The Valchiavenna cyclepath is a track along the valley bottom which sets out from Val Bregaglia on the border between Italy and Switzerland. In this very first section you can detect signs of the cross-cultural “contamination” between two vastly different territories but which clearly influence each other, creating an almost mid-European ambience. Heading down along the cyclepath you encounter the village of Piuro, with its archaeological excavations, the Acquafraggia waterfalls and the magnificent Palazzo Vertemate….. not to be missed under any circumstances! There are any number of delectable halts along the way thanks to a food and wine culture to be savoured. You might choose the characteristic atmosphere of a Valchiavenna crotto, enjoying local dishes within one of these natural caves served all year round by the noted “sorel” breeze, or indeed one of the many typical restaurants in this captivating valley. The completion of the pathway was made possible by the intervention of the Comunità Montana della Valchiavenna which invested in the construction and maintenance of the route. Valchiavenna itself is situated in the very northernmost part of Lombardy fitting snugly within the internal slopes of the central Alpine arc.
Chiavenna is the main town, which with its strategic position has always had considerable geographic and economic importance, particularly up until the end of the 19th century. Ancient buildings with facades adorned with intriguing frescoes and portals created in local potstone (pietra ollare) and decorated with meticulous floral motif, represent the elements which characterise the charming historic centre of the town overlooking the river Mera. A celebrated central nucleus dating back to the 16th century when it was already protected by the Sforza constructed walls, still evident in parts, and a living testimony to the wealth and significance of Chiavenna during the period of important trade and transit enterprises towards central Europe itself.