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Hiking in the Italian Alps can take you on some of the most beautiful and rewarding trails in Europe. If you’re visiting northern Italy between June and October, make sure to include the Serio Waterfalls.
Valbondione in the Orobie Alps
Located in the heart of the Valbondione (the highest peaks of the Orobie Alps) in Lombardy’s Bergamo province, the waterfalls are the highest in Italy. At 1750 m., with a 315-meter high triple cascade, they are spectacular during the day, but absolutely magical at night. Although a daytime visit is exciting, in my opinion, it’s still a trekking trip. On the contrary, a nighttime visit is exhilarating.
2023 Waterfall Opening Dates
From June to October, there will only be five dates on which you can enjoy the magnificence and power of this natural event: June 11, July 15 (THE ONLY NIGHTIME OPENING), August 20, September 10, and October 8.
Since the “openings” attract hundreds of people, the event organizers arrange all the details carefully- including parking. Before entering the village, you will be directed to a parking area at a cost of € 5,00. I can assure you that all the people involved are polite and professional. You’ll want to have a look at the official website to help you organize your trip in advance.
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Trail 305 to the Falls
The way up to the falls takes an hour and a half, trail no. 305. The starting point is outside the center. Just follow the hoard of people and you won’t get lost. The path is easy, but remember to bring water since there are neither refreshment points nor springs along the mountain trail. Try not to stop at the first meadow you reach. Continue up until you come to the rocky face of the mountain. You’ll have a spectacular view of the waterfalls.
If you’re feeling energetic enough, you can walk for another hour and reach the alpine hut called Rifugio Curò at 1915 m. It’s a big and well-equipped refuge with a lot of beds and excellent food. If you want to have lunch/dinner (depending on which opening you’re taking part in), book well in advance. Since it’s a highly anticipated event, most people reach the hut for a meal before or after the opening of the falls. Otherwise, you can have a picnic on the shores of the little lake behind the hut.
For the night opening, floodlights project onto the waterfall leaving the rest of the mountainside in the dark. The result is nothing less than spectacular: sitting in the dark surrounded by campfire light and by people whispering.
When the powerful noise of the waterfalls is unleashed, breaking the silence, you’ll be stunned by the force of nature. In about 30 minutes, the flow rate is 10,000 m3. After half an hour, the flow stops and the waterfalls return to silence.
Remember to carry a flashlight for the way back. Wandering at night in the darkness is amazing and you’ll feel at ease with the company of your fellow hikers. The descent is longer than the climb because almost everyone descends at the same time.
Other articles that might interest you: Province of Bergamo
copyright photos: www.valseriana.eu; www.fotoberg.jpg