A day exploring the route of the Adda River
313 km long, the Adda begins in the mountains of Valtellina. From Alpisella it flows through the city of Sondrio and flows into Lake Como, from which it reborn and runs through the provinces of Lecco, Bergamo, Milan and finally flows into the Po, in province of Lodi. It is the fourth longest river in Italy.
We want to invite you to discover the stretch of river that runs through Bergamo with a small guide so you won’t to miss any of the characteristic places that lie along its banks.
If you are a lover of two wheels, you can take the bike path that runs for 50km from Cassano d’Adda to Lecco. Along the way you will discover the treasures of the territory. The numerous mills, hydroelectric plants that utilised the power of Adda’s water transforming it into electricity, the Vinciane locks, designed by the famous Leonardo and his ferry, a revolutionary work from the 1500s. Along the banks of the river you will find many rest areas, where you can enjoy an outdoor picnic.
The first step of our itinerary includes a visit to a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This is the workers’ village of Crespi D’Adda.
Lose yourself in its streets and discover its history. Visiting Crespi means taking a step back into the life and customs of the 19th century.
Built in the late nineteenth century by the owners of the textile establishment, the Crespi family. Crespi d’Adda is an example of industrial archaeology that represents the ideal workers’ village at the time of the Second Industrial Revolution. It is a real town built by the owners of the factory for its employees.
The vital core of the city was the factory and the employees were the only ones allowed to live there. They were given a house with a vegetable garden, a garden and all the necessary services. Moreover, Crespi d’Adda was the first town in Italy to be equipped with public lighting!
San Michele Bridge in Paderno
The second stop on our itinerary is the San Michele Bridge in Paderno.
A prodigy of architecture, the Paderno Bridge is completely made of iron and looking at it the first thought will certainly be the Eiffel Tower. In fact, the two buildings, in addition to sharing the era of construction (1887-1889), share the same construction technique and materials. These are nailed iron beams.
An incredible arch, 85 metres high. Passing under the Eastern Pylon, you will be catapulted into a unique atmosphere. On one hand, you will be immersed in nature and on the other hand you will be in contact with one of the symbols of industrial archaeology.
The third leg of the itinerary involves navigating the river on an electric boat.
Addarella is the ferry that will take you from Imbersago to the Paderno d’Adda dam and back. You will immerse yourself in the pristine nature of the Adda Nord Park and you will meet the many river inhabitants such as swans, coots, mallards, grey herons and many others. The electric boat will lead you along the path in total tranquillity and silence.
There is another very unique boat that connects Bergamo’s shore to Lecco’s river bank. It is a very special ferry because it is tied to a rope and uses the movement of the current to move.
It is called Leonardo’s ferry and has connected the two shores for over four hundred years.
At the service of Ludovico il Moro, duke of Milan, Leonardo da Vinci studied the course of the Adda River and is thought to have designed this ferry during his stay in Vaprio d’Adda, with Count Girolamo Melzi in the early 16th century. The drawing, dated 1513, is found in Codex Atlanticus, kept in the library of Windsor Castle, in England.
It is the only example of a still working hand ferry. The whole structure is tied to a rope and only one person regulates the mechanism.
Give yourself a 360° view of the enchanting banks of the Adda and let yourself be lulled by the waves of the current.
“Leonardo Da Vinci” Naturalistic-Botanical Path
Once landed on the shore of Villa d’Adda, take the “Leonardo da Vinci” Naturalistic-Botanical Path – a walk along the Bergamo side of the Adda River. Immerse yourself in the lush vegetation and the avian fauna typical of the area between the sounds of nature and the water’s current and magical glimpses of the river.
If you like cycling, you can rent a bike in Imbersago!
Following the naturalistic-botanical path, you will reach the Alberone Oasis, a protected natural area that has been formed thanks to the recess of a river embankment, creating a particular environment.
The Alberone Oasis is the ideal destination for nature lovers, photographers and birdwatchers.
Inside the oasis there is an ecological walkway that allows you to cross the reeds and wetlands, where many species of birds live, such as water rails, European penduline tits and bitterns. At the end of the walkway, stop at the ornithological observatory, where you can easily camouflage, observe the flora and fauna and do birdwatching.
LAST STOP: INDULGENT STOP AT HAMMER BREWERY
In Villa d’Adda, near the San Martino Valley, is the Hammer Brewery. From 2015 it has been synonymous with quality craft beers and important prizes. “Brewer of the year 2016” conferred to the brewer Marco Valeriani and the silver medal in the American IPA category of “Beer of the Year 2017” won by the Wave Runner beer.
Here you will find 9 craft beers with 9 original flavours, the result of a mix of freshness, innovative spirit and craftsmanship. Try the unique aroma of the Riverside Pale Ale, a mix of hops from different origins, from Germany to the United States, passing through the United Kingdom or being transported to Asia by Asia Blanche, with Japanese hops and oriental spices. And what about Bulk? From the intense notes of caramel, chocolate and coffee, it is a dark beer with a unique blend.
The perfect end to a day spent exploring the Adda River is in the Hammer Tap Room, enjoying a freshly brewed beer and taking a close look at the production cycle of quality craft beers.