On the Val Calepio Road


The route starts at Sarnico, an important commercial and tourist centre that still has visible traces of mediaeval urban architecture: portals, arches, narrow streets, ancient towers, the church of San Paolo with frescoes dating back to the fifteenth century. The eighteenth-century parish church is dedicated to San Martino de Tours and hosts works by important artists; Art Nouveau enthusiasts can admire three villas, the mausoleum and the Asylum facade, by the architect Sommaruga. Leaving the lakeside promenade, you head towards Viale Orgnieri taking Via Manzoni that overlooks the river Oglio; you then pass through the picturesque Fosio with its dam, ancient houses and the seventeenth-century mill. The road then climbs steeply taking you back to Villongo. You then reach Villongo, located at the beginning of the Valle del Guerna, where is the Parish of the Holy Trinity with a renowned statue of Madonna del Fantoni, the Romanesque church of St. Alexander and frescoes by Romanino in the Bonduri Residence. From here, follow the signs for Adrara San Martino, where majestic and silent churches and shrines dominate the valley. It’s worth stopping off at the historic Sant’Alessandro in Canzanica, a national monument since 1967. When you reach the village centre, turn left towards Foresto Sparso, renowned for its horticultural activities, in order to reach Colle di San Giovanni delle Formiche, with the sanctuary bearing the same name. Now go back to Foresto Sparso and passing by Villongo, you arrive in Gandosso, where is the Santuario Madonna del Castello. After travelling through a stunning hilly landscape covered in vineyards, you, then in Grumello del Monte, an important location on the “Road of wines and flavours of Valcalepio” itinerary, where you shouldn’t miss a visit to the castle, ancient fortress of the Gonzagas. Going back to the lake you pass through Castelli Calepio and its beautiful Castello dei Conti Calepio, within the little medieval village. The next stop is Credaro. Take a stop to visit the Romanesque churches of San Fermo and San Giorgio, and the medieval citadel Castel Trebecco. The road descends as far as Castione of Sarnico, where the tour ends in the small church of SS Nazario and Rocco, which preserves frescoes of inestimable value, some dating back to the eleventh century.


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