Flavourful Trekking in Brembana Valley, Lombardy - 7 Days

Flavourful Trekking in Brembana Valley, Lombardy - 7 Days

A slow journey in the Brembana Valley, through networks of local knowledge hidden in ancient villages. We go through exclusive historic sites that open their doors just for us, we walk across the Orobuie Alps chain.

Brembana Valley:

Surrounded by the Orobie Alps chain, the Brembana Valley is located northern than Milan, in the province of Bergamo. It owes its name to the river Brembo that forged its "V" shape.

This valley is worldwide renown for some peculiar products and for the skills of some local characters: such as for San Pellegrino and its water; for the Tasso family, creator of the modern postal system; for Harlequin, a carnival mask; for the Baschenis family, a group of skilled painters but especially the Brembana valley is known as "The Cheese Valley". This territory can boast important D.O.P. cheeses such as Strachitunt, Taleggio, Formai de Mut, Bitto and many other traditional cheeses such as Branzi and Agrì di Valtorta. These products, made exclusively in the Brembana Valley, embody all the flavours of the unspoilt meadows and pastures of the Orobie Alps.

Since 2019 Bergamo and its province is a UNESCO Creative City and in 2023 Italian Capital of Culture.

This small valley is scattered with country churches, evocative landscapes, ancient traditions, local knowledge and authentic moments of life, unknown to most. This land perfectly embodies the spirit of Out of Italy: an area where life still flows slowly.

*What is “BORGO”
The literal translation of Borgo in English would be “Hamlet” or “Village“ but these words do not fully explains the meaning of “Borgo” is.
A “Borgo” is a fascinating, ancient, small Italian town, generally fortified and dating back to the period from Middle Ages to Renaissance. Walking in a “Borgo” is a step back in time, a walk through history, a typical Italian experience.

Cow in a field


Day 1: Arrival Milan - Piazza Brembana
Arrival at the airport, meet and great with our local guide and private transfer to the Brembana Valley. Check-in at the hotel, dinner in a local restaurant and overnight.

Included: overnight, arrival transfer with English speaking guide, dinner in a local restaurant (no soft-drink).

Trekking in Brembana Valley, Lombardy

Day 2: Piazza Brembana - Olmo al Brembo - Piazzolo - Piazzatorre - Mezzoldo
Trekking time: 4 hours

After breakfast, we check out and start trekking with our local cultural guide and natural trekking guide following a path into the woods. A walk that allows us to reconnect with nature, silently, far from the noise of everyday life. We walk until the panorama opens up over the village and the plain of Piazzolo. The small fields dotting the green plateau are a reminder of the intense uses of the past and the absolute dominance of cereals and potatoes over the meadows, now prevalent but once given over to the steeper and less fertile areas.

We descend towards this small little village still inhabited by nearly 90 people. We enjoy a short visit of the small historic center, discover some hints of the town's history, and the parish church of Santa Maria Assunta.

We then continue towards Piazzatorre, passing through the Forcella pass. On the way we stop to eat our picnic lunch.

We reach Piazzatorre, a picturesque setting: we are surrounded by the Orobie Bergamasche reserve! Here we visit the beautiful parish church of San Giacomo Apostolo, overlooking the valley, before continuing towards Mezzoldo.

The route towards Mezzoldo is flat, it crosses the Pegherolo Valley which in 1987 was literally devastated by a flood. Once in Mezzoldo we enjoy a private visit to a local farm: we meet the owners and listen to their stories. We also enjoy a local-cheese tasting before going up to the parish church of San Giovanni Battista. From this point we take a short stretch of the ancient Priula Road, built by the Venetian Republic at the end of the 16th cent., up to the center of the village where we check-in at the hotel. Aperitif with local products, typical dinner and overnight stay.

Included: Breakfast, dinner in a local restaurant (no drinks), entrance fees, English speaking guide, pic-nic lunch (no soft-drinks), overnight.

local-cheese farm

Day 3: Departure from Mezzoldo and arrival in Santa Brigida
Trekking time: 3.5 hours

After breakfast with local products, we set off from Mezzoldo going downwards through the ancient Via del Ferro (literally Iron Way) that was used in the past to link mines and smelting furnaces. During this walk, we also cross part of the Priula road to reach and visit the tiny hamlets of Sparavera and Soliva, to then keep walking till Sigadola and Acquacolda, from where we can admire the village of Piazzolo from afar.

These small hamlets are located high up on the mountain and surrounded by steep slopes and fir forests they are the perfect frame of ancient knowledge that have been preserved over time.

We continue walking towards Olmo al Brembo, from where we start climbing up towards the peak of the Averara, the richest town in terms of history and culture of this side of the valley. In Averara we eat our picnic before visiting the Soluna Laboratories, one of the Brembana excellences: a noteworthy firm that produces natural cosmetics with local herbs, a must-see of the area. We also visit the rural hamlet of Redivo, the porticoed street and the parish church of San Giacomo Apostolo with the curious Sapienza Tower.

One last effort takes us to Santa Brigida, where we check-in at the hotel for a welcoming aperitif, dinner and overnight.

Included: Breakfast, pic-nic lunch (no soft-drinks), aperitif, dinner in a local restaurant (no drinks), entrance fees, English speaking guide, overnight, transport.


Day 4: Departure from Santa Brigida and arrival in Valtorta
Trekking time: 3.5/4 hours

After breakfast we explore the village of Santa Brigida starting with a visit to the local museum dedicated to the Baschenis family: local famous painters.

We then continue towards Cusio, stopping at a tipical farm, where we can enjoy a delicious local snack and discover the stable with the animals, while talking to the owners.

We then go up towards Cusio along an old mule track. As soon as we enter Cusio, an ancient 17th-century mill welcomes us, here we enjoy a guided tour and we still see it in action. This is a special moment to discover the rural life of this valley.

We then keep walking towards the center of Cusio to discover the parish church of Santa Margherita, with its works of art.

From here we go up till the Colle della Maddalena and then head towards the village of Cesur, close to the village of Ornica.

Here we enjoy a spectacular view of the so call Val d'Inferno (literally Heaven Valley) where some farmers still take their cows to pasture. Thanks to our mountain guide we analyse the view and admire the peak Pizzo dei Tre Signori which dominates the area.

We take a little stop to eat our picnic.

From this point the path becomes easier and we follow the road across the pinewood that takes us to Colle di Dudello, from where we see Valtorta, our next stop. Along this road we reach the beautiful village of Pigolota, which is currently uninhabited but very fascinating.

We continue our journey across a couple of typical mountain villages of Costa and Cantello, until we reach the village centre of Valtorta.

Check-in at the hotel, welcome aperitif, dinner and overnight stay.

Included: Breakfast, snack, aperitif, pic-nic lunch dinner in a local restaurant (no drinks), entrance fees, English speaking guide, lunch (no soft-drinks), overnight, transport.

Antico Mulino di Cusio

Day 5: Departure from Valtorta and arrival in Ornica
Trekking time: 2 hours

After breakfast, we enjoy a guided visit to the Latteria Sociale, a local dairy workshop, an interesting example of a community dairy, where we will witness the processing and production of local DOP cheeses. The most renowned is a small cheese called Agrì, which is produced only here and it is certified to be a “Slow Food Presidium”.

We then take a guided visit to the ethnographic museum and the local mills located in an astonishing green setting.

We then start walking towards Ornica, a very characteristic small rural village. Picnic on the way.

Once we reach the historic centre we visit it and we then check-in at the Albergo Diffuso (literally spread around hotel) and enjoy a welcome aperitif, dinner with typical products. Overnight in the local “spread-around hotel”.

Included: Breakfast, pic-nic lunch, aperitif, dinner in a local restaurant (no soft-drinks), entrance fees, English speaking guide, overnight, transport.

parish church of Ornica

Day 6: Departure from Ornica, arrival in Piazza Brembana, Cornello dei Tasso.
Trekking time: 3 hours

After breakfast we visit a real masterpiece of the valley: the parish church of Ornica with its Sacristy where we admire the frescoed vault, painted by the Baschenis.

At the end of the visit we climb up towards Cusio, where we visit the small country Church dedicated to San Giovanni Battista: another rural beauty painted by the Baschenis family.

Picnic on the way.

On our way to the bottom of the valley, we pass through Santa Brigida where we discover the beautiful Church of the Addolorata, a very ancient church of this Valley, from where a fabulous panorama opens up and where we discover again the works of art by the Baschenis painters.

We continue our journey going down into the woods until we reach the path that leads us to Olmo al Brembo. Here we stop at the ancient Pianetti sawmill, (currently an info-point) where we can collect the purchases made during the trip in the various local companies. We continue our journey towards Piazza Brembana, closing our loop and where our minivan is waiting to bring us to the medieval hamlet of Cornello dei Tasso. Here we check in at an ancient dwelling, enjoy an aperitif. Dinner in a local restaurant and overnight.

Included: Breakfast, pic.nic lunch, aperitif, dinner in a local restaurant (no drinks), entrance fees,, English speaking guide, lunch (no soft-drinks), overnight, transport.

Cornello dei Tasso:

Day 7: Piazza Brembana - Milan

After breakfast, we check-out and enjoy a guided tour of the hamlet of Cornello dei Tasso: listed among the Most Beautiful Villages of Italy; home of the Tasso family, considered the inventors of the modern postal system and hamlet that have been said to be - by CNN - as one of the 20 Italian villages to visit at least once in a lifetime when coming to Italy.

Departure for Milan.

Included: Breakfast, guided tour, transfer departure.

Group departures 2024: from April to October
17th - 23rd April
22nd - 28th May
19th - 25th June
10th - 16th July
18th - 24th September
16th -22nd October

Individual departures available from April to October, on Wednesday as day1.

COST: Request for pricing

The quote includes:

  • Meet and greet at the airport
  • Private transfer on arrival and departure
  • Luggage transfer from each hotel to the next one
  • Overnight as per itinerary
  • 7 dinners in local restaurants (no soft-drinks)
  • 5 pic-nic lunches (no soft-drinks)
  • 4 aperitif
  • Local snack on day4
  • Private visit to a local farm on day2
  • Cheese tasting on day2
  • Entrance fees
  • Local cultural guide English speaking from day2 to day7
  • Mountain guide from day2 to day6

The quote does not include:

  • International flights
  • Meals unless specified
  • Drinks
  • Tips
  • Tourist tax
  • Travel insurance and personal expense
  • Everything not stated in the quote includes

For more information
Dive Discovery
1 800 886-7321
(415) 444-5100

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