773 - ViaSanBernardino
Known from prehistoric times, the San Bernardino Pass (until the 15th century Culmen de Oxello or in some sources also called Mons Avium ) has made the Misox a typical passage valley. The valley has been shaped by cultural influences from the north as well as from the south, is rich in historical and cultural witnesses, as well as natural treasures. On the south side of the pass, the hiker walks along historic paths and overcomes a difference in altitude of almost 1800 m. Especially from San Bernardino Villaggio you can observe picturesque sections of the old road, which have been artfully and sustainably restored in recent times. On the valley floor, the route leads through vineyards and chestnut forests. The villages, perched on terraces or along the road, reveal to the walker monuments from different eras: Romanesque and Baroque churches, towers and castles, palazzi, agricultural buildings, archaeological sites, as well as interesting street details. The old buildings are mainly made of gneiss; the stone shapes the image of the valley. On the way from Mesocco to the pass, the hike leads along prehistoric paths. Also noteworthy are more recent works of human creation, such as the impressive viaducts of the national road below Pian San Giacomo. For the hiker, an increasingly alpine world opens up with varied natural landscapes: mountain peaks, mountain lakes and moor meadows. From San Vittore you can reach the San Bernardino Hospice in four stages. The route is suitable for multi-day trekking as well as day hikes. Attractive offers in the cultural, agricultural and tourist areas make the hike an unforgettable experience.
ViaSanBernardino in four stages
Stage 1 San Vittore-Cama
From San Vittore with the Church of San Lucio from the Carolingian period, you can reach Roveredo on foot on the left bank; The two villages, which produced several architects who settled in Germany during the Baroque period, are rich in historical monuments (churches, towers, palaces). Continue towards Grono, a typical village along the road dominated by the harmonious Torre Fiorenzana, and continue towards Leggia and Cama. In addition to the ruins of Norantola Castle, in Cama we find the typical grotti; Here, as elsewhere, you can sample delicious local specialties such as wine, meats, and cheeses.
3h runtime, 11.2 km, 97 m difference in altitude.
Stage 2 Cama-Soazza
The route winds through chestnut forests, meadows and floodplains: the villages of Sorte, Lostallo and Cabbiolo offer picturesque views and precious churches. You enter Soazza, placed in a panoramic position on a terrace, along sections of the old railway with viaducts and tunnels and a restored mule track from the 18th century.
3h45 Running time, 14.3 km, 245 m difference in altitude.
Stage 3 Soazza-San Bernardino Village
In the village of Soazza you can admire the harmonious urban structure, the Capuchin hospice, the church of San Martino, as well as several buildings from the 19th century. An educational trail starting from Soazza allows you to engage with the naturalistic, scenic and cultural aspects of the area, especially the chestnut culture. Our route continues towards the imposing ruins of the Castle of Mesocco, a Renaissance fortress demolished in the 16th century, and the Church of Santa Maria del Castello, which houses an extraordinary cycle of frescoes from the 15th century. Mesocco, which in the past played an important role in the management of traffic by the S. Bernardino, has several interesting historical buildings; The first traces of human presence in the region date back to almost 10,000 years ago. In Mesocco, the purely alpine part of the journey begins: the path climbs steeply towards Pian San Giacomo, bypassing the old road routes several times. After Pian San Giacomo, the route winds almost entirely on the old mule track or the "French road", between forests and mountain pastures dominated by majestic peaks to reach the enchanting basin of San Bernardino with the tourist village.
6h runtime, 14.5 km, 1042 m difference in altitude.
Stage 4 San Bernardino Village - San Bernardino Pass
San Bernardino is the main tourist destination in Mesolcina, established in the 19th century because of its healthy mountain climate and the healing effects of its mineral water. The ecological characteristics of the area with the pine forests, the peat bogs, the lakes and the various entertainment options make it the ideal destination for those seeking peace and nature. Climb from the village to the pass (2065 m) where the hospice is located, built in 1824-25 on the shores of the lake from which the Moesa River rises. The path crosses the excellently restored Kutschenstraße several times; the remains of the modernized mule track from the 18th century are also clearly visible. From both streets you can admire the construction techniques and various artifacts. The area of the pass, wide and flat, is characterized by rounded reliefs formed by glaciers that enclose numerous lakes and swamps of rare charm, the ideal habitat for a flora of great naturalistic interest.
2h running time, 5 km, 457 m difference in altitude.
Responsible for this content: Ente Turistico Regionale del Moesano (ETRM).
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