Thursday, December 10, 2020

A Walk from Bergamo to Madonna della Castagna

Via Madonna della Castagna with pollarded trees.The façade of church of Madonna della Castagna.The walk tracks presented in ViewRanger.Via Fontana connects to Via Madonna della Castagna.View from Via Monte Bastia looking toward “l’infinito”.The trail in the hills behind Madonna della Castagana.
Upper left: Via Madonna della Castagna with pollarded trees.
Upper Center: The façade of church of Madonna della Castagna.
Upper Right: The walk tracks presented in ViewRanger.
Lower Left: Via Fontana connects to Via Madonna della Castagna.
Lower Center: View from Via Monte Bastia looking toward “l’infinito”.
Lower Right: The trail in the hills behind Madonna della Castagana.

The walking options in and around Bergamo are endless. Today, we headed up to the hills "behind" Bergamo, which would be technically northwest of the upper city, to get out after days of gray inclement weather.

Today's hike clocked in at about 13 km (8 miles), with an elevation gain of 641 m (2100 feet), and a total time of just under 3 hours. A perfect late afternoon amble. Our start and end point was Piazzetta Delfino and our turn-around point was Madonna della Castagna.

Madonna della Castagna – officially called Santuario della Beata Vergine della Castagna – is a church located at the foot of the hills stretching southeast to northwest from Bergamo to Sombreno. The church is on the west side of the spine enjoying a sunny location on the edge of beech and chestnut forest. The prettiest approach to the church is on the small country lane flanked with trees called Via Madonna della Castagna. (Italy's roads generally are named from what the bring you to or from. We love that.)

Behind the church, you can pick up a number of trails that take you to the crest of the hill from which you can head southeast back to Bergamo's upper city or northwest to Sombreno, another church.  We descended from the hill to the church and took Via Madonna della Castagna back to home base.

Madonna della Castagna is said to have been build by a farmer who was busy working in his field when the Madonna appeared asking for a castagna (a chestnut) and he said no way and she plopped a church down on his land as retribution….well not really, she kindly expressed that an oratory be build and the farmer complied. Now if only that Madonna would make more appearances and tell people to wear masks.



The entrance to a cappella on Via Fontana.The Chiesa Parrocchiale di San Rocco Confessore sits on above via Fontana.Via Colle dei Roccoli.The backside of Madonna della Castagna.
Left: The entrance to a cappella on Via Fontana.
Left Center: The Chiesa Parrocchiale di San Rocco Confessore sits on above via Fontana.
Right Center: Via Colle dei Roccoli.
Right: The backside of Madonna della Castagna.

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