Discovering Valsabbia

Discovering Valsabbia

7 June 2016

Valle Sabbia is in the north eastern part of the province of Brescia and is one of the three large valleys found in the Brescia territory. The ‘Chiese’ river runs through the entire valley, to then form Lake Idro. It is a long valley surrounded by side valleys and wooded mountains. The valley boasts a rich and diverse morphology, ranging from the Chiese plain near Gavardo, passing through the Pre-Alps of the low and middle valley, reaching the stretch of Lake Idro, where the mountains gradually become more imposing, to finally reach the mountains of Bagolino, where ‘Cornone di Blumore’, the southernmost mountain of the Adamello chain, dominates the landscape at an impressive altitude of 2800 metres. From an economic point of view, Valle Sabbia boasts a long and consolidated industrial and handicraft tradition (iron, steel, aluminium, mechanics), as well as selected quality farming (production of excellent cheeses, such as Bagòss from Bagolino, delicious organic jams, chestnut honey and tasty cold meats), and a well-established tradition of tourism (Lake Idro, Bagolino and Vallio Terme).

The territory can ideally be divided into three areas from south to north.

The Lower Valley

This area is closely connected to nearby Lake Garda, bringing the positive effect of a mild climate. The most important museum, the ‘Archaeological Museum’ is found here, host to prehistoric findings as well as artefacts dating back to the Roman age. Other interesting spots are the thermal spas in Vallio (an area dedicated to wellness and health situated in a large park), as well as  the Cariadeghe plateau in Serle, where there are caving routes which are unique in Italy (only suitable for experts).

The Middle Valley

Well preserved natural areas and ancient villages are features shared in the mddle valley. The industrial and handicraft traits of the area are particularly palpable in Odolo, Vestone and Casto. Also not to be missed are the exceptionally preserved ‘Rocca di Sabbio’ (Sabbio fortress), and the adjoining ‘Museo della civiltà Contadina e dei Mestieri’ (The Museum of Farming Civilisation and Crafts) in Sabbio Chiese and the ‘Museo del ferro – Fucina di Pamparane’ (the Museum of Iron – Pamparane Forge) in Odolo. In the nearby town of Casto you can venture along fascinating sports and culture routes all found in a natural setting (itineraries exploring ancient forges, cycle paths, trekking and climbing routes). The territory of Pertiche is a world apart and which includes the municipalities of Pertica Alta and Pertica Bassa. Here, time seems to stand still amongst the small villages, extensive meadows and rural landscapes.

The Upper Valley

In this area, the mountains become even more impressive and the populous towns of the valley floor give way to the fresh basin of Lake Idro (or Eridio), an area boasting a long tradition of tourism (Idro, Anfo and Lavenone). In the stunning area of Capovalle you can find a museum dedicated to relics from the First World War and bask in the beauty protected of the natural surroundings. A few kilometres from the lake, in a narrow Alpine valley, you find Bagolino. The nearby mountains offer opportunities for virtually all types of sport from walks, bicycle rides, horse-riding in the summer, mountain, downhill and cross country skiing, snowshoeing in the winter. Some of the most important traditions and specialities of Valle Sabbia were born within these mountains: the Bagolino Carnival (the famous and colourful festival of sixteenth century origin, known throughout Europe) and the prized cheese Bagòss.