Going for a walk among the narrow lanes and cobblestones of Bianzano, the smallest village in the valley, we breathe in that distinctive atmosphere of historic hamlets, so silent and tranquil, amid ancient mediaeval walls and hidden courtyards.
Be sure not to miss Castle Suardi, a little-known but fantastic example of cultural history set within the local Bergamasque mountain scenery. The castle has been very well preserved and sits halfway up the hill; from its walls one can admire Lake Endine and the unspoilt nature surrounding it.
Visiting this historic site, one drinks in the magic of foregone centuries. Diverse pagan and religious symbols are carved on the stones of its portal and within its walls, all of which have given rise to mysterious legends about the history of the castle.
Every two years, in summer, the courtyards, porticoes and lanes of the town are enlivened by large numbers of people dressed in historic costume for an intriguing re-evocation of mediaeval history, which has become a tradition since 1997.
Exiting the castle, we turn towards the hill in front of us and come to the sanctuary of Santa Maria Assunta, a little country church surrounded by greenery and dating from the 13th century. Here, mystery is interwoven with legend, the two combining to present us with evocative possibility when we visit the adjacent, ancient cemetery area…
If time allows, be sure not to miss the wonderful walks and open paths connecting the little town with bordering municipal districts. These are well marked and easily accessible, for example, the Strada degli Asini (the Road of the Donkeys) and Via Ludù, which lead to Spinone; and the walk along the old road of the Valle Rossa (Red Valley), which goes right up to the border with the Val Seriana and is full of wild medicinal herbs and pools of crystalline water.
We also recommend the walk which leads to the cross right at the top of Monte Crocione. This huge cross towers above the town and has a breath-taking view of the Val Cavallina and the lake set within.
Lastly, taking the Via Toreto, we come across the marvellous Roccolo di Torè (ancient tower for catching birds), after which you can visit the sanctuary of the Madonna of Altino… etc…. etc. Come and see what else you can find on the road from Bianzano!
Municipality of Bianzano
Area: 6.67 square kilometres
Altitude: 600 metres above sea level