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San Martino Valley – the Valley of the castles

The valley runs along the banks of the river Adda, which originates from the eastern branch of Lake Como just near Vercurago, the last village of the Serenissima and ends in Pontida, city of the oath.

Places to visit

The first signs of human presence are very old and fragmentary, as can be seen from the findings found in Erve (a skull belonging to a Homo sapiens), in Somasca (a small settlement dating back to the fifth century BC) and some remains of pile-dwelling structures found at the sink. The remains of the Roman presence, crossed by the road that led from Brescia to Lake Como, appear much more substantial. The territory of the San Martino Valley assumes a significant strategic role. The most noteworthy settlements due to the presence of archaeological finds from the Roman age, Caprino, Torre de ‘Busi, Lorentino, Rossino, Calolzio and Vercurago, appear not by chance on the itinerary for the crossing of the Adda on the Olginate bridge datable to the 7th century AD. Among the most representative finds, we mention the sacred inscription in marble with dedication to Diana, goddess of hunting and woods, the moon found in the seventeenth century near the parish church of Lorentino and the Torre de ‘Busi treasure consisting of coins minted between and the century AD.

In the medieval period on the territory were born numerous fortifications including many castles that, exploiting the predominant positions, were the subject of contention between the Republic of Venice and the Duchy of Milan. In a report written in 1616 with the aim of assessing and describing the state of the defenses existing in San Martino Valley, visitors to Veneto did not hesitate to mention the aforementioned localities where, and this is not a case, some of the most interesting evidence of fortified architecture of the valley. Various testimonies have come down to us all to visit and admire. The whole valley is crossed by a dense network of paths and mule tracks, which allow you to cross and explore the whole territory. Small churches hidden in the woods and ancient rural settlements placed above the last towns make discover wild animals and beautiful rare flowers.

Ideas for sport

Val Martino is an ideal destination for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and for sports enthusiasts.

Here, between earth and sky, it is possible to choose from a variety of sporting activities; for example, cycling enthusiasts can follow the well-known path that links the village of Valcava to the Ca’ Perrucchini pass. Another sport that attracts many enthusiasts is flying, which offers the possibility of enjoying enchanting views.

Art & Culture

In this area today there are some of the most interesting examples of fortified architecture in the Lake Como area.

Among the examples that have come down to us, the Monastery of S. Maria del Lavello, the church and frescoes of S. Margherita in Monte Marenzo and the Castle of the Innominato are worth visiting and admiring. Small rural villages connected by paths and ancient mule tracks make it possible to explore the whole area. Among the most representative historical finds are the sacred marble epigraph with a dedication to Diana, goddess of hunting and the woods, and the little treasure of Torre de’ Busi.