Due to its geographical position, Breno is one of the reference points for the entire Valle Camonica. The town and the villages under its administration (Astrio, Mezzarro, Pescarzo) boast numerous squares, historic buildings, towers, and churches which constitute an artistic itinerary of undisputable interest. The moderate distance between Breno and Bienno, just as rich in attractions, offers cyclists the possibility to discover these two towns through a circular itinerary, and the flexibility to craft it to make it most suitable for your training wishes and functional to the cultural stops you want to make.
From the centre of Breno, climb from the town hall area towards Passo Croce Domini. Do not worry about the steep climb at the beginning because it is short-lived; after it, you pedal more effortlessly passing near the ancient parish church of San Maurizio, with the nearby Cappella dei Morti (Chapel of the Dead), and the fifteenth-century Shrine of San Valentino. Beyond the small village of Pescarzo, the difference in height you have already reached allows you admire the castle below and the mid-valley area with Oglio River. You can also see the opposite side of Concarena Mountains. After passing the small village of Astrio, you reach a fork where you turn right towards Bienno. This town is rich in civil and religious architecture and is a member of the Association of Most Beautiful Small Towns in Italy. In the historic centre, you can see medieval buildings and towers.
The fifteenth-century church of Santa Maria Annunciata is also very interesting, with works by Romanino and Pietro da Cemmo. Bienno is famous for traditional iron work; you can learn more by visiting the Fucina Museum, the mill, and the forges. On the way back to Breno, you can visit the Shrine of Santa Maria Maddalena with the great golden statue of Christ the King (Cristo Re), the Hermitage (Eremo) of Santi Pietro e Paolo, and then the castle with its archaeologically relevant area.
Point of departure and arrival: Breno, altitude 329m
Closest railway station: Breno (www.trenord.it)
Length: 18 km
Difference in height: 530m
Type of bicycle required: road bike