Val Masino in summer

Val Masino

There are those who think that the mountains are to be experienced only in winter, to ski and practice other outdoor sports that are normally practiced on the snow, yet there are places that emanate a unique magic in summer and this is the case of Val Masino.

It is a small corner of the Lower Valtellina, a lot away from mass tourism, presenting itself as a small bucolic, intimate and primordial jewel, not surprisingly included among the Sites of Community Interest.

The landscape that Val Masino offers is truly idyllic, among dense woods, green pastures dotted with boulders that look like natural sculptures, waterfalls, bubbling streams and above all granite rock formations whose walls descend whirlingly in the form of scenographic slabs.

What to do and what to see

Val Masino represents the most mountainous area of ​​Lombardy, in the heart of the Alps and is located in the province of Sondrio: it is crossed by the Masino river coming from Pizzo Badile and is surrounded by mountains exceeding 3000 meters such as Pizzo Cengolo, the Pizzo Badile, the Pizzi del Ferro, the Cima della Bondasca, the Pizzo Ligoncio and above all the Mount Disgrazia of 3678 meters in height.

Then there are many of its tributary valleys, from Valley of the Baths famous for the presence of thermal springs Val di Mello, considered a real gym for lovers of bouldering, that is, climbing on stones. Spending a summer holiday in Val Masino therefore means enjoying wild and uncontaminated nature, including sports in the pure air, walks and excursions suitable for sports enthusiasts but also for families.

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There is nothing more fun than organizing walks in the valley, telling the little ones the story of the legendary Gigiat, a goat-like being with hooves and large horns, guarding the Alpine Arc. It is said that he respects those who love the mountains, helping those who find themselves in difficulty and then disappearing, just as it seems to have happened to Giacomo Fiorelli, one of the historic managers of the Fiorelli refuge.

The starting point to discover the beauties of Val Masino is the village of the same name, whose prettiest fraction is Cataloging, with its stone houses with wooden balconies and gneiss roofs. Here is the eighteenth-century Church of San Pietro: inside it is possible to admire paintings on sheet metal by Gavazzeni, a 800th-century organ by Serassi of Bergamo and a splendid Via Crucis.

From the fraction of Filorera, whose symbol is the picturesque stone bridge that crosses the Masino, you can reach the Moss lake, ideal for cooling off during the summer days spent in Val Masino.
Saint Martin walk it is instead the oldest fraction of Val Masino and it is unmissable to reach it in August when the patron saint San Benedetto Martire is celebrated with a suggestive procession through the streets of the village.

Spend summer in Val Masino means exploring its splendid territory through excursions in what appears to be a luxuriant garden: it is no coincidence that every year, just before summer, the inhabitants of the valley themselves Munda and Roga, that is, a real grass cleaning operation, an expression of the visceral love they have for their land.

Among the most beautiful excursions to do in Val Masino is the one to the Val di Mello, nicknamed "Italy's Yosemite": just visit this nature reserve to give credit to this definition, flat, crossed by rivers, dotted with lakes and waterfalls (such as the Durango, a destination for ice climbers in winter and the Cascata del Ferro), with the mountains surrounding it.

The path to discover the Val di Mello starts from San Martino Val Masino: take a mule track up to Ca' Panscer, near the "Gatto Rosso" restaurant, and then reach the Qualido lake, whose waters sparkle with a thousand shades when illuminated by the sun. This small lake surrounded by woods was born following a landslide which in 2009 detached from a wall of Monte Qualido.

The excursion touches other symbolic places of the Val di Mello such as the Countess bidet, a small natural swimming pool with crystalline waters located in the shade of a huge erratic boulder, but also the Cascina Piana, nucleus of huts inhabited until some time ago. Past the location rasica, in the past site of a sawmill that operated until the 800s, you walk in a forest, then between huge boulders up to a bridge that crosses the Torrone stream, to then find yourself at the beautiful Chiusa Waterfall. Passed a wood in the shade of the rocky walls Oasis Plates here we come to the sunny pastures of Alpe Pioda at an altitude of 1560 metres, one of the most scenic spots in the entire Val di Mello.

Among the most popular paths in Val Masino there is then the Path Rome, which from Val Codera allows you to reach Monte Disgrazia: it is a route suitable for expert hikers and a stage in the famous Kima Trophy skyrunning competition.

Although it was born during the First World War, the CAI made it a hiking and mountaineering trail only in 1928: it starts from the Omio Refuge and reaches the Ponti Refuge crossing the Porcellizzo Valley, the Ferro Valley, the Torrone Valley and above all the Prey Valley Red, among the most characteristic of the area.

The name of the latter refers to the presence of reddish rocks which also have very curious shapes: the Valle di Preda Rossa is a succession of walkways, bridges over the Duino river and places steeped in history such as the Capanna Ponti, built by Francesco Lurani Cernuschi himself who wanted to build Capanna Cecilia downstream, thus facilitating access to Monte Disgrazia.

Il Path of the Cyclops it is a must for those who want to practice climbing on boulders: it is a circular route that runs alongside gigantic stones up to 30 meters high such as La Torcia, Lo Scivolo, Golddrake and Sasso Minato. However, the eye is caught by the Sasso Remenno, whose height is almost 50 meters and has four walls where everyone can try their hand at more or less acrobatic climbing: for this reason Val Masino is considered a natural training ground for bouldering enthusiasts.

To spend a summer day dedicated to nature and well-being, there is nothing better than going to the Bagni Masino Forest: all the routes are also equipped for visually impaired and blind people, so that everyone can discover the biodiversity of this jewel of Val Masino.

The Forest of Bagni Masino can be reached from San Martino, taking the Sentiero del Mulino and arriving in the shadow of Monte Lobbia as far as the Belvedere and the Thermal Establishment, near which there is a thermal spring from which to freely drink the beneficial waters they flow in the Val Masino.

Holidays in Val Masino

In the summer, Val Masino offers tourists days of sport, walks among the natural and uncontaminated beauties of the area but also the discovery of its picturesque villages.

That wouldn't be enough one week to fully experience all that the valley has to offer, especially if you also want to discover the traditions and the food and wine heritage of the territory: in fact, there is nothing better than taking an excursion and eating refreshments in one of the refuges in the valley such as that of Gianetti and Omio, where you can taste Bresaola della Valtellina IGP, Bitto cheese IGP, Pizzoccheri IGP, the dessert typical Bisciola based on raisins and dried fruit, apples grown up to 900 meters in height, the Violino salami and wines such as Alpi Retiche IGP and Valtellina Superiore.

Le accommodation in Val Masino there are many and meet every need, from hotels and B&Bs for families and those who don't want to give up comfort, to campsites suitable for sleeping under the stars immersed in the most uncontaminated nature. For those who want to live an unforgettable experience there is always the possibility of sleeping in a refuge, on the peaks of the mountains, enjoying literally spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

Val Masino summer holidays

If you are considering a summer holiday in Val Masino, below you can find some useful links to find hotels and holiday apartments.

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    Region: Lombardia
    Minimum altitude:800m above sea level
    Maximum altitude: 3000m above sea level
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