Walking in… The Orobie Alps, Valle Seriana, Northern Italy

The Essentials:

Possibly a relatively simple walk in summer months, but a much trickier passage in the winter.

Description: Starting at Valcanale, heading west up to Lago Branchino via Rifugio Alpe Corte Bassa.

Details: Approximately 10km (approx. 4 hours). A 800m climb from 1,050m above sea level to 1,850m.

Stops: Food and drink available at Rifugio Alpe Corte Bassa.

Difficulty: Particularly icy and snowy in winter months. Appropriate footwear recommended.

Parking available in Valcanale.


As a new arrival in Italy, I was treated to this wonderful walk by a couple of locals. An hour’s drive north of Bergamo, the landscape quickly becomes an alpine scene as you head north.


My first experience hiking in Italy was something really special. Situated in the Seriana Valley, the spectacular views never ended. It was quite difficult to resist turning around every five minutes to take in the view of where I had come from.

As we did this walk in February, we were frequently overtaken by people skiing up and down and by people wearing snow shoes.

Signposts occasionally mark the way, providing the destination and approximate walking time.

Once you leave the road, the way up is quite sheltered by trees before opening up, offering spectacular views.


There are one or two smaller huts on the way up which were closed in the winter months, but could possibly offer a chance to rest when the snow subsides.


A lovely place to stop and have a snack.

The mid-point of the walk resembled something from Lord of the Rings, or north of the wall in Game of Thrones. Wonderful stretches of untouched snow in all directions, peaks jutting up to the sky… although the lake was frozen over and buried under snow. Head up in the summer if you wish to find water!


The lake, below there somewhere…

We ate on the way back down at  Rifugio Alpe Corte Bassa, which offered a range of Italian dishes, and plenty of tempting desserts were on display!

Rifugio Alpe Corte Bassa

I went for the Pizzoccheri, followed by a tasty fagottino di pere.

Great selection of desserts!
Pizzoccheri, served with potato and veg. Pots of Parmesan were available on the tables, which I can rarely resist, whatever the meal…


Despite the snow, the walk seemed popular with dog walkers and we met plenty of friendly canines on the way up and down!



All in all, this was a beautiful introduction to what the north of Italy had to offer, and I hope my pictures give you some idea of what to expect!



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