Il tetto della Valle Imagna (the roof of Imagna valley). We liked this hike so much that four days later I cooked up some yummy Hawaii-style eats and we went back for more. Trails around Lecco and Como may boast magical views of the lakes, but just 19 miles northwest of Bergamo the landscape is no less enchanting. This photo was taken high above the village of Fuipiano Valle Imagna (pop. 240, bottom left). We live over the mountain range in the far distance - you can barely make out the line of signal towers at the crest - so that gives an idea of how right in the middle of hiking heaven we are.
From Fuipiano Valle Imagna to Zuc di Valbona - 50 minutes
A metal crucifix marks the location which is easily seen from Fuipiano on a clear day. Once at the top, you'll have a pick of great spots to spread out a picnic lunch, but be forewarned that getting there means a very steep climb that will give your thigh, calf and derriere muscles a workout! In the photo below, you can just make out the exposed trail on the right that climbs along the face of the mountain.
Right, left, right, right. Take those directions at each fork along the way and it will lead to the above-mentioned 20% grade that ends at a storage building before finally curving up to Zuc di Valbona. Google map: to get to where the trail begins, upon reaching Fuipiano (A), drive to the end of via Milano (B). There are a couple of parking areas on the side of the road. From here an asphalt passage (authorized vehicles only) goes up to private pasture and you'll soon meet the first fork in this itinerary. This trail coasts along the 579 until it (#579) branches off into the forest after the last fork. Heading in the direction of the red arrow, the ultra steep climb soon comes into view.
15th century village Arnosto
Don't miss the nearby località of Arnosto (look for white on brown signposts) when visiting Fuipiano Valle Imagna. It has been restored to picture postcard condition and even has its own page - Amici di Arnosto - on Facebook.