The austere rock faces of lower Valtellina obscure one of the most noteworthy and appreciated trails amongst the mountain biking brigade. A genuinely atmospheric route, only recently made ever more secure, and carved out of the very rock itself, overlooking Lake Mezzola and offering up unparalleled views – and incidentally 22 tunnels (we recommend the use of front lights/torches). It’s an itinerary which is normally practicable from March through to November.
It can be reached from Verceia by taking the road that leads to Valle dei Ratti, a dirt track in its latter stages. To offset the climb to altitude it’s possible to drive up to the very start of the trail, subject to purchasing a permit from one of the bars in Verceia (daily cost 5 euro). It’s a spectacular route halfway up the valley side, moving from Valle dei Ratti to Codera, up above the municipalities of Verceia and Novate Mezzola. A unique itinerary of its type, originally a vital communication route situated at 920m asl. Built in the 1930s to service the hydro-electric works of the valleys of Codera and dei Ratti, il Tracciolino, pitted by the tracks of a narrow-gauge railway (it‘s advisable to pedal to the sides), was employed up to just a few years ago by Edison personnel for getting about on quadricycle or small locomotive. The ten kilometre stretch is entirely on the level and offers up breathtaking panorama stretching out over Lake Como and Valchiavenna before scampering into a series of atmospheric caves carved out of the rock itself.
A route laden with history, tradition and the particular nature of an Alpine valley with water clearly a leading player. The way is interrupted by a detour which means you’ll be on foot to reach the village of San Giorgio. In fact from this point onwards it’s advisable to remain on foot for the duration. And by so doing you will reach Codera (825m), a typical Alpine village which offers food and lodging for tourists, and holds the distinction of being the only village in Lombardy without road access which is inhabited all the year round!