful alpine panorama that surrounds the entire refuge. The more daring, on the other hand, can continue the walk, towards Monte Lago at 2253 meters, with a panoramic view of the Lake Como, where the Orobic chain and the Rhaetian Alps they are the setting for an excursion in rhythm with the Valtellina nature.
3-Sondrio and Valmalenco: in the Parco delle Orobie Valtellinesi, between birdwatching and height differences
If in winter Val Cervia is the perfect place for lovers of ski mountaineering, in summer it becomes the ideal destination for hikers and trekking lovers. Together with Val Madre, Val Cervia is located in the Parco delle Orobie Valtellinesi and represents a important point of naturalistic interest, to discover the birdwatching and admire the black woodpecker and the capogrosso owl. You leave the town of Cedrasco, located a few km from Sondrio, and arrive at the Rododendro Refuge, at 1265 meters, to admire the Corno Stella at the top, which at 2620 meters rises in all its beauty and majesty.
4-Aprica, Teglio, Tirano and surroundings: in Val Bondone in the Orobie Valtellinesi Park
Val Bondone, in the Aprica area, is one of the lesser known valleys of the Orobie Valtellinesi Park, yet it hides corners and glimpses of extreme beauty that are worth discovering, so much so that Site of Community Importance, Natura 2000 Network. From the village of Bondone, located at 1200 meters and characterized by typical houses, you go up in altitude between spruce and larch woods reaching first the huts of Monte Basso and then Lake Cantarena.
5- Upper Valtellina: Romantic and suggestive terraces in Valfurva
An itinerary that offers real postcards of this valley with a thousand possibilities is undoubtedly what is called the Romantica, which connects S. Caterina Valfurva with the Dosso Tresero and is made up of 82 hairpin bends that wind through dense woods, pastures and enchanting expanses of rhododendrons. At hairpin 53 the most panoramic and suggestive point of the whole itinerary, with the sign with the famous phrase by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry taken from The Little Prince “You can only see well with the heart, the essential is invisible to the eye “. Once you reach the top you can enjoy a view of the Valfurva and the surrounding high peaks in all their splendor, and then you can continue to the Berni refuge, on the Gavia Pass.
With all this walking the appetite comes for sure. Let’s go then to discover the typical products of Valtellina and paths as interesting as they are greedy.
Indeed, Valtellina offers numerous food and wine experiences to experience during a mountain holiday.
1- Tastings in the cellar
Among the food and wine experiences to try, the tastings in the cellar to discover the best wines of the area. Valtellina is the largest terraced area in Italy and hosts over 850 hectares of vineyards.
2- In the middle of the apple orchards
Valtellina is also a famous destination for apples: in spring a walk among the white of the is recommended apple orchards in bloom. Between flowers that embroider the valley floor and the Rhaetian side of the Alps, those of the Apple tree.
Their delicate white alternates with the green of the leaves, in a landscape that extends as far as the eye can see, from the middle of the valley to the highest areas. To fully enjoy a show, which, on time, is repeated every year, when the temperatures become mild and the sky turns intense blue, there is the Road of Wines and Flavors, an easy path halfway up the coast, to be covered on foot.
Along the way, in addition to the vine and some olive trees, you will find different varieties of fruit: Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Morgenduft, Granny Smith.
3- Mountain pastures at high altitude
In summer, don’t miss a visit to the mountain pastures where the typical Valtellina cheeses and other genuine dairy products are produced, primarily butter. Among the itineraries proposed, theVia del Latte in Valmalenco it touches some of the main Malenchi mountain pastures, in uncontaminated environments of great scenic beauty.
Alla Livigno dairy alongside the processing of dairy products, it is possible visit the production workshops, taste the genuineness of the various products, also on a large outdoor terrace, and admire the vintage agricultural equipment in the small museum.
4- Academy of pizzoccheri
In Teglio, the food and wine capital of Valtellina, you can taste the pizzoccheri prepared by the Pizzocchero Academy and learn more about one of the most used products in the local cuisine, buckwheat: a walk in the fields in bloom combined with a visit to the Menaglio mill are an unmissable experience. Located in the hamlet of San Rocco and managed by “Association for the cultivation of buckwheat of Teglio”, the mill also features exhibition spaces on two levels and a small adjacent building, equipped with kitchen and oven, where possible taste some buckwheat-based products from Valtellina in an unparalleled context.
The Pizzocchero Academy of Teglio was born in 2002 with the goal of promote and enhance the Pizzocchero di Teglio and all the typical expressions of Valtellina food and wine. It is therefore an association aimed at increasing knowledge of the symbolic product of Valtellina cuisine by protecting it original recipe, promoting its promotion by participating in studies and debates, spreading the culture of Teglio through traditional media and taking part in food and wine events.
5- Tour of the Crotti
In Valchiavenna an appetizing stop in the famous Crotti is a must which, compared to the traditional ones cellars, present the “Sorel”, a natural opening from which a current of air blows which keeps the temperature almost constant and which makes it ideal for storing wine, meats and cheeses.
Basically, excellent natural refrigerators inside, perfect for sharing outside, thanks to rustic tables and benches ready to welcome customers, especially during the period of Festival of the Crotti, in the locality of Pratogiano, and of the food and wine itinerary at a slow pace “Andèm a cròt”.
In the Crotti you can taste the delicacies of the cuisine of these lands, made up of tasty and substantial dishes, such as Chiavenna dumplings, the brisaola of Valchiavenna, meat and vegetables alla pioda, Prosto’s biscuits and the delicious foil cake.
6- Cantine di Braulio
In Bormio it is possible to visit the cellars of Braulio, the legendary alpine amaro of Valtellina, which was born in Bormio and made up of several herbs collected in the area, including Achillea, Absinthe, Gentian and Juniper, but with a secret ingredient that only the owner knows.
The recipe dates back to 1875 by the pharmacist Francesco Peloni. The aging of Braulio takes place in Slavonian oak barrels for a period of 2 years which become 5 for the production of Braulio Riserva. This amaro with an alcohol content of 21 °, creates a balance of flavors and an incomparable aromatic bouquet, and is suitable as a digestive after a typical and rich Valtellinese meal.
The cellars of Braulio house huge Slavonian oak barrels, precious wood where it is jealously guarded to age the local bitter. In the basement there are departments for infusion and filtration, alcohol storage and aging cellars, all recently renovated with a doubling of Braulio’s production capacity.