Autumn foliage is the particular phenomenon during which the leaves of deciduous trees change color, transitioning from the green of summer to the typical yellows, oranges, reds, and browns of autumn The best time to observe this is from late September to early November.
This phenomenon gives rise to true natural spectacles, and walking through forests during this season provides a sense of well-being and tranquility. You don’t need to be a mountaineer or an experienced athlete to enjoy it. There are numerous routes accessible to all with a minimum of training and the right technical equipment. Given the season, warm clothing is necessary to protect against the early chill, and dressing in layers allows you to shed clothing as you warm up from movement. Footwear also requires special attention, as it needs to provide good traction on often damp and slippery autumn terrain.
Going through forests in autumn to find the best places to admire foliage has become a popular activity in Italy as well, while in regions like Canada and the East Coast of the United States, it has been a significant tourist phenomenon for years.
In this article, we will describe 10 routes in our region, Lombardy, where it’s easy to admire and enjoy the foliage.
- The Terraced Pathway, in Valtellina (SO)
- The Forest of Bagni di Masino (SO)
- The Acquafraggia waterfalls, in Val Chiavenna (SO)
- The Sacro Monte di Varese (VA)
- The Pathway of Expressions in Val d’Intelvi (CO)
- Mount San Primo along the Lariano Triangle (CO)
- Val Piancone (LC)
- Canto Alto in Val Brembana (BG)
- The 3 faggi of Fuipiano, in Valle Imagna (BG)
- Zone, on Iseo Lake (BS)
The Terraced Pathway, in Valtellina (SO)
The Terraced Pathway winds along the middle and lower Valtellina, in the province of Sondrio, along the sunnier side, the Rhaetian side. This area is characterized by the typical terraced vineyards, from which renowned wines such as Sassella and Inferno are produced. Along the route, you can admire the splendid forests growing on the mountain slopes. “The route, with continuous ups and downs, starts from Berbenno and ends in Tirano, for a total of 70 km, but can of course be broken down into smaller sections. It’s particularly suitable for cycling. We have described the itinerary in this article.
The Forest of bagni di Masino (SO)
Val Masino is a side valley of Valtellina, in the province of Sondrio. Carved by the stream of the same name, it stretches at the base of Mount Badile and features a protected forest area managed by ERSAF (Regional Agency for Agriculture and Forest Services). Numerous trails suitable for children and families wind through this area, making it ideal for immersing oneself in nature and capturing spectacular images of the foliage. Nearby, of notable natural interest, are the Val di Mello and the Predarossa Plain. Visit the official tourism site of the valley at this page.
The Acquafraggia waterfalls, in Val Chiavenna (SO)
The Acquafraggia waterfalls, are a spectacular waterfall located in Val Chiavenna. They are so enchanting that they even enchanted Leonardo da Vinci, who will mention them in his “Codex Atlanticus”. The path to visit them starts from Borgonuovo di Piuro and meanders through beautiful beech forests, ideal for admiring the warm colors of the autumn woods.. We have described the itinerary in this article.
The Sacro Monte di Varese (VA)
The Sacro Monte di Varese, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2003, is a devotional path that winds through Mount Velate, featuring fourteen chapels, a sanctuary, and a crypt built in the seventeenth century. Located just outside the town of Varese, it leads to the village of Santa Maria del Monte, offering splendid views of the Campo dei Fiori Regional Park, where the entire path is immersed, along with its beautiful forests, perfect for autumn foliage. We’ve described the itinerary on this page.
The Pathway of Expressions in Val d’Intelvi (CO)
The Pathway of Expressions in Val d’Intelvi is a route that winds through a splendid forest in this valley in the province of Como, bordering Switzerland. The forests in this valley are beautiful during autumn and provide excellent photo opportunities. Along the path, you can also encounter numerous statues and artworks carved from tree trunks and branches, depicting mythical creatures, sprites, elves, and forest spirits. This makes it an ideal route for children and families. We have described the itinerary in this article. Similarly, located in the province of Como, you can explore the Path of the Spirit of the Woods, in the Corni di Canzo.
Mount San Primo along the Lariano Triangle (CO)
The highest peak of the Larian Triangle ridge in the province of Como, Mount San Primo offers splendid views of the lake and is surrounded by deciduous forests, making it ideal for foliage enthusiasts. We’ve described one of the ascent routes in this article.
Val Piancone (LC)
Val Piancone, a side valley of Val Sassina in the province of Lecco, is known for its beautiful beech forests, perfect for foliage lovers. Inside, you’ll also find an imposing centuries-old beech tree called the Piancone, estimated to be over 300 years old. With a trunk circumference of about 10 meters and a height of nearly 30 meters, it is considered the oldest in Italy. We’ve described the itinerary to reach this impressive guardian of the forest in this article.
Canto Alto, in Val Brembana (BG)
Canto Alto is one of the first elevations encountered in the Bergamo Prealps. Due to its proximity to the city, it can easily be referred to as Bergamo’s mountain. Its slopes, both on the southern side facing the city of Bergamo and the northern side facing Val Brembana, are covered with splendid deciduous forests, perfect to visit in the autumn. We’ve described one of the ascent routes in this article.
The 3 faggi of Fuipiano, in Valle Imagna (BG)
The location of Tre Faggi in Fuipiano, in Valle Imagna, takes its name from three historic and imposing centuries-old beech trees that dominate the valley. As you can imagine, the entire route winds through beautiful beech forests, perfect for autumn foliage enthusiasts. Nearby, there’s also a chapel dedicated to the Madonna, surrounded by semi-destroyed boundary stones reminiscent of Celtic and prehistoric dolmens, adding a touch of magic to the environment. We’ve described the itinerary to reach this location in this article.
Zone, on Lake Iseo (BS)
The nature reserve of the Pyramids of Zone, located on the northeastern shore of Lake Iseo in the province of Brescia, is characterized by the presence of distinctive vertical rock formations, reaching heights of up to 30 meters, topped with large erratic boulders that reduce their exposure to wind and rain, thus slowing down erosion. The visitor’s route winds through the deciduous forests of the area, which during this season come alive with the warm colors of autumn. We have described the itinerary in this article.
BergamoXP is the first aquatic sports center in the province of Bergamo. We are professionals specializing in the disciplines ofKayak, Canyoning, Rafting, Hydrospeed, River Trekking. We are a team of nature enthusiasts, outdoor and adventure lovers, and connoisseurs of our territory. If you enjoyed this free and rich article on our blog about spending leisure time in the nature of our province and region, take a look at our events and offerings on this page.
Choose BergamoXP, adventure is waiting just around the corner!