Monday, February 1, 2016

From Bergamo to Monte Poieto

Top Left: Torrioni della Cornagera, Aviatico. (Look closely, there is a climber on that rock!)
Top Right: View of Monte Poieto lodge.
Bottom Left: Route we took. Yellow is funivia or cabinovia. Blue is walking on roads. Red is hiking.
Bottom Center: Hepatica nobilis observed on the trail.
Bottom Right: Monte Poieto brochure.

Torrioni della Cornagera, AviaticoView of Monte Poieto lodge
Route we took. Yellow is funivia or cabinovia. Blue is walking on roads. Red is hiking.Hepatica nobilis observed on the trailMonte Poieto brochure

Hike Notes

Length: 5.5 (9 km).
Duration: About 6.5 hours total, with a long stop for lunch.
Elevation: Started at approximately 249 m (817 ft) in Bergamo and hit a high point of 1375 m (4,500 ft) Monte Poieto.
Location: Albino, Valle Seriana, Province of Bergamo


This was a bit of a haphazardly planned day outing from Bergamo, but I’m still classifying it as a hike. What’s interesting is the different modes of transportation we took: a tram, a funivia (cable car), and a cabinovia (gondola lift). This is what we did:
  • From the center of Bergamo, we took the Tramvie Elettriche Bergamasche (TEB) to Albino. The 30-minute tram ride is functional, not really for enjoying the scenery as it goes through mostly industrial areas. 
  • From the Albino station, you can take a bus to the Albino-Selvino Funivia base station, but we walked there in about 25 minutes. (If you take the bus, it seems that the bus timetables are coordinated with the funivia.) The funivia takes you up to Selvino at 653 m.
  • From the Selvino, again, you can wait for a bus, but we walked to bottom of the La Cabinovia per il Monte Poieto. The cabinovia takes you up from Aviatico (1020 m) to Monte Poieto (1375 m). 
  • After lunch in the restaurant, we walked down path 537 connecting to Monte Poieto to Aviatico. If we hadn’t got such a late start, we would have walked up 537 and followed the loop trail as suggested in the book Escursionismo nelle valli bergamasche (hike #9) to come back to Aviatico. 
On the 537 trail, you encounter the Torrioni della Cornagera, rock towers that create a magical canyon area that reminded us of hiking in the Dolomites.  Before entering between the towers on the south side, there sign, Arrampicare in Cornagera “Climbing in Cornagera,” that gives the names of the towers and describes how to climb them. According to the Valle Seriana site, the name Cornagera derives from “corna” (rocky hill) and “gera” (gravel). Gravel in Italian is ghiaia, and gera is dialect for gravel according to the Wikipedia entry for Fara Gera d'Adda. The zone between the Adda and Serio (which passes by Albino) rivers is referred to as Gera d’Adda for layers of gravel deposited in the soil.

In terms of flora, we were surprised to see the bright purple flowers of Hepatica nobilis against the dead brown hornbeam leaves on the trail. They seem to be blooming a bit early. Other flowers we saw: primrose, wild strawberry, heather, crocus, and Christmas rose.

Left: Hepatica nobilis [Ranunculaceae] – distinctive leaves and purple flowers.
Right: Primula vulgaris [Primulaceae] – Primrose.
Hepatica nobilis [Ranunculaceae] – notable leaves and notable purple flowersPrimula vulgaris [Primulaceae].

Left: Fragaria vesca [Rosaceae] - Wild Strawberry.
Center: Erica [Ericaceae] - Heather.
Right: Crocus [Iridaceae].

Fragaria vesca [Rosaceae] - Wild StrawberryErica [Ericaceae] - HeatherCrocus [Iridaceae]

Helleborus niger [Ranunculaceae]. Christmas Rose.
Helleborus niger [Ranunculaceae]. Christmas Rose.Helleborus niger [Ranunculaceae]. Christmas Rose.Helleborus niger [Ranunculaceae]. Christmas Rose.

Left: Cabinovia from Aviatico to Monte Poieto.
Center: Page from the Escursionismo nelle valli bergamasche book, hike #9, showing a suggested route.
Right: Sign on trail 537.
Cabinovia from Aviatico to Monte PoietoPage from the Escursionismo nelle valli bergamasche book, hike #9, showing a suggested route.Sign on trail 537

Left: Exiting Trail 537 and entering into Aviatico.
Right: Arrampicare in Cornagera sign.

Exiting Trail 537 and entering into AviaticoArrampicare in Cornagera sign

Left: View from the 537 trail.
Right: Example of space between rock towers.
View from the 537 trail.Example of space between rock towers.

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