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Val Masino, the untamed heart of the Rhaetic mountains

A wild place, adored by fans of bouldering and rock climbing, Val Masino, dominated by the peaks of the Disgrazia and Badile mountains, is a go-to destination for those who enjoy several days long hikes in the high mountains, climbing and simply to fully immerse in the most unspoilt natural environment.

The undisputed realm of granite, Val Masino can be chosen as a starting point for discovering the nearby valleys of Preda Rossa, Mello and Bagni di Masino. Sasso Remenno, an enormous, compact block of granite considered to be the biggest glacial erratic in Europe.

Val Preda Rossa: Paths of the soul
In Val Preda Rossa, hikers can walk up to the Ponti mountain refuge, at the foot
of Monte Disgrazia, and starting point for the Roma trail, one of the most beautiful ridgeway’s itineraries of the Alps. The Omio, Gianetti and Allievi mountain refuges are ideal stopping points along this 40 km route.

Val di Mello, the Yosemite of Europe
A real jewel. Due to the beauty of its natural scenery and gigantic slabs of granite, it is also known as the “little Yosemite”. This place quickens the heartbeat of climbers and bouldering fanatics. Surrounded by impressive walls, this valley also has countless erratic masses that attract boulder climbers.

The Lombardy forest and its secrets
As they travel up the valley, visitors often do not pay enough attention to the Val Masino forest. In this splendid woodland, home monumental trees (some over 200 years old), the Rosalia longicorn can be, a fairly rare longhorn beetle that is considered of the most beautiful examples of European fauna. Time seems to have stood still here. Far from the madding crowd of mass tourism and a favourite with lovers of nature and culture, thanks to its long period of isolation, Val Masino still today is considered a true natural open-air ethnographic museum with its typical houses, animal sheds and barns.

 

Highlights

1. Churches and art. The parish church of San Pietro in Cataeggio with frescos by Gavazzeni is worth a visit, as is the church of San Gaetano in Filorera with its altar canvas of the Virgin Mary sitting on the clouds and the parish church of San Martino, built in the fifteenth century.

2. For young Climbers. Sasso Remenno is also a go-to destination for climbing novices. The wall is in fact also a rock gym with climbing lessons for newbies; perfect also for giving kids a taste of this sport.

3. Canyoning on the river. Not for everyone. Canyoning down the Masino, the river that runs through the valley of the same name, is a source of excitement for true experts in this sport with some very difficult technical stretches, in a unique natural setting.

4. Melloblocco. Held in the middle two weeks of May, in Val di Mello, this is one of the most important international bouldering meetings and it attracts thousands of boulder climbers from all over the world.

5. An inspirational valley. Painters, sculptors and stone and wood craftsmen in particular love this valley. They can often be met or seen at work in their workshops and their paintings can also be admired on house walls.

 

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