The Antica Strada Valeriana (Cai path 291), via the foothills of unspecified origin, was the only route to Valle Camonica for many millennia. Fully revamped and reinstated for tourism purposes, the route is today a harmonious encounter between landscape, art and history. The route runs along the hinterland of the eastern shore of the lake, from Pilzone d’Iseo to Pisogne (there is a project in progress to extend it as far as Monticelli Brusati and Ome), passing through the territories of Sulzano, Sale Marasino, Marone and Zone. The trip is extraordinarily stunning because it is always accompanied by views of Lake Iseo and the surrounding mountains. The route is indicated at junctions and intersections by information boards, arrows and a yellow and brown coloured V. It boasts a succession of country roads and trails, dirt tracks and asphalted roads with little traffic, sometimes outlined by a wall of stones. Valeriana is an easy route as far as Marone, through the villages of Gazzane, Tassano, Maspiano, Gandizzano, Marasino, Conche, Distone, Dosso and Massenzano, scenic spots above Sulzano and Sale Marasino. From here the path starts to climb north of Marone, between the villages of Vesto, Pregasso and Colpiano, where the climb towards Zone commences.
Here, in fact, one can see the Erosion Pyramids, evidence of the passage of the glacier during the Würm glacier era.
We continue our journey through the hamlet of Cislano and the village of Zone, until we reach the Croce di Zone (903 m). After the Croce di Zone, it takes about an hour and a half to reach Pisogne with the final stretch of the path, characterised by red spruce and beech forests, and scattered meadows, farms and pastures. The Antica Strada Valeriana is also cited as the ‘Route of Spiritual Devotion’. The presence of churches, shrines, monasteries and chapels is in fact quite extraordinary; they were used in the past to provide assistance and refreshment to travellers and pilgrims, and today contribute to the charactering the route and determine its historical importance. Given the length of the route, it is recommended to walk certain stretches and use the navigation service or the regional railway line to reach the various locations.
Recommended alternative – From the Zone hamlet of Cusato, the CAI 229 route leads to the summit of the Corna Trentapassi (1248 m), which offers a magnificent panorama of the entire Lake Iseo and the Alpine foothills around it (return trip Cusato-Trentapassi 2.50h).