After all these months of lockdown, the first weekend out of town brought us to Valmalenco, a valley we didn' yet know but which we knew was in Valtellina, practically north of Bergamo and on the "west roof" of Lombardy.
Along the road on the Lecco shore of Lake Como, we begin to go up along some slopes. The climate is getting cooler, but with an almost "sparkling" coolness and therefore extremely pleasant. After a few curves, we arrive at Chiesa di Valmalenco and in the distance, you can see the cableway of the Valmalenco Bernina Ski Resort.
At the cableway station, we check-in at the "Ai Barchi" accommodation.
Now you have to climb to an altitude of 1.600m, that's where the apartments are, right on the slopes.
Do we get there by car, right?
Well, now that the snow has melted, yes! Otherwise, in winter, with the snow, you can go up with the cableway or with the snowcat (Do you know the emotion?).
Then, curious, we go up with the car following the tracks and we arrive at "Ai Barchi": we enter a road marked as a "private road" and we see this large chalet in the middle of the track! That's where we will sleep: surrounded only by green meadows and clouds, wow!
There are 4 apartments: 2 studios for 2 people and 2 two-room apartments for 4-5 people. The structure was born from the ruins of an old guardhouse right next to the chairlift: the renovation is very modern but the old farmhouse can still be seen. It's all really suggestive! We sleep in one of the two-room apartments for 4-5 people overlooking the valley: a beautiful apartment that, even at sunset, offers a breathtaking view! We enjoy the apartment, which has all the comforts of a home (kitchen, kit, pantry) but also that "cozy" touch typical of high altitude chalets (exposed beams, sleeping bag and windows overlooking the mountains). At night there is total silence. Sofia exclaimed: why is it so dark?
Well, we are in the middle of the slopes and away from the roads, here there are no street lamps, we will only see the stars in the sky.
Wow, she exclaimed.
Indeed, after dinner at the La Gusa refuge, we return to the cottage with the help of a torch: this time Francesco is the curious one! He chases his own shadows, learns to use the flashlight, and finally, he is the one who guides us to the apartment door. Before closing ourselves in the house, we once again admire the silence that surrounds us. It is a real wonder to be able to sleep surrounded by such luxuriant but at the same time so silent nature.
The next day we go down to San Giuseppe and shop for typical products: pizzoccheri, wild ragù, Bitto and sciatt! We eat in the cottage and enjoy the enchanting view of the valley! It rains so we can't go up to Lake Palù, but we relax in the warmer under the duvets: we grownups listen to music while Francesco plays with the toy cars.
In the evening we take the umbrellas and go to dinner at the Sassonero, an intimate atmosphere with a huge wood stove that heats every corner of the room: the choice is difficult between sliced beef and sliced venison so we choose to try both and divide the dishes! Francesco goes for pizzoccheri while Sofia can't resist the venison ragù! In short, we discover that Valtellina cuisine is irresistible!
On Sunday, we dress comfortably to attempt the ascent to Lake Palù, but it starts snowing a little bit. In the mountains the weather changes in a flash and so once again we don't see Lake Palù. Time for lunch, a sun appears that illuminates the whole valley and makes us feel even warm, but we have to go down. We admire the wonderful surrounding landscape: we see a small deer among the groves!
What can I say, Valmalenco really surprised us and we have to go back! Next time, Lake Palù will not escape us!
Thanks to the friends of the Valmalenco Resort and all the realities that hosted us! We had such a good time that we count the days to come back to visit you!
Vaty (A Thai Pianist)
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