The most beautiful passes by bike and motorbike in Lombardy are a lot, but the charm of the San Marco Pass and Val Taleggio is undeniable.
About an hour from Milan, in the northernmost point of Lake Como, the Valtellina is a fun park for many motorcyclists, starting from the passes of Maloja, Spluga, Bernina, Stelvio, Gavia, Aprica.
|Elevation (meters a.s.l.)||1.985|
|Link||Albaredo per San Marco – Mezzoldo|
|Winter closure||October > April|
Passo San Marco starts in Morbegno, famous for the festival dedicated to wine “open cellars”, and it winds its way over the Orobie Alps towards Bergamo.
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Leaving Milan to test the BMW F 750 GS, we take the road that climbs up the steep wall towards 1,985 meters above sea level of the pass: there are many hairpin bends and plenty of curves. The road is not always in the best conditions, so pay attention, but you will be rewarded by the panorama of the Valtellina that you can enjoy going up. The valley is very narrow, deep, with steep walls. At the beginning of the season, as soon as it opens, it is always wonderful to cross the pass between the snow walls before they melt down. But it is at the top that you can enjoy the real spectacle, when your eyes are filled with the vastness of the Orobic peaks and the Brembana Valley that opens down on the other side.
At the pass it is possible to admire the insignia of the then Republic of Venice which built this road for an economic development of trade with the Swiss valleys (from 1512 to 1797 the Valtellina belonged to the Grisons).
On the Orobic side of the pass you’ll find the Cà San Marco refuge, one of the oldest refuges in the Alps, built in 1593. On its façade a plaque commemorates “For two centuries this building watched over the Brembane Alps, traffic and safety of the Republic of San Marco”.
After passing the various villages that separate the 2,000 meters of the pass from San Giovanni Bianco, we turn right to take the SP25 of Val taleggio, also known as the “little Bergamasque Switzerland”. The valley is crossed by the Enna stream which over the centuries, between Taleggio and San Giovanni Bianco, has formed a spectacular gorge about 3 kilometers long, called the Orrido della Val Taleggio. Be careful when stopping to take pictures because the road is very narrow.
The charm of this road is not only given by the flavor of Taleggio stracchino, the most typical cheese of this valley, but you can also find quietness, fresh air, hospitable hotels, in short, all the necessary ingredients, for a refreshing stop or weekend.
After a few kilometres towards you have two alternatives: either continue on the SP25 towards Val Sassina (and Lecco) through the very suggestive Passo del Culmine di San Pietro, or go south into the Brembilla Valley, known for Monte Corno, with dirt roads and small waterfalls hidden in the woods.