Locals of Lombardia: Nonna Morena
3 March 2016
Today we’re taking a moment to present a local of the Valtellina area, someone who was born and raised here, and knows all the ins and outs of this extraordinary territory. Her name is Morena Barbetta and she was born in Sondrio, where she has lived for nearly 60 years. A former saleswoman and a busy grandmother, she still finds time to get out and explore the mountains of Valtellina and a bit of sport regardless of the season. Although her origins lie in the mountainous terrain of Valtellina, she has a soft spot for the sea (she’s an experienced skipper), and loves traveling both near and far.
Morena, if you had to describe Valtellina in just 3 words, what would they be?
Concentrated: In a short distance, you can discover both the Rhaetian and Orobie Alps, which are really different from each other. Heading up from the valley, you can reach 1000 meters in just 10 or 15 minutes!
Unexpected: Valtellina reveals itself bit by bit, where you can discover small towns among the steep slopes. They seem like little jewels nestled in the middle of the mountains and the beautiful vineyards. Observing the natural wonders of Valtellina is like escaping reality, you can really find a great mix of history, culture, sport, and relaxation.
Welcoming: Here most businesses are run by families and tourists will really feel at home. The cooking is amazing, with few ingredients that are well combined. Everything is local, you can even see the processing of milk, the making of pizzoccheri, or bresaola, woodworking, typical colored rugs, and more!
What is your favorite place in Valtellina?
My favorite place in Valtellina are the mountains of Valmalenco, during the summer or winter. With some training, you can get over 4,000 meters high on the Bernina Peak at the border with Switzerland. I also really like the Val di Rezzalo, a magical place to spend a weekend with the family, take a long walk – snowshoeing in the winter and biking in the summer, before staying in one of the shelters.
What do the instagramers HAVE to get a picture of in Valtellina?
The pictures that every instagramer needs to have in their gallery are of the snowy Scalino Peak, views in a mountain village, a nice plate of pizzoccheri or a platter of bresaola, obviously with one of the amazing red wines made here.
What experience can you not miss out on in Valtellina?
If you come to Valtellina, you have to take a walk in the mountains and then something fun like a sled dog ride, or rafting along the Adda River in summer. Then I would say a visit to the spa and a culinary experience to satisfy all the senses.
Thoughts on the #inLombardia365 project, showing Lombardia to the world?
During my travels, I found a lot of people knew about Milan, and many about Lake Como, but Lombardia is so much more. This beautiful region deserves to be known- even the less famous regions off the beaten path. I love it! Let’s open the doors of Lombardia to the world!