Sunday, November 6, 2022

A Sunday Hike in Valzurio, Val Seriana

Baite del Möschel with view toward Monte Ferrante.View of Colle Palazzo in Valzurio.
Left: Baite del Möschel with view toward Monte Ferrante.
Right: View of Colle Palazzo in Valzurio.

Length: 14 km (8.7 miles)
Duration: 5 hours (excluding stop for a break and snacks)
Elevation: 600 m (1,969 ft)
Location: Italy, Lombardy, Bergamo, Val Seriana

There are many upsides of house-ownership. One of the downsides is that in the first days of ownership you are obsessed about getting everything in order. That means a thousand little projects around the house. Waiting for Amazon packs arriving daily. (We buy from local hardware stores when we can, but some things are hard to find especially when you don’t have a car and you can drive out to Bricoman or Leroy Merlin.) And in our case, wondering if our stuff will make it safely across the ocean: see An International Move Story - Advice and Tips for Moving Your Household Goods from the US to Italy.

So, it’s fortunate that friend asked us to go for a hike on Sunday in Valzurio because we needed a break.

Valzurio is a small village in the Alta Val Seriana, about 40 minutes by car away from Bergamo. Heading up the valley, you are always close to the Serio River, which was once an important part of the economic engine of this valley.

At Villa d’Ogna, you will stop following the river and head east through Villa d’Ogna, Nasolino, Oltressenda Alta, and then Valzurio. The road between Oltressenda Alta and Valzurio is a winding, one lane road with blind curves. Drive carefully.

Most folks coming this way continue on to Spinelli, 1.3 km past Valzurio. There is a big parking lot in Valzurio that you need to pay for (get a “gratta e sosta” ticket in Valzurio). From Spinelli, hikers go for Baite del Möschel – an easy walk – or hoof it up to Rifugio Rino Olmo. The trail is explained on the CAI Bergamo site at Sentiero 340: Spinelli - sentiero n°320 e Rifugio Olmo. Baite del Möschel is an open meadow with some houses where you can relax for a bit.

We instead parked and started our walk at Valzurio (813m). From behind the church, start up a trail that doesn’t have a number but look for in signs indicating Colle Palazzo (1300m). It’s a small cement path that becomes a trail. The trail is described (in Italian) in the article A piedi nella valle azzurra di Valzurio (ecodibergamo.it). The trail is a little annoying at first but pays off on your first glimpse of the Colle Palazzo area, which is magical.

At Colle Palazzo look for trail 311, Sentiero 311: Rifugio Albani - Baite del Möschel - Colle Palazzo – Ardesio, which will take you to Baite del Möschel. From there, we headed back down trail 340 to Spinelli (949m) and then on the country road for the remaining kilometer to Valzurio.

While at Baite del Möschel, take some time to gaze up at Monte Ferrante (2,409 m) and the pastures below it. It’s truly a beautiful sight. To think it was in July 2018 that we passed just below the peak of Monte Ferrante on our hike: Seven Days on the Sentiero delle Orobie – A Journey Through the Bergamo Alps.


Trail 320 near Baite del Möschel.A cold house along trail 320.View of Colle Palazzo.
Left: Trail 320 near Baite del Möschel.
Center: A cold house along trail 320.
Right: View of Colle Palazzo.

Information about Baite del Möschel.Information about Valzurio.Information on the buco del freddo or cold storage house.
Left: Information about Baite del Möschel.
Center left: Information about Valzurio.
Center right: Map showing the trail above Valazurio leading to Colle Palazzo.
Right: Information on the buco del freddo or cold storage house.

Campanula sp. - BellflowerHelleborus foetidus - Stinking Hellebore
Left: Campanula sp. - Bellflower.
Right: Helleborus foetidus - Stinking Hellebore. 

Signage at Colle Palazzo for Baite Möschel.Signage in Valazurio pointing to Colle Palazzo.Leaving Valzurio village and heading up to Colle Palazzo. A look behind down the hill.
Left: Signage at Colle Palazzo for Baite Möschel.
Center: Signage in Valazurio pointing to Colle Palazzo.
Right: Leaving Valzurio village and heading up to Colle Palazzo. A look behind down the hill.


Trail from Valzurio to Colle Palazzo through mixed forest.Trail from Valzurio to Colle Palazzo through mixed forest.
Left and right: Trail from Valzurio to Colle Palazzo through mixed forest.

View from Valzurio toward Spinelli - morning.View from Spinelli to Valzurio - afternoon.
Left: View from Valzurio toward Spinelli - morning.
Right: View from Spinelli to Valzurio - afternoon.


View over Colle Palazzo from trail 311.
Left: View over Colle Palazzo from trail 311.
Right: Hexagonal fountain of Villa d'Ogna, Val Seriana, Bergamo, Italy

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