50 Via Spluga
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Right at the start the trail negotiates the dramatic Viamala, the most famous gorge on the Splügen route. It then leads through Zillis and Andeer, passing villages on the Schamserberg until the inviting valley narrows at the difficult Roflaschlucht gorge. Along the sunny Rheinwald valley floor to the pass village of Splügen (1475 m). From here the route climbs south to the 2115 m Splügen summit and then descends through the gorge in Val Cardinello and forested Val San Giacomo to Chiavenna.
The route follows historic mule trails, with its most spectacular sections in the Viamala, Rofla and Val Cardinello. Despite its difficulties, the route has been popular since ancient times, already recorded in the Roman Empire’s list of arterial roads as it formed an almost dead-straight link between southern Germany and Lombardy.
Path and road construction, transport services and trading traffic, spiritual exchange and creative artistic power have influenced the picture of the landscape and settlements, as well as improving living standards and broadening horizons for local farmers. The church in Zillis with its world-famous Romanesque ceiling paintings forms the artistic highlight of this route, which links three Alpine linguistic and cultural regions.
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