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Val Trompia, where nature and ancient mines await visitors

The mountains and huts of Val Trompia have always been an irresistible attraction for all hikers wishing to discover more than 70 itineraries and landscapes of unparalleled beauty, spanning from the Adamello mountain complex to the Monte Rosa massif, and feel they can almost reach out and touch the Alps with their hands.

 

The trails around mount Guglielmo
Hikers visiting Val Trompia should not miss a climb to mount Guglielmo, a major hiking destination in the Brescia province. Many trails depart from the small villages erected on the slopes of the mountain and reach its peak. The village called Zone offers one of the most charming points of departure, with a view on natural pyramids formed by water erosion and known as the “Camini delle Fate” (Fairies’ Chimneys). These surprising natural ‘sculptures’ can be found in a nature reserve.
The trail runs gently at first, then becomes steeper, crosses the Valbures river, touches the small church of the Madonna del Disgiolo, the pasture of the Malga Aguina dairy farm and the Rifugio Almici, and reaches the final destination for a total walking time of 2 hours and 30 minutes. An alternative return path that is worth taking departs from the Palmarusso and Casentiga dairy farms, crosses the “Bosco degli Gnomi” (a “Gnomes Forest” adorned with 45 wooden statues by the artist Luigi Zatti depicting fictional forest dwellers), and reaches the point of departure.

The Anello della Val Trompia
The Anello della Val Trompia (or Val Trompia Ring) is a panoramic trail that follows the ridges bordering the valley – along a total distance of 130 km to be covered on foot or by mountain bike in 5 laps, in a charming wildlife setting with rather demanding stretches. Hikers can depart either from Marcheno or from Lodrino and walk through the Pezzeda, Portole and Sette Crocette passes to reach the San Zeno hill before going downhill towards Pontogna.

The water trail
On the slopes of mount Ario, the Irma municipality is characterised by an abundant water supply from underground aquifers and sources. Adults and children can take a walk along this thematic water trail with information panels, across natural spas, spruce forests and wetland, and reach a clearing that hosts the final interactive station, where this educational tour ends. The walk can continue on a hiking trail to safely reach the 50 m high Caldéra waterfall.

A bike ride with climbs and descents
Mount Maniva is a perfect destination for both walkers and cyclists. Placed at the intersection of many ring-shaped free riding trails, the climbs and descents of mount Maniva offer wonderful landscapes and a highly adventurous experience. Another interesting mountain-biking itinerary departs from mount Maniva, runs through the Baremone pass in the Anfo municipality, next through the Berga pass (where a very demanding descending stretch starts), and ends right after crossing the Berga river, at Ponte di Romanterra. For a unique adrenaline experience, you can opt for the trail that leads downhill towards Pezzeda, across woods and lawns. Here a chairlift facility, with a bike park access, takes bikers back to higher altitudes.


Highlights:

1. History.
The Val Trompia has a long mining history that can be discovered by visiting ancient mines. The first and largest mine in the valley is in Sant’Aloisio di Collio and the second largest, the Marzoli mine in Pezzaze, can be visited on board of a miners’ train and includes a Miners and Blacksmiths Museum called “Il mondo dei minatori e l’arte del ferro”.

2. Art. Gardone Val Trompia hosts the monastic complex of Santa Maria degli Angeli, which has been declared a National Monument in 1947 and includes the Santa Maria degli Angeli Basilica.

3. Culture. Another museum worth visiting is the Museo delle Armi (Weapons Museum) in Gardone Valtrompia, where old weapons, armatures and firearms dating back to the 1500s are kept. The museum also has a large educational room with models and movie projections showing the history of weapon manufacturing.

4. Family sports. The cycle route on the banks of the river Mella is a perfect choice for all family members to go for an easy bike ride. The route runs alternately on the two banks of the river for visitors to discover the ancient Roman aqueduct, the Villa Glisenti park, the Calchere (lime kilns) and an old blacksmithery forge, “I Magli di Sarezzo”, now turned into a museum, and arrive at the entrance of Valle Vandeno.

5. Food and wine. We also recommend the Colli dei Longobardi wine tour to visit local wineries producing Botticino and Capriano del Colle, two local wines bearing the D.O.C. (controlled designation of origin) quality label. The itinerary starts from the Pusterla del Castello di Brescia vineyard, the largest “urban vineyard” in Europe.

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Ph Ig: g.raffy

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