The glacier that millennia ago, descended from the Alps towards the plain, gave rise to formidable morainic amphitheaters. Once the glacier finally retreated, the Adda slowly dug its own bed. He carried huge amounts of moraine debris with him. The North Adda Park includes the riparian territories of the Adda, downstream of Lake Como, including the lakes of Garlate and Olginate. Then follows the long stretch that crosses to the plain.
Walking or cycling along the river you can enjoy the tranquility of nature. We can discover the flora of the Park or come across animals characteristic of the river environment, such as the coot, the swan, the moorhen or the kingfisher. The river and the surrounding area are rich in significant historical evidences that refer to the most distant times. The most interesting naturalistic area is the large wetland of the Brivio marsh. Along the banks, there are black poplars, locust trees, white willows, alders. In the surrounding woods we can find hornbeam, chestnut, hazel, robinia.
Among the marsh vegetation you can admire the most beautiful flowers of water. The delicate water lily, the wild yellow lily, the lily of the valley and many veronica spike families. A rich fauna shelters inside the North Adda Park. The most beautiful and significant amphibian in the area is undoubtedly the green livery tree frog with a black stripe running along its sides. But we also find other types of frogs, numerous and particularly noisy. Even the birds are particularly numerous. Here we can see swans, ducks, mallards, coots, gray crows, seagulls. Even the magnificent gray heron is present with a growing number of specimens. Along the course of the Adda there are numerous fortification works, completed over the centuries. The river itself marked the border between the Duchy of Milan and the Republic of Venice. It represented an important cultural and commercial communication route both to Bergamo and to Milan.
The first fortifications were flanked by roads to directly control and repel the advance of peoples with warlike intentions. How not to mention the Rocca dell’Innominato, in Vercurago, a panoramic balcony at the highest point of Somasca that dominates the entire valley. Here you can visit the Chapel of San Gerolamo in which the miracle of the multiplication of the bread made by the Saint is narrated. Tradition has it that this is the place that Alessandro Manzoni inspired in his Promessi Sposi to set the castle of the Innominato. It is an ideal destination for an easy walk in all seasons.
The Castle of Brivio, which gave refuge to Milanese nobles in the 13th century who were driven from Milan by the people. On that occasion the city sent an army that destroyed its walls, then rebuilt by the Viscontis in the following century. The castle of Trezzo is very ancient. Today it remains the Lombard fortress that tradition says built by Queen Teodolinda. From that first fortress originated a tormented history of struggles, conquests and deaths that saw Federico Barbarossa, the Torriani and lastly the Visconti. The trips inside the Adda Nord Park are countless. In the municipalities of the consortium there are valuable archaeological monuments.
In Lecco we can admire the fourteenth – century old bridge. In Garlate you will find the Abegg Civic Silk Museum. At Imbersago we can try the Leonardo ferry, the only one remaining of the five present up until the last century. And yet, along the river, you can visit the hydroelectric power stations, the Paderno bridge and the workers’ village of Crespi d’Adda. Crossing the Park you can see the canals of the canal, works of hydraulic engineering designed by Leonardo da Vinci. The whole of the Adda valley tells a story that is hundreds of thousands of years long. At Paderno d’Adda you can see a spectacular canyon, the Forra d’Adda, a natural monument of the North Adda Park. Even Leonardo was fascinated to the point of studying it, drawing it in the codes and portraying it in the background of the Virgin of the rocks. A visit to the Adda of Leonardo ecomuseum, an open-air museum covering ten municipalities, cannot be missed.