Bergamo, Val Brembana
Hollowed out by the Brembo River, the Valle Brembana begins with impervious and craggy landscapes and then continues on with sudden openings and broad dells. An ideal line of demarcation divides the Brembana territory into two distinct parts: the Orobie Alps in the north, made up of siliceous dark rock chalybeate and compact dark rocks and hosting a particular plant life and the Bergamo Pre-Alps in the south, prevalently of a calcareous - dolomite nature and with "basophile" plant life, suitable for living on the calcium -rich substratum, growing on its light coloured rocks. The lower peaked woods covered mountain ridge is in the south and the presence of broad-leaf trees dominates here.
The first part of the Valle Brembana extends from Villa D'Almè in Lenna and it is rather narrow and rough. San Pellegrino is farther north, it is considered the capital of the valley and it is a modern thermal spa resort, immersed in the green of the surrounding mountains. San Giovanni Bianco is reached by going up the valley bed and this town conserves the ancient structure of the Cornello dei Tasso fortified village. The valley then splits: on the left towards Mezzoldo and the San Marco Pass while in Branzi the valley again directs towards Carona and the Laghi Gemelli (Twin Lakes) or for Foppolo and the San Simone. The highest and most picturesque peak of the Orobie Alps is Pizzo di Coca (3050 m) with its impressive and elegant forms on all of its sides.
Val Taleggio is embraced among the Lombardy Pre-Alps (Resegone, Aralalta, Cancervo), and begins in San Giovanni Bianco in Val Brembana, where the Enna torrent, which runs its course through it entirely, flows into the Brembo River. Access into the area is through the Orrido path, a narrow gorge closed in by high crags forcing the road to follow a tortuous route. The most important townships are Taleggio and Vedeseta, while the "Culmen San Pietro" (1350 m), a small but important pass connecting the valley with the middle Valsassina. This area is very beautiful both in its naturalistic aspect and because tourism here is not too crowded.
The Valtorta is at the extreme western tip of the Higher Val Brembana. It can be reached by crossing the Val Brembana to Olmo al Brembo and then following the course of the Stabina torrent. Cassiglio is the first village met in Valtorta and immediately following there is Ornica, an excellent starting point for hiking up to Pizzo Tre Signori (2554 m) and Mount Ponteranica (2378 m) ridge. Pizzo dei Tre Signori is the highest peak of the mountain ridge spread out in Val Gerola, Valtorta, Val Varrone and Val di Salmurano.This peak was the meeting point of the Grigioni district, the Duchy of Milan and the Serenissima (Venice Republic) and still today it is the border of three provinces: Lecco, Sondrio and Bergamo. The township of Valtorta closes the valley, today a tourism pole for winter sports thanks to transportation connections with the Piani di Bobbio.
The townships of Serina, Cornalba and Costa Serina in the Val Serina are precious vacation destinations. Their main characteristic is the richness of the environment that can be admired all along the "flower path", a natural endemic species garden found at Oltre il Colle. Mount Alben (2019 m), a large horse-shoe shaped cliff with evident Dolomite reference can also be reached from here. Embraced between Mount Alben and the Pizzo Arera, Col di Zambla is a mountain pass linking the Val Serina with the Valle del Riso and it is the only connection between the two most important valleys of Bergamo: Val Brembana and Val Seriana.