Antica Strada Valeriana is a 130-km route departing from Pilzone d’Iseo and arriving to Passo del Tonale pass. Once the only road connecting Lake Iseo and Camonica Valley, this route is being rediscovered thanks to its incredible panoramic spots and historic importance. Evidence of this increased interest is the official mapping of the itinerary and inclusion in the portal Cammini d’Italia.
Described as one of the most beautiful trails in Italy, Via Valeriana represents an extremely evocative route, passing through old towns and offering magnificent panoramic views of Lake Iseo and the natural beauties of Camonica Valley.
The route is divided into 9 stages:
Specifically, the first stage is being restored thanks to the effort of Comunità Montana del Sebino Bresciano. This is a substantial restoration effort which enables us today to follow in the steps of our ancestors who would travel on this road with their carts and animals. It brings us back to the magic of a past where automobile traffic did not exist.
After you reach Iseo by car or by train (Trenord line), continue to Pilzone and take Antica Strada Valeriana. On your left, you can immediately enjoy the beauty of Lake Iseo with Monte Isola in the middle, listed as one of the Most Beautiful Small Towns in Italy and third-place recipient of the European Best Destination award in 2019.
Once you reach Pisogne, stop to visit the Church of Santa Maria della Neve, which contains marvellous frescoes by Romanino. This imposing artwork is often compared to Michelangelo’s Systine Chapel in Rome.
As you continue along the trail leading to the upper part of the valley, you will find unforgettable Alpine landscapes and the most beautiful mountains in the region, including Concarena and Pizzo Badile. A visit to the outstanding town of Bienno is also recommended. This is another Most Beautiful Small Towns in Italy destination. The church of Santa Maria Annunciata is worth a visit to admire the frescoes of local artist Pietro da Cemmo.
The difficulty of the route is medium. Challenging slopes are present only in limited spots. The difference in altitude is significant: from 186 m above sea level in Iseo to 1,883 m above sea level in Passo del Tonale.
The road is accessible all year round, but the stages from Edolo to Aprica and Tonale are not recommended over the winter due to the presence of ski slopes.
The Brescia-Edolo segment can also be covered by train.
For further information, join the Facebook group “Amici della Via Valeriana”.