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Multi-day itineraries

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Via San Bernardino

ITINERARY 1

San Bernardino Street

A four-day trek in which hikers are invited to discover the route through the Mesolcina Valley, retracing the traces of the first carriageable alpine road in Graubünden. The first stage starts from Cama, specifically from the Rotunda of St. Lucius, dating back to Carolingian times. We walk in the direction of Roveredo admiring the large number of churches, towers and palaces scattered along the route. Continuing in the direction of Grono we come across another structure of great historical and architectural value, the Fiorenzana Tower. We then continue to Leggia and Cama, with the fascinating ruins of Norantola Castle. In Cama it is possible to stop for an overnight stay, not forgetting to stop by one of the typical grotti, spartan but delicious taverns where you can sample local specialties including wine, cold cuts and cheese. This first stage is rather easy, with just 3 hours of walking, 11.2 kilometers and 97 meters of elevation gain.

The next morning we set off again, heading for the villages of Sorte, Lostallo and Cabbiolo. The landscape, including forests, meadows, mule tracks, viaducts and floodplains offers distinctly picturesque views. We then continue to Soazza, nestled on a picturesque natural terrace: a visit to the Capuchin Hospice and the church of San Martino is recommended. Much of this second stage runs on sections of the old Rhaetian Railway, totaling 3:45 hours, 14.3 kilometers and 245 meters of elevation gain.

An educational trail starts from Soazza and is ideal for learning more about the naturalistic, scenic and cultural aspects of the area. The journey continues to the imposing ruins of Mesocco Castle, a fortress with Renaissance charm that was dismantled in the 16th century. Also within walking distance is the church of Santa Maria del Castello, inside which are splendid, well-preserved 15th-century frescoes. Mesocco’s past is rooted in an important trade management that passed through San Bernardino, and several historic buildings are linked to this tradition. Not to mention that traces of the earliest human presence here date back almost 10,000 years! From Mesocco the route becomes more challenging: the now alpine trail climbs steeply to Pian San Giacomo, and from there it continues along the old mule track to the village of San Bernardino. The travel time for this stage is more consistent than the previous two: 6 hours, 14.5 kilometers, 1042 meters of elevation gain.

The last stage leads from San Bernardino to the Pass through an amazing natural landscape: pine forests, peat bogs, small lakes, forests, and pastures. From the center of the village (1608 meters) we climb to the pass (2065 meters): here, by the lake, stands the Hospice, built in the 1920s. The vast pass area is marked by gentle relief, shaped by the ancient actions of glaciers. Today it constitutes a perfect habitat for a rich variety of vegetation and of considerable scenic interest to nature lovers. This concludes the last stage, after 2 hours of walking, 5 kilometers and 457 meters of elevation gain.

difficoltà

Difficulty T2

distanza

Distance 44.9 km

durata

Duration 14:45 h

su

Highest point 2,077 m

giù

Lowest point 267 m