Montevecchia and Valle del Curone

Montevecchia and Valle del Curone are a well-loved itinerary for a classic “trip out of town”, especially for many cyclists and mountain bikers. The town of Montevecchia is located among the hills of Brianza, in the Lecco area, in a really interesting environment as far as history, nature and food are concerned. Farmsteads, churches and old villas among fields, walking trails, rows of grapevines and woods make this area even more beautiful. This fascinating area is ideal to produce typical local products such as wine, cold cuts and cheese.

On top of the Montevecchia hill, after climbing up 181 steps, you can reach the Santuario della Beata Vergine del Carmelo, of Medieval origin: if the sky is clear you can even spot the skyscrapers of Milan and sometimes the Duomo’s Madonnina.

Montevecchia landscape

The beauty of this area has been described by the words of Mario Soldati (source: Wikipedia)
“One of the most beautiful places in Brianza are the terraces of Montevecchia: a very high balcony that faces South directly, coming out of the fog; on windy days you can see from Cisa to Monte Rosa. Tall mountains protect it from the Tramontanes. The mist and the fog, that rise from the valleys and lakes, barely touch Montevecchia: it is now clear, that the most delicate and exquisite wine always comes from grapevines grown at extreme weather and geographical conditions, which the grapes need.”

In order to safeguard this area, the “Parco Regionale di Montevecchia e della Valle del Curone” was created in 1983.
Besides other tasks, the Park is responsible for the environmental education for schools and other purposes, which is considered the Park’s top priority. “Casa del Soldato” or“Ca’ Soldato”is the old farmstead where, after a drastic renovation that still took into consideration the original spatial elements, the Visitor Center was opened. In the Visitor Center you can find the museum, a kitchen used for festivals and events, rooms used as laboratories for the Park’s environmental education to groups of children and teenagers all year long. The promotion of the rural landscape, that is the conservation, promotion and recovery of “minor” elements, that are typical for the area and have not only a historical, but also functional value, is also very important (terracing, wash houses, wellheads, votive Aediculas, stone-paved trails…).

The Park is a protected area with extraordinary places, like “sorgenti pietrificanti”(water springs that “turn things to stone”), where the running water from the streams deposits part of the limestone it contains onto the surfaces that it touches, that, layer after layer, look like they have been “turned to stone”, for example rocks, pebbles, leaves, etc. It is also possible to encounter the typical animals of Brianza: foxes, weasels, hares, martens, dormice and squirrels, buzzards, hawks, owls, salamanders, frogs, toads and many more…
However, agriculture is the flagship of the Park, that produces local products with different production systems. In the buildings of “Parco di Montevecchia e della Valle del Curone” you can buy local products with a quality label that was created by the General Management for the Quality of the Environment. This project, that was supported by the Region Lombardy, allowed the Park to get a quality label to give to businesses and producers who, besides respecting the rules of organic or integrated farming, are involved with the Park’s organization, in order to protect and manage this area. Until today, honey, sage, rosemary, fruit and vegetables, grapes and grapevines have been labeled by a Commission as organic products.

In the Park you can walk 11 trails of different lengths and difficulty, that you can walk or travel on a mountain bike, or in some cases on horseback.

The most important parts of the different trails, that is the most beautiful and distinctive places in the Park, have been connected by a ring-shaped trail that you can walk for about 6 hours. It is possible to change your itinerary and choose shorter but not less interesting trails, in fact the park has both steep as well as more relaxing trails that follow the curves of the hills.

All year long you can find tours, guided by the Ecological Volunteer Guards of the Park, and meetings with experts in this field.

The Park provides with 4 trails that are audio guided, so that blind people or anyone who would like to have a guided tour of the area are able to walk a trail. You can download the audio recordings of the guided tours from the website of the Park and listen to them on your own devices.

For more details http://www.parcocurone.it/fruizione/sentieri.html
In September the traditional “Maraton Bike della Brianza” (Bike Marathon of Brianza) takes place in this area, with two 66 and 42 km long trails. The 25 th edition of the marathon takes place this year. So, if you love nature and walks, if you are cyclists or want to try some local Brianza products, make sure you visit “Montevecchia e la Valle del Curone”.

Bibliography:
https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montevecchia#Santuario_della_Beata_Vergine_del_Carmelo
http://www.parcocurone.it/
Vivibrianza 1 “Montevecchia e la Valle del Curone” Bellavite editore
“A spasso per Parco di Montevecchia e Valle del Curone” Giornale di Merate

Foto:
MONTEVECCHIA by kingleo
http://rete.comuni-italiani.it/foto/2009/124814

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