While not normally an Italian tradition, winter sports and skiing in Italy are joined by the possibility of a sled dog ride in the Valdidentro, in the Valtellina region of northern Lombardy. The Valdidentro is in the province of Sondrio and for the rest of April there should be enough snow around for children to enjoy a sled dog ride.
Children wanting to have a sled dog ride are joined by an instructor in an excursion that lasts one hour. It’s open to children up to the age of 12, with two children at a time, at the price of 40 euros a person. See the Elation site for more details, and go to the Valdidentro website for information on other activities in the area.
Foto | Flickr
Ghost towns have always fascinated me, so just a few days ago I visited Savogno, a picturesque village in Val Bregaglia, not too far from Sondrio in Lombardy. To reach the deserted village (only few family still live there) from Piuro I took a beautiful path which starts just beneath the Acqua Fraggia Falls and climbs through the woods. There are 3,000 steps leading to the lost village which lies at 932 metres above sea level. Alternatively you can take the other path, but the ascent will be difficult anyway, so don’t forgot to put on your mountaineering boots. With its houses falling to pieces and spooky atmosphere, Savogno looks like a strange but lovely postcard someone left lying in a drawer for years.
The place has a Facebook page, take a look!
After low temperatures and even some more snow over the Easter break, a little excursion through the Valtellina in a snow mobile could be just the thing to enjoy the snow-white landscape of the Italian mountains, but with warmer temperatures. In the Valchiavenna valley, travelling from Colico on Lake Como, you can enjoy a snow mobile excursion in Madesimo. Excursions are sold to groups of six people and cost about 15 euros a head. Madesimo is located in the province of Sondrio, and the excursions leave from the ski fields there, taking the Spluga Pass to the swiss border. For more details, see the elation.it site, and for more information on Madesimo and its ski fields, go to Madesimo.com. The area is located about two hours north of Milan and about half an hour from Colico and can be reached by travelling either to Colico from Lecco or meandering up the Como side of the lake.
Photo | passospluga.it
Seeing the Valtellina valley north of Lake Como by helicopter would be a special trip, and Sondrio’s most exclusive hotel, the Romantik Grand Hotel della Posta has an offer of accommodation, dinner and a helicopter ride around the valley.
The offer includes two nights’ accommodation, two four-course, degustation dinners, a guided visit around the city of Sondrio and the Valtellina museum, and entrance to the Grand Hotel della Posta wellness and spa retreat. You also get two 30-minute massages. The offer is available for a group of friends, six in total, and costs 460 euros a head.
Photo | Flickr
The Touring Club Italy with its orange flags is a kind of Italian tourism equivalent of Michelin stars. Since 1999 it has been awarding towns with less than 15,000 inhabitants according to rigorous selection criteria. Local councils must have important historical, cultural and environmental patrimony, and offer tourists a quality welcome to their towns.
This year, Lombardy has scored a coup with nine of out 60 towns being awarded the orange flag. They include Bienno and Tignale (Brescia province), Castellaro Lagusello and Sabbioneta (Mantova province), Chiavenna (Sondrio province), Clusone and Gromo (Bergamo province) and Menaggio and Torno from the Como province. Menaggio you see in the photo.
The Touring Club site has the extended list of Italian councils that have been awarded the orange flag and why the honour has been received. For example Sabbioneta received the award for its superior tourism service including a dedicated information point, rich with promotional materials from the area. The historical centre is well kept and of historical interest while cultural interest is sustained through a single ticket which gives you access to various events and attractions. The hospitaly offered also must be of a high level.
Go to the Touring site if you’re interested in some weekends away in Italy.
Foto - Flickr