Val di Mello is the largest natural reserve of the Lombardy region (northern Italy), located about 130 km from Milan. It is part of Valtellina, a valley bordering Switzerland. It receives not only mountaineers, climbers and bouldering practitioners from all over Europe, attracted by its rocky walls, the Monte Disgrazia (3678 m s.l.m.) and the Sasso Remenno, but also people without any particular physical training looking for a weekend of peace and rest in nature. A weekend in that valley has a taste of adventure, is good for the body and refreshes the mind.
Val di Mello offers the possibility of taking a walk in a fairly level path, following the flow of a charming stream surrounded by unspoilt nature. It is suitable for families with children, elderly people who love the mountains and dogs too.
The nearest village to Val di Mello is San Martino, which has some hotels, restaurants and grocery stores. In the area there are also many campsites. You will be able to find the typical gastronomic specialties of Valtellina everywhere. Take the chance to taste the pizzoccheri (a kind of pasta prepared with potatoes, kale and Bitto cheese typical from Valtellina, named after the river Bitto), the polenta taragna (a polenta prepared with a special kind of flour) and wines produced directly in Valtellina.
The road that connects San Martino to the beginning of the protected area is paved, but it is closed to traffic during summer: if you go by car, from June until mid-September you must park it in San Martino and from there you take a shuttle (one every 15 minutes) that will take you to the entrance of the valley. If you want you can do this route on foot.
Once you’ve arrived, follow the stream because this is the main route. Within a few minutes you will come to a natural lake that offers one of the most photographed landscapes of the valley. The path goes on and you can follow the stream for a long time. The landscape will reserve you beautiful scenery: rocks, rolling lawns, wooden bridges, natural pools, animals that graze peacefully and stone houses.
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How to get there with public transport
Direct train from Milan to Morbegno (1:40 hrs), then by bus to S. Martino: bus Morbegno SF – S. Martino (visit http://www.stps.it/ for updated info on costs and timetable). Travel time: about 50 minutes.
Costs in 2016 (one way ticket) = adults: € 2,00; children: € 1,00
– from May 07 to June 26: Saturdays and Sundays only, the same for the months of September and October
– from June 27 to September 04: every day, from 8 am to 6pm.