Long considered the glue that binds Lake Como and
Valtellina, as well as linking the major towns in the province of Sondrio,
Morbegno is renowned for curating lavish events such as Morbegno in Cantina, an
annual celebration of Valtellina wine spread throughout the town’s historic
centre, and the Mostra del Bitto cheese festival.
Since the first half of the 14th century, Morbegno has been a magnet for economic and social exchanges with communities in the Como area, the Po valley, and Bergamo, reached over the Passo San Marco. Even today, it rarely stands still. Steeped in history, this charismatic city is split into two by the River Bitto that swoops down through Valgerola. Along with its side valleys, it’s known for being the hometown of the famous Bitto cheese, which takes centre stage each year at the Mostra del Bitto festival.
like the rest of Valtellina, the landscape around Morbegno is not short of ways
to wow outdoor lovers and sports enthusiasts. When it comes to two wheels,
there are options galore, with bike tourers and families cruising along the
Sentiero Valtellina, roadies taking on the mythical Passo San Marco, and MTBers
exploring the vast trail network on picture-book mountainsides.
Hikers have it good in the many valleys around Morbegno, where there are hiking trails for every taste, including historic routes and themed nature trails, not to mention the Via dei Terrazzamenti, spanning almost the entire valley.
In Albaredo per San Marco, a village just above Morbegno, you can experience the thrills of ziplining at speed between two mountainsides with Fly Emotion, the only site of its kind in Italy with two exhilarating routes – outbound and return.
Moving into Val Tartano, another of lower Valtellina’s side valleys, hold your breath as you cross the Ponte nel Cielo, one of the highest Tibetan bridges in Europe. Val Tartano is also a natural playground for hiking in summer and superb ski mountaineering and snowshoeing each winter.
also radiates a rich cultural heritage as the birthplace of painter Pietro
Romegialli (1738–1799) and politician and economist Ezio Vanoni (1903–1956).
Must visits include the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale (The Civic Museum of Natural
History), the Church of San Giovanni Battista with paintings by Valtellina
artists Ligari and Petrini, the former Church of San Antonio that is now an
auditorium, the Santuario dell’Assunta consecrated in 1506, the Church of San
Rocco (1530), the colourful frescoes of Palazzo Malacrida, and the old stone Ganda bridge.
Moving a few kilometres away to Vallate in the district of Cosio Valtellino, admire the Antica Abbazia di San Pietro, a beautiful ancient abbey. The sunny slopes of the south-facing Costiera dei Cech are also worth visiting, lined with steep terraced vineyards and quaint, traditional villages.