Tour 13 - Barzio: mountain, history and cheese

Arrival at Barzio, it is the major tourism resort in Valsassina. It has changed its original business passing from the dairy sectors, favoured by the easy access that leads to the near Val Taleggio, to the activities related to the growth of mountain tourism. Visiting the parish of S.Alessandro one can admire a 17th century paint by Stefano Montaldo.
From Barzio the access to the ski resorts of Bobbio is easy. Descending again in the wide valley bottom and continuing the path along the steam Pioverna you arrive in Pasturo, that once was a reference point for the entire valley. Here you can visit the 17th century Sanctuary of the Madonna della Cintura and inside it, beautiful stuccos and the last work of Aloisio Reali: Immacolata and Santi. In the seventeenth century parish of S.Eusebio you find several and valuable paints of the 17th century. The Rocca of Baiedo, hamlet of Pasturo, of which are left only few ruins, once had of rough walls accessible only through a unique passage; it is situated on a natural promontory. Leonardo Da Vinci remained so impressed by it that he painted it into his Atlantic Code. After a popular insurrection against the French it was destructed in 1513.
Thanks to the particular draughts that provide even temperature and humidity, these lands offer the ideal conditions for the seasoning in caves of cheeses like taleggio, robiola and caprini with cylindrical shape. Continuing through the path along the stream Pioverna, there is Introbio a crossroad in the ancient link through the saddles of Trona, Gerola Alta and Morbegno for the Valtellina. In the centre of the town there is the Tower of the Arrigoni, which was a place for the signaling between the middle and the low valley in the middle age. Primaluna, originally a military and religious centre of which only some ancient fortifications on an hill that were part of a tower have remained, and Taceno, where there is a 17th century brass foundry as the engraving on the hammer testifies. Here it has continued up today the work and the production of nails and it is possible, on request, to visit the only establishment with workshop driven by the water of the stream Maladiga.
From Taceno you arrive in the Val Casargo, where there is the access from Margnio to the ski resort of Pian delle Betulle and, in addition to this, immediately after the village of Sumadino, there is the 11th century baptismal church of S.Margherita.