A popular resort in summer and winter, Aprica sits at
the top of the Passo Aprica. Once a vital passage for pilgrims, soldiers and traders who needed to get from the Bernina down to the Po
plain, this centuries-old route links Valtellina with Valcamonica over in the
province of Brescia. On the Valtellina side, Passo Aprica sweeps down to the
valley floor through the verdant scenery of the Parco delle Orobie
The easily accessible, scenic resort
has a bounty of activities for families to sink their teeth into in both summer
Aprica really shines in the summer as it transforms into an outdoor playground, full of cycling and hiking routes. Aprica will be familiar to many road riders as it often features in game-changing stages of the Giro d’Italia. Hit it up for some rewarding climbs, including the iconic Mortirolo and Santa Cristina. For off-road riders, there are many mountain bike routes to explore, including adventures inside the Parco delle Orobie Valtellinese.
The list of summer activities stretches to include golf, sport fishing, archery and horse riding, amongst others.
Once the snowy season hits, skiers flocks to Aprica and its 50km-plus of ski pistes for all levels and tastes. Ranging from the Pistone on the Magnolta (the seasoned pro’s favourite), to the child-friendly ones next to the town, Aprica has it covered. As of the 2020/2021 season, Aprica lights up the hearts of night skiing fans with the super panoramic Baradello run, which is now the longest floodlit piste in Europe.
There are plenty of options for exploring this winter wonderland at your own pace on one of the many snowshoeing routes or cross-country ski tracks, including a scenic 7.5 km around the Pian di Gembro Nature Reserve and a mesmerising 5 km circuit in Trivigno.
Aprica is home to one of
Valtellina’s seven nature reserves: the Natural Reserve of Pian di Gembro.
Just above the town, this glacial piece of moorland provides a habitat to
interesting plant species.
A summer visit would not be complete with a stop-off at the Osservatorio Eco-Fauntistico Alpino di Aprica, a 25-hectare observatory set inside the Parco delle Orobio Valtellinese. Only accessible on guided tours, various Alpine animals can be observed here, including chamois, ibex, deer, birds of prey and even two brown bears that were rescued from captivity and a former life as circus performers.
While walking around Aprica, look out for the colourful murals, done by a local artist across all the different districts of the town. The Museo dello Sci displays some fascinating slopeside artefacts, as well as the ‘alpenstok’ that the Holy Pope Giovanni Paolo II relied upon during mountain hikes here, later donated to the town by Lino Zani, a great friend of Pope Wojtyła.