Adventure Nature&Sport

A day on the Brembo Cycle Path

It was a sunny, cheerful, colourful and sparkling October. The city and province of Bergamo were dressed up to party, sunny days were clamouring to be enjoyed in the open air to take advantage of the beauty of the last autumn warmth.

We took the opportunity to dedicate a whole day to discover a path that is as old as it is fascinating and full of surprises: the Brembo Cycle Path.

If you’ve heard of it but you’ve always had some doubts (“Will I be able to manage the whole bike path? Where do I leave from?”) Do not worry: we at VisitBergamo have tested it for you!

We offer you our personal itinerary, suitable for everyone: children, young and not so young, bicycle enthusiasts, but also those who are simply curious and eager to explore this part of the Brembana Valley in an alternative way.

VisitBergamo has tested the bicycle path that goes from Zogno to Piazza Brembana for you. Let’s discover it together!

Some preliminary information

The Brembana Valley Cycle Path starts in Zogno, in the middle of the valley.

The itinerary follows the railway tracks, now in disuse, built in the early twentieth century to connect Bergamo with the village of Piazza Brembana and especially with San Pellegrino Terme, the spa town that became a popular tourist and commercial destination at the beginning of the last century.

The Brembo Cycle Path winds along the old railway line that runs along the Brembo river in the middle of the valley and passes through old tunnels dug into the rock and that are perfectly lit up, allowing tourists on bikes to have access to the different towns and villages that are located along the route. A route that dates back to the end of the 16th century: the historic Via Priula, the communication route built at the end of the sixteenth century by the Republic of Venice to connect Bergamo with Valtellina, passed through here.

Step 1: the bikes!

What kind of world would it be without bikes? Personally, we are number one fans of this mode of transport and to ride along the Brembo Cycle Path we decided to rent two beautiful Bianchi bikes from Salvi Bike Store in Zogno. The route starts from the village of Zogno, so there are two options: take your own bike, park for free at the market square and hit the road, or rent bikes.

We chose the second option and it worked out well. It was enough to call to reserve bikes and communicate when we’d be arriving.

We arrive at 9am in Zogno, leave the car at the free parking area and reach the shop in 5 minutes on foot: Mr. Franco Salvi (very kind) has the bikes ready and waiting for us on arrival, inflated and adjusted, with a chain and helmets included.

Let’s go!

We get onto the cycle path and after a few minutes we arrive in Ambria. Here, immediately after the old signalman’s house (on the left) we find the Rinaldi shoe store, where during the holidays it’s possible to collect and leave the bikes rented by the Salvi Bike Store: good to know!

We continue in the direction of San Pellegrino. The cycle path is quite wide and two-way. The signs are clearly visible and frequent, even if you need to pay attention when the track stops and you need to pass on the road: we found a few of these interruptions along the way, but always managed to get back onto the Cycle Path without problems after a few metres.

Arrived at the entrance of San Pellegrino we come across our first tunnel, well-lit just like the following tunnels. The lights placed on the ceiling come on automatically when pedestrians and cyclists pass by, a very practical and eco-friendly solution.

We continue cycling surrounded by nature, amid the autumn foliage and the Brembo river running alongside us, a silent travel companion.

The steep stretches of the route are few and very short: the entire cycle path, in fact, has a minimal gradient that you can hardly feel, so it’s not tiring to ride along it and the cycle path is also enjoyable for those who aren’t exactly in the best physical form.

In the middle of the morning we decide to take a short detour. Just before the Serrati tunnel we find indications for the village of Cornello dei Tasso, more or less at the same height of the village of Camerata Cornello. So we leave the cycle path and find the river to our right. A sign placed in front of a bridge informs us that from there we go towards the historic Via Mercatorum, in the direction of Dossena.

Unfortunately, it was a little late to visit the beautiful village of Cornello dei Tasso, so we get back on the cycle path (there are also many signs in this area, so it’s not difficult at all). Along this part of the route, between Camerata Cornello and Lenna, we pass through some tunnels: it’s exciting riding along the old railway on our bikes, the temperature is much lower than outside, so we advise you to dress “in layers” so you don’t get too cold.

We pass through lush forests and beautiful bridges over the river. The views are so beautiful that we just have to stop to take a few photographs: for this reason, we’re a bit slow!

After crossing the iron pedestrian bridge that leads to Agriturismo Ferdy (where we will stop for lunch) we find some of the most striking views of the entire route, a delightful stone bridge that – according to an elderly gentleman in transit – is called “Ponte delle Capre – The Goats’ Bridge”: we believe him.

Then we cross the Provincial Road to resume the cycle path that continues on the opposite side and after a few kilometres we arrive in Lenna: a sign informs us that we are 3.2km from the finish line in Piazza Brembana. At this height, the valley seems to open up, the sun is high above our heads and the autumn colours are simply beautiful. One last tunnel and we finally arrive at Piazza Brembana.

After a short look around the village we stop for a photo in front of the beautiful San Martino church.

Now it’s time for lunch, so we take our bikes and head back towards Agriturismo Ferdy, where we have a booking at 1.30pm.

Just before arriving at lunch, we find on the left the “Baita del Ciclista – The Cyclists’ Mountain Hut”: could we miss the opportunity for a photo? Obviously not.

Let’s eat!

Finally at the table! Nicolò, the owners’ son, prepares us three fantastic cocktails based on Ferdy’s bitter liqueur and mountain herbs. Delicious.

Lunch continues with alpine stracchino cheeses (their own production and on sale at the farm shop), Brown Swiss air dried beef, crepes with wild herbs, pappardelle pasta, cheese balls and fiordilatte ice cream. All simply delicious. Nicolò accompanies us to visit the structure, also showing us the interior of the Borgo del Benessere, a wonderful spa with a sauna, Turkish bath, relaxation rooms, massage rooms, hay baths and much more. Even the “made in Ferdy” cosmetic products can be bought at the shop and we decide to take home a nice supply of souvenirs.

It’s 6.00pm by the time we finish the visit. We retrace the cycle path in the direction of Zogno to return the bikes to Salvi Bike Store, which closes at 7.00pm. In half an hour we’re there: our trip is over!

In conclusion, we can say that the route is not particularly tiring and is within everyone’s reach: the important thing is to have a comfortable, light bicycle with gears at your disposal. We stopped very often during the trip and for this reason the total journey time was quite long. Without stopping the entire cycle path, about 40km round trip, can be completed in 4 hours at a medium speed, but we preferred to take it easy.

We hope you enjoyed our “test” and that you’d now like to try this experience!

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