Strada dei Sapori delle Valli Varesine is a special route recently developed through which you can discover the tastes of the Valleys in the province of Varese, in the northern part of Italy, close to Switzerland.
We are in the Lombardy Region and this project, developed by the Mountain Communities, let you pass through different natural assets: water, green valleys and the backdrop of the snowy Alps. This route offers cultural heritage and ancient villages. Starting from those in the lakefront, with ports and docks to archaeological sites and fortifications.
The whole area is famous for flower production, due to the warm airs coming from the lake. This is a special place for growing and cultivation of flowers like orchids, camellias, azaleas, gardenias and even exotic species, that find here good weather conditions.
Speaking about food and wine, first to mention is the Formaggella del Luinese – Luino Formaggella, a protected production made of raw milk coming from goat. High quality milk comes from indigenous black goats. Another traditional product of the area is Violino di Capra – The violin of Goat, cured hams up to six months seasoned, that recalls the musical instrument in its form.
Now we present to you 3 special routes, launched five months ago by Lombardy Region to let tourists discover its green heart.
Route 1: Valcuvia, Valtravaglia and Valley Brinzio
From Varese ride along the SS394, crossing the town of Gavirate and Cocquio Trevisago. Head along the Valcuvia (Cuveglio, Ferrera di Varese) until Germignaga. Here you run along the Lake Maggiore om the road SP69 to Laveno Mombello. From Laveno Mombello you can recover the Valcuvia road, to visit to the internal landscape and find its cultural heritage. Going on SP62 you reach Brinzio Varese, where the other routes can be taken following SP 61 (from Germignaga – Luino – Ponte Tresa) and SP 11 (Brinzio – Ganna).
Route 2: Valceresio, Val Marchirolo, Valganna
From Varese you take the SS 344 towards Porto Ceresio, going slowly and having the possibility to visit beautiful villages like Arcisate and Bisuschio. Riding towards Ponte Tresa you can visit the Grotto Bellavista and the Grotto Zolla or make an interesting excursion to one of the peaks overlooking the lake there. From Ponte Tresa, with the SS 233, you have to reach Marchirolo, Ghirla, Ganna and continue to walk in Valganna, coming back to Varese.
Route 3: Val Veddasca
You have to reach the towns of Maccagno or Colmegna with SS 394 and then you find Val Veddasca, the northernmost part of the Varese province. This is a wild and remote area, where there are considerable traces of pre-alpine rural culture. History of human settlements in the valley is very old, proven by the discovery of prehistoric graffiti. Entirely crossed by the river Giona, from Monte Tamaro down towards Lake Maggiore, this area has no communication between the two sides. There is just a winding road that leads from Maccagno (Italy) to Indemini (Switzerland). Many small villages here, like Vedda, Garabiolo, Cadero, Graglia, Armio, Lozzo, Biegno. On the swiss side abandonment is much more pronounced and amd the only village still alive is Curiglia reached by the only road from Dumenza.
Image Flickr Creative Commons license, courtesy by Night Flier