We The Italians | Italian land and nature: The 7 unmissable locations in the Bergamo Orobie Alps

Italian land and nature: The 7 unmissable locations in the Bergamo Orobie Alps

Italian land and nature: The 7 unmissable locations in the Bergamo Orobie Alps

  • WTI Magazine #159 Jan 21, 2023
  • 893

Enjoying magical landscapes and secret destinations off the beaten track: that’s what awaits when you treat yourself to a winter trip to the Bergamo Orobie Alps. Let yourself be captivated by a corner of Italy that holds many surprises.

Here are the unmissable destinations and what to do to fully enjoy the mountain experience while discovering the Bergamo Orobie Alps.

An accessible trek to the Orobie Park dedicated to biodiversity

The Orobie Park covers almost 70,000 hectares and is one of the largest protected areas in the Lombardy region. The splendid valleys of the Brembo, Serio and Dezzo rivers pass from the lush green valley floor to the more adventurous peaks that reach almost 3000 meters hosting astonishing biodiversity. Among many animals, the white partridge and the golden eagle live here, flying over beech, larch, spruce and silver fir woods, vast prairies and high-altitude pastures.

In the very rich territory of the Park, there are numerous trekking routes to choose from. With the special off-road wheelchair, called Joëlette offered by the Orobie Park, even people with motor disabilities can participate in excursions. The park entrance is located about an hour's drive from Bergamo and can also be easily reached for day trips while staying in the city.

Among the most beautiful itineraries to discover – of over 1000 km to cover – there is the Sentiero dei Fiori which leads to a botanical garden at an altitude of 2000 meters. Trekking lovers will have 160 km of the Orobie ring at their disposal: it is usually divided into 8 stages on the Eastern Orobies, from Valcanale to the Presolana Pass, and 6 stages on the Western Orobies, from Cassiglio to the Fratelli Longo refuge in Val Brembana. The benefit of this is that each stage ends in a refuge where you can sleep and try typical delicacies of the region, such as Formai de Mut, Strachitunt, Branzi and Taleggio cheeses.

The 130 km of the Gran Via delle Orobie offers another opportunity to travel these areas along old mule tracks, Great War paths, and see ancient iron mines and amazing glaciers.

You’ll often come across ibexes and chamois along the way. Start from Delebio to get to Aprica. Along the way there are Orobie refuges on the Legnone, Trona Soliva, Passo San Marco, Dordona and Tagliaferri mountains, ideal for resting and indulging in traditional dishes.

On Pizzo Arera the Cathedral is Verdant

The Verdant Cathedral stands on Pizzo Arera, in Oltre il Colle, and is a building of trees that looks like a mighty cathedral. They are intertwined fir and chestnut trees, completed by 42 beech trees which as they grow, create the shape of a green church.

To admire this splendid landing art installation it takes about an hour by car starting from Bergamo.

Lakes, streams and the Serio waterfalls where you can fish, will leave you breathless

Between Val Brembana and Val Seriana water is bountiful, there are more than 100 alpine lakes dotted around the area with colors ranging from intense emerald to sapphire blue.

The valleys are also crossed by small streams and torrents in which brown trout and arctic char can be fished freely. The Serio waterfalls however, are the place where the water gives its best. Located in Valbondione, an hour's drive from Bergamo, they are the highest waterfalls in Italy with three levels of 315 meters in height.

Snow in the Orobie mountains: here are the holidays in the Bergamo mountains

Those who prefer to explore the mountains with skis on their feet just have to choose which slope to try on over 300 km available. You can ski in Val Seriana, Val Brembana and Val di Scalve, equipped with downhill and cross-country trails, snow parks, toboggan runs, bob runs and skating rinks.

Val Seriana and Val Brembana are located about 40 minutes by car from Bergamo, while to reach Val di Scalve it is about an hour and a half drive.

The places to mark on the map? The Presolana massif, Monte Pora, Foppolo, Carona, Lizzola, Gromo and Colere. In the snow they are fairy-tale places to explore with snowshoes on or while dedicating yourself to Nordic walking or climbing.

The Orobie Alps by mountain bike for unique views

Guaranteed fun along the Decauville delle Orobie Valtellinesi for those who love to free-ride on two wheels. It retraces a route of old paths that connected dams and reservoirs at the beginning of the 1900s.

The route is 14 km long and can also be done on foot. The beginning of the trail is 11 km from Sondrio, a two-hour drive from Bergamo.

Other great mountain bike routes start from the valley floor and follow ancient agro-pastoral paths up to the many refuges in the area: Della Corte, Alpe Piazza, Beniamino, Pirata, Alpe Lago, Salmurano, Trona, Gina and Massimo and Valtellina. The effort of the climb is softened by the beauty of the surrounding landscapes. Downhill you can launch yourself at high speed.

An Ecomuseum to discover Orobie culture

Walking along the paths of the Orobie Alps you will discover ancient traditions, a culture that has its roots in the most remote past of the Alps, and the simple, fascinating life in these mountains.

You can do this by also visiting the Valgerola Eco Museum which tells the story of these places and their traditional products, such as honey and Bitto and Mascherpa cheeses. The Ecomuseum can be reached in a couple of hours from Bergamo, driving up to Morbegno and then taking the SP7.