Winter walks and snowshoes

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Winter walks and snowshoes


Enjoyable outings within snow-covered woodland along well-trodden paths or perhaps better still – on fresh snow across the valley sides – are perfect ways of getting right to the heart of nature and appreciating the magical ambience of Madesimo’s surrounding peaks.


Along the riverside

Departure: Madesimo – the walkway above the dam
Arrival: valley bottom / Alpe Macolini (1.656 m.)
Height difference: around 100 m.
This pleasant walk begins on the gangway along both sides of the artificial basin situated just as you arrive in Madesimo, it crosses the length of the little town and continues along the valley bottom always skirting the course of the Scalcoggia stream. It’s an outing strictly reserved for walkers along an easy route either on the level or with very gentle climbs. The first section as far as the Dogana Vegia (around 2 km.) is also suitable for evening strolls as it’s illuminated; from here the walker might head on to Alpe Macolini along a well-trodden path that follows the paved road in summertime. From the end of the valley bottom you can enjoy some splendid panorama taking in the ski slopes, get a different perspective of Madesimo itself, Alpe Motta and the Santuario di Nostra Signora d’Europa (a magnificent 15m high statue depicting The Virgin Mary, positioned on Alpe Motta). An alternative on this particular outing is to leave the Dogana Vegia quarter and move through the area occupied by a small clutch of mountain dwellings (baite) known as “Zerbi”, and then rejoin the road further downstream (“La Strecia” walk).

The Andossi outing

Departure: walkway along the riverside / “ponte romano” zone
Arrival: locality of Mottaccio (1.706 m.)
Height difference: around 150 m.
This choice of walk starts at the “Walk along the river” (see above) at the level of the so-called “ponte romano”. Once across the bridge, climb following the signposts for “Bicycle pathways for Andossi”, and you’ll go along a path crossing Andossi itself, a limestone plateau positioned on the right flank of the Valle Scalcoggia until you reach the southern end represented by the Mottaccio area (about an hour’s walk). Look out for Andossi’s collection of mountain dwellings, the pretty little San Rocco church and some excellent spots to eat, drink and relax.

Road to Motta

Departure: start at the “Via Per Motta”
Arrival: locality of Motta (1.720 m.)
Height difference: around 200 m.
An enjoyable outing taking the walker from Madesimo to the village of Motta (a community forming part of Campodolcino municipality) and covers a route along a road through a beautiful larch forest. Motta hosts bars, restaurants and pizzeria positioned directly on the ski slopes, a ring of around 5 km for cross country skiing . From Motta you can proceed to the Lago Azzurro representing a further 1.8 km and a height differential of 140m.

Road to Pianazzo

Departure: locality of Scalcoggia (to the left of the entry to the gallery)
Arrival: Pianazzo (1.400 m.)
Height difference: circa 150 m. downhill
Lenght: around 1,3 km
The walk heads off from Madesimo to Pianazzo, along the old road which in the past was used by vehicles, but after the opening of the tunnel (1974) became a thoroughfare reserved exclusively for pedestrians. It’s a gentle walk, suitable even for walkers with pushchairs. Illuminated at night. Along the way you can enjoy the sight of two waterfalls:
1) “Cascata del Catino”: a waterfall with a drop of around 100m, fed by the waters of the Scalcoggia stream. The name derives from the shape adopted by the rock following the erosion process
2) “Cascata di Pianazzo”: with a drop of 180m it’s the highest waterfall in Valchiavenna and is also fed by the Scalcoggia stream. The point of arrival is actually at the viewing point of the waterfall.
In wintertime in high season there is a bus shuttle service from Madesimo to Pianazzo and back.


In recent years snow racquets have sparked a new interest for both sporting enthusiasts and equally for lovers of getting about outdoors. As a result two excellent routes have been created and are indicated by the use of poles, it’s an easy outing and not demanding in the least.


Departure: on the walkway along the river, from the wooden bridge opposite the Residence “Alta Gran Baita”
Arrival: Via Brenta
Route: the track climbs gradually from the centre of Madesimo to the Alpe Andossi,
initially in woodland, then along a sun-kissed plateau; once at Mottaccio the track heads back down to Madesimo along a series of gentle turns.
Time required: around 1.30 / 2.00 hours
Height difference: around 200 m.
Difficulty: easy, suitable for beginners


( 3 km from Madesimo)
Departure: Via Baldiscio – San Martino Church
Arrival: Via Baldiscio – San Martino Church
Route: the trail climbs pretty quickly following the old mule-track towards the Baldiscio pass, takes a wide circular route varying from level stretches to climbs and descents in the Ca Raseri area. It then goes down into woodland back to the village, from where you can enjoy some splendid views of the historic Via Spluga.
Time required: around 1.30 / 2.00 hours
Height difference: around 250 m.
Difficulty: medium

We recommend not setting out on either itinerary without snow racquets

For more experienced walkers there are some fascinating alternative routes to be undertaken with a local Alpine guide:

Moreno Pedroncelli
Cell. +39 333 3988552

Pio Guanella
Cell. +39 335 6694432

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