The Venina valley is located within the territory of Piateda and branches out into four smaller valleys: Val Venina and Val d'Ambria in the Western side, Val Caronno (also known as Val di Scais) and Val Vedello in the Eastern side.
Some of the highest peaks of the range - such as Pizzo Redorta (3038 m a.s.l.) and Scais (3038 m a.s.l.) - are in Val Venina, a real paradise for mountaineers. The area has been well known since the ancient times thanks to its iron ore deposits and human settlements were built even at high elevations. Nowadays, the ancient settlements are only inhabited in summer.
The read leading to Val Venina departs from Piateda and, once in Vedello, visitors encounter a crossroads: the road on the left leads to Agneda and Val Caronno, while the road on the right leads to Ambria.
The traces of the ancient splendour can still be found in Agneda, in particular in the Church of St. Augustine, which houses a painting by Cipriano Valorsa. Not far from the settlement, hikers will encounter the artificial Scais lake and Alpe Caronno, with the remains of the old furnaces and mines.
Ambria is very interesting from a historical and architectural point of view: for instance, the curch of Saint Gregory, built in 1615 on the remains of much older buildings.
Ambria is also the departure point of many hiking and mountaineering routes leading to the Zappello lake and Val Venina, with its massive dam.
Source: Parco delle Orobie Valtellinesi
Photo: Davide Rossi