“An exploration of the middle Valtellina valley.
— Franco Folini
From the bridge on the Adda River, travel a few miles on a paved road to the border of the Orobie Valtellinesi Park. From there ride on the old Decauville Arigna Vedello
(mostly gravel road) through beautiful scenery and a couple of tunnels. At the end of the Decauville Arigna Vedello
, the ride continues to explore the ancient village of Ambria before returning on an easy paved road.
Closed due to snow in the winter.
Need to Know
- Don't forget to bring food and a light for the tunnels.
- This is absolutely not recommended in the winter. The second section is going to be blocked by snow. Every other season is great.
The ride will give you a taste of different parts of the Valtellina alpine valley: from the agricultural bottom of the valley, through the woods on the first part of the Decauville Arigna Vedello
, up to the sunny wild alpine scenery of the ancient village of Ambria.
The most enjoyable part is the Decauville Arigna Vedello
. It's an almost flat unpaved road closed to cars. The first section runs under the shades of old woods to end at Gaggio Reservoir. You'll need to follow the road that goes around the reservoir and then goes down to the connection to the second section. Ignore the signs telling you that the trail is closed, they are there just as a disclaimer by the electric company who owns the property (if something happens to you they don't want to be liable).
The second section of the Decauville Arigna Vedello
is very wild and more exposed to the sun. It goes through a few very dark, but short, tunnels. You are going to need a light for the two longest tunnels. The experience of riding on the gravel in the dark is incredibly fun!
Once you reach the end of the Decauville Arigna Vedello
(the place is called Vedello), I would recommend making an additional effort and go up to the ancient and beautiful village of Ambria as mapped. The village can be visited only by foot or by bike, the streets are too narrow for cars. From there, you can go back to the start by riding the Decauville Arigna Vedello
in the opposite direction or following the paved road as shown..
History & Background
The ancient village of Ambria is now abandoned (except for the summer). Until 30-40 years ago, people were living there year-round. The little church was built sometime in the 1600s. The historical Decauville Arigna Vedello
was built at the beginning of the 1900s to allow the construction and maintenance of the several dams in the area. The electric power produced in the area was sent to Milan.