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Cimaganda Bouldering Area, Sandrio Province

CIMAGRANDA BOULDERING AREA | LOMBARDY region

Cimaganda bouldering area is located around the small village of the same name along SS36.  There are several sectors and over 100 problems cleaned and marked with plenty of additional areas.  The three main sectors are:

  • The Ghiaione sector located to the northeastern side of the town.
  • The Fiume (river) sector.
  • The Fiume Alto sector located on the northwestern side of the Lirofiume.

CIMAGRANDA BOULDERING GUIDE

REGION Lombardy
PROVINCE Sondrio
NEAREST CITY Chiavenna
GEOGRAPHY Alps
BEST TIME OF YEAR Spring and Fall
APPROACH TIME 5 minutes
ROCK Gniess (granite)
LANDING
  • Grassy meadows and river rocks
  • Multipule crash pads recommended
RANGE OF GRADES 5c to 8a
GUIDEBOOK  

 

 

Colline Novaresi DOC Wine, Novara Province

COLLINE NOVARESI WINE | LOMBARDY

colli novaresi

The province of Novara is home to the Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) wine of Colline Novaresi which was created in 1994 for the red and white Italian wines of the area. All grapes destined for DOC wine production need to be harvested to a yield no greater than 11 tonnes/ha. The red wine is a blend of at least 30% Nebbiolo (known under the local name of Spanna), up to 40% Uva Rara and no more than 30% collectively of Croatina and Vespolina. Varietal styles of each of the red grape varieties can be made provided that the grape makes up at least 85% of the wine. The white wine is a made 100% from the Erbaluce grape. The finished wine must attain a minimum alcohol level of 11% in order to be labelled with the Colline Novaresi DOC designation.

Dazio Bouldering Area, Sondrio Province

DAZIO BOULDERING AREA | LOMBARDY REGION

dazio

Dazio is a very small bouldering area just outside of the village of Dazio.  The boulders are in the woods on the north side of the road.  The few blocks are quite large with a good quality of granite that is a finer grain. 

DAZIO BOULDERING GUIDE

REGION Lombardy
PROVINCE Sondrio
NEAREST TOWN Morbegno
GEOGRAPHY Alps
BEST TIME OF YEAR Fall, Winter, Spring
APPROACH TIME 1 minute
ROCK Granite
LANDING Good
RANGE OF GRADES 5b - 8a
GUIDEBOOK  

Exploring Monte Rosa the Italian Alps

MONTE ROSA | ALPS

monte rosa alps

Monte Rosa is Italy's second highest mountain and is located about 10 kilometres south-east of the Matterhorn in the Alps of north-west Italy. Although the summit of Monte Rosa itself, at 4634 metres above sea-level, is in Switzerland most of the Monte Rosa Massif is within Italy's Aosta Valley Region.

It is a great mass of a mountain at the head of the Valsesia, Gressoney and Ayas valleys. You can see Monte Rosa from many places in north-western Italy and from near the western Lombardy lakes such as Lake Maggiore. The name of the mountain means glacier mountain not pink mountains, as you might have guessed. The word 'Rosa' comes from the word 'rouése' which is a local word for glacier.

Guide to Exploring Monte Rosa

As with the other important mountains in the region, a popular way for 'non-mountaineers' to explore is to follow one of the marked routes.  One of the most popular routes is one that contours the base of Monte Rosa, a trek that usually takes around ten days. Although you avoid climbing to the summit on this route it is still reasonably challenging with several mountain passes to be crossed.

For those who don't want to spend 10 days trekking there are plenty of opportunities to get good views of the mountain from the valleys below.

MAJOR PEAKS OF THE MONTE ROSA

Dufourspitze 4,634 metres (15,203 ft), Ostspitze 4,632 metres (15,197 ft), Grenzgipfel 4,618 metres (15,151 ft), Nordend  4,618 metres (15,151 ft), Zumsteinspitze  4,563 metres (14,970 ft), Signalkuppe 4,554 metres (14,941 ft), Lyskamm  4,527 metres (14,852 ft), Silbersattel 4,515 metres (14,813 ft), Grenzsattel 4,453 metres (14,610 ft), Parrotspitze  4,432 metres (14,541 ft), Ludwigshöhe 4,341 metres (14,242 ft), Corno Nero 4,322 metres (14,180 ft), Vincent-Pyramide 4,215 metres (13,829 ft), Balmenhorn 4,167 metres (13,671 ft), Punta Giordani 4,046 metres (13,274 ft), Jägerhorn 3,970 metres (13,025 ft), Cima di Jazzi 3,803 metres (12,477 ft)

WHAT TO DO AND WHERE TO STAY NEAR MONTE ROSA

Alagna is the most popular place to stay among hikers and outdoor enthusiasts who visit the region. Of course many of the walks are challenging and need proper equipment and experience. Alagna is a major Freeride resort during the winter months.

The village standing at the bottom of the sheer cliff to the east of Monte Rosa is Macugnana.

The villages in the valleys below Monte Rosa are more Germanic than Italian in character, and occupied by the Walsers.  The people have a fascinating history within the valley, that you can learn about at the museum in Pedemonte, a short walk from Alagna. Wherever you travel in the region around the mountain you will see the unusual wooden houses that the Walsers occupy, much unchanged since their arrival in the 13th century.

A couple of cable cars in the vicinity allow access to the high mountains, for example the cable car that operates from Champoluc to Testa Grigia (more than 3300 metres above sea level) or another from Alagna to Punta Indren (3260 metres above sea level).

Other popular villages and resorts in the Monte Rosa region include those at Champoluc, Brusson, Gressoney-St-Jean (which also has a small museum about the wildlife you might encounter), Issime and Riva Valdobbia, with its church having a very colourful frescoed facade from the 16th century.

SKI RESORTS ON MONTE ROSA

Franciacorta Wine, Lombardy Region

FRANCIACORTA WINE AREA | LOMBARDY

Franciacorta wine

The territory of Franciacorta is a section of the Province of Brescia in the Italian Region of Lombardy. Franciacorta extends from MountOrfano (south ofRovato) on thesouthest area to the shores of Lake Iseo, and from the river Oglio on the western border to the city of Brescia in the east. The geography of rolling hills was shaped by glacial action. The soil, glacial moraines consisting of gravel and sand over limestone, drains well, and is ideal for the cultivation of grapes and winemaking. The weather is mild and constant due to its location south of the foothills of the Alps and the tempering presence of large lakes. To publicize enotourism the district established a Strada del Vino Franciacorta on the model of the famed German Wine Route (Weinstraße) in 2001. The area has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, with archaeological records left by Gauls— the Cenomani of Brixia (modern Brescia), Romans and Lombards. The name Franciacorta, attested in 1277, is thought to derive fromcurtesfrancae, the fortified courts of the Frankish empire established in the 8th century. Rodengo is home to a Cluniac foundation, the Abbey of St. Nicholas, which has been inhabited by Olivetan monks since 1446. Other places of interest includePassirano, with a castle, and Provagliod'Iseo, with a Romanesque church. Among the most respected wine producers of Franciacorta sparkling and still wines in the region are Berlucchi, Bellavista and Ca'Del Bosco. Others include Mosnel, Muratori, Lantieri, Majolini,Ferghettina and Cavalleri.

Gorgonzola Cheese, Lombardy Region

GORGONZOLA CHEESE | LOMBARDY

gorgonzola cheese

Gorgonzola is a veined Italian blue cheese, made from unskimmed cow's milk. It can be buttery or firm, crumbly and quite salty, with a "bite" from its blue veining.

Gorgonzola has been produced for centuries in Gorgonzola, Milan, acquiring its greenish-blue marbling in the eleventh century. However, the town's claim of geographical origin is disputed by other localities. Today, it is mainly produced in the northern Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy. Whole cow's milk is used, to which starter bacteria is added, along with spores of the mold Penicillium glaucum. Penicillium roqueforti, used in Roquefort cheese, may also be used. The whey is then removed during curdling, and the result aged at low temperatures. During the aging process metal rods are quickly inserted and removed, creating air channels that allow the mold spores to grow into hyphae and cause the cheese's characteristic veining. Gorgonzola is typically aged for three to four months. The length of the aging process determines the consistency of the cheese, which gets firmer as it ripens. There are two varieties of Gorgonzola, which differ mainly in their age: Gorgonzola Dolce (also called Sweet Gorgonzola) and Gorgonzola Piccante (also called Gorgonzola Naturale, Gorgonzola Montagna, or Mountain Gorgonzola). Under Italian law, Gorgonzola enjoys Protected Geographical Status. Termed DOP in Italy, this means that it can only be produced in the provinces of Novara, Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Cuneo, Lecco, Lodi, Milan, Pavia, Varese, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and Vercelli, as well as a number of comuni in the area of Casale Monferrato ( province of Alessandria).

Gorgonzola may be eaten in many ways. It may be melted into a risotto in the final stage of cooking, or served alongside polenta. Pasta with gorgonzola is a dish appreciated almost everywhere in Italy by gorgonzola lovers; usually gorgonzola goes on short pasta, such as penne, rigatoni, mezze maniche, or sedani, not with spaghetti or linguine. It is frequently offered as pizza topping. Combined with other soft cheeses it is an ingredient of pizza ai quattro formaggi (four-cheeses pizza).

Grana Padano Cheese, Italy

GRANA PADANO CHEESE | LOMBARDY

grana padano

Grana Padano is one of the most popular cheeses of Italy. The name comes from the noun grana (‘grain’), which refers to the distinctively grainy texture of the cheese, and the adjective Padano, which refers to the valley Pianura Padana. It is called "Grana Padano" and not "Grana Padana" because the Italian word grana is the masculine noun, il grana, describing this specific cheese, and not the feminine noun la grana, which means "grain". Grana Padano has protected designation of origin status since 1996.

Grana Padano is one of the world's first hard cheeses, created nearly 900 years ago by the Cistercian monks of Chiaravalle Abbey, founded in 1135 near Milan, who used ripened cheese as a way of preserving surplus milk. By the year 1477, it was regarded as one of the most famous cheeses of Italy. It can last a long time without spoiling, sometimes aging up to two years. It is made in a similar way to the Parmigiano Reggiano of Emilia-Romagna but over a much wider area and with different regulations and controls. Other grana cheeses are also made in Lombardy, Piedmont, Trentino, and Veneto.

Like Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano is a semifat hard cheese which is cooked and ripened slowly (for at least 9 months, then, if it passes the quality tests, it will be fire-branded with the Grana Padano trademark). The cows are milked twice a day, the milk is left to stand, and then partially skimmed. Milk produced in the evening is skimmed to remove the surface layer of cream and mixed with fresh milk produced in the morning. The partly skimmed milk is transferred into copper kettles and coagulated; the resulting curd is cut to produce granules with the size of rice grains, which gives the cheese its characteristic texture, and then cooked to . It is produced year-round and the quality can vary seasonally as well as by year. Though similar to Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, the younger Grana Padano cheeses are less crumbly, milder and less complex in flavor than their more famous, longer-aged relative.

A wheel of Grana Padano is cylindrical, with slightly convex or almost straight sides and flat faces. It measures in diameter, and in height. It weighs 24 to 40 kg (53 to 88 lbs) per wheel. The rind, which is thin, is white or straw yellow. Grana Padano is sold in three different ripening stages:

  • "Grana Padano" (9 to 16 months): texture still creamy, only slightly grainy
  • "Grana Padano oltre 16 mesi" (over 16 months): crumblier texture, more pronounced taste
  • "Grana Padano Riserva" (over 20 months): grainy, crumbly and full flavoured
  • Grana padano cheese typically contains cheese crystals, semi-solid to gritty crystalline spots that at least partially consist of the amino acid tyrosine.

Guide to Bouldering Sites in the Lombardy Region

BOULDERING AREAS IN THE LOMBARDY REGION

Bouldering Sites of the Lombardy Region

There are several nice bouldering sites in the Lombardy region of Itay. 

BOULDERING SITES IN THE LOMBARDY REGION

Prestone
Cimaganda
San Cassiano
Valbondione
Valtellina
Valmasino
Bormio
Selvapiana
Spriana
Val di Mello
Arquino
Gajum
Civate

Selvapiana Bouldering Area, Sondrio Province

SELVA PIANA BOULDERING AREA | LOMBARDY REGION

Selvapiana is a small bouldering area in the Valtellino Valley. There area only a few boulders and not really worth a special visit, but it is a great option if you get to Val di Mello and cannot climb due to access or weather.  The lower area near the village is the best place, there is a upper area as well, however it is not frequented much.

SELVAPIANA BOULDERING GUIDE

REGION Lombardy
PROVINCE Sondrio
NEAREST TOWN Morbegno
GEOGRAPHY Valtellino Valley
BEST TIME OF YEAR Fall. Winter, and Spring
APPROACH TIME 5 minutes
ROCK Granite
LANDING Good
RANGE OF GRADES 5b - 7b
GUIDEBOOK  

Spriana Bouldering Area, Sondrio Province

SPRIANA BOULDERING AREA |LOMBARDY

spriana

Spriana is located in the small village of the same name and a great place to visit with young climbers.  Located the town park there are posted signs for the various problems.

SPRIANA BOULDERING GUIDE

REGION Lombardy
PROVINCE Sondrio
NEAREST TOWN Sondrio
GEOGRAPHY Alps
BEST TIME OF YEAR All Year
APPROACH TIME 1 minute
ROCK Granite
LANDING Very Good
RANGE OF GRADES 5b - 7b
GUIDEBOOK  

Talleggio Cheese, Lombardy Region

TALEGGIO CHEESE | LOMBARDY

Taleggio Cheese

Taleggio is a semi-soft, washed rind, smear-ripened Italian cheese that is named after Val Taleggio. The cheese has a thin crust and a strong aroma, but its flavor is comparatively mild with an unusual fruity tang.Taleggio and similar cheeses have been around since Roman times, with Cicero, Cato the Elder, and Pliny the Elder all mentioning it in their writings. The cheese was solely produced in the Val Taleggio until the late 1800s, when some production moved to the Lombardy plain to the south.

The production takes place every autumn and winter when the cows are tired from a summer of grazing. First, the acidified milk is brought to the processing center from milk calves as per tradition that will mature within six to ten weeks. After the cheese is made it is set on wood shelves in chambers and washed once a week with a seawater sponge in order to prevent mold infestation and to prevent the cheese from forming an orange or rose crust. Today, the cheese is made from both pasteurized milk and from raw milk in factories. The factory-made cheeses are brighter and moderate in flavor. Spices, raisins, nuts and some lemons are also added.

The cheese can be eaten grated with salads such as radicchio or rucola and with spices and tomato on bruschetta. It melts well, and can be used in risotto or on polenta.

Val di Mello Bouldering Area, Sondrio Province

VAL DI MELLO BOULDERING AREA | LOMBARDY REGION

Val di Mello Bouldering Area

Val di Mello Bouldering Area is located in the Sondrio Province, of the Lombardy Region.  The boulders sit in a lovely upper alpine valley on the southern slopes of the Bernina Alps.  The Mello Valley has always been known for its traditional Alpine routes on good quality granite, there are lots of boulders to enjoy, but be sure and respect the surrounding area.

WHAT IS THE BOULDERING LIKE IN VAL DI MELLO

The rock is granite and problems tend to be technical rather than explosive. The grain or the rock is rather smooth and though many of the problems look easy they can be much more challenging due to body tension needed.  Most boulders have good landing zones are there are several highballs, a few extra crash pads can come in handy.  The valley has become a destination point in May for the annual Mellobloc Bouldering Competition. A fun bouldering fest patterned after the old Phoenix Bouldering Competition, there are not as many problems and this is a much more established bouldering site so not a lot of new stuff, but a great party.

The best time of the year to visit the valley is April, May, September and October.  In the winter time there are very few places to climb in the sun so the valley is quite cold, and in the summer it is very hot.  

VAL DI MELLO BOULDERING GUIDE

REGION Lombardy
PROVINCE Sondrio
NEAREST CITY Sondrio
GEOGRAPHY Alps
BEST TIME OF YEAR Spring and Fall
APPROACH TIME 5 minutes
ROCK Granite
LANDING Possible to climb with one crash pad
RANGE OF GRADES 5b - 8b
GUIDE BOOK  

Val Masino Bouldering Area, Sondrio Province

VAL MASINO BOULDERING AREA | LOMBARDY region

 

Val Masino is part of the Val di Mello bouldering area and one of the more popular sites in Italy.  Large granite boulders are spread throughout the valley starting a the village of Filorera.  There are several sectors and 100's of problems.

VAL MASINO BOULDERING GUIDE

REGION Lombardy
PROVINCE Sondrio
NEAREST CITY Sondrio
GEOGRAPHY Alps
BEST TIME OF YEAR Spring and Fall
APPROACH TIME 5 minutes
ROCK Granite/Gneis
LANDING Mixed
RANGE OF GRADES 5a - 8b
GUIDE BOOK  

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