Setting the date of construction of a trail is not easy. It is not a church or a painting, whose author and year are often known. For Strada Priula, however, we are lucky because both the author – Alvise Priuli, Venetian podestà of Bergamo – and the date of construction, 1593, are known. On the other hand, over the centuries the transformations that have taken place in the valley have profoundly changed the ancient roads. Especially in the lower and middle valleys, to avoid walking next to cars, it was necessary to find alternative paths which, it should be said, do not always correspond to the original paths or proven by archival documents and maps. The municipalities of the territory and the associations are however working to recover the ancient paths wherever possible in the future.
The Strada Priula is known today as a hiking route – Via Priula – which connects Bergamo to Morbegno, crossing the Val Brembana. The days of travel on foot depend on the physical condition of each walker. In principle, 5 daily stops can be recommended, over an average distance of 15-20 kilometers, with overnight stays, starting from Bergamo, in Zogno, Piazza Brembana, Mezzoldo, Albaredo for San Marco. In the lower valley, the walker can opt for two routes: the easy ‘tourist’ route along the cycle and pedestrian path of the valley; or the ‘hiking’ path that follows the paths along the coast.
Via Mercatorum, from Val Seriana to Passo di Verrobbio, is covered in 5 stages, with overnight stays in Selvino, Serina, Piazza Brembana, Averara. The Via del Ferro in 2 stages, from Mezzoldo to Santa Brigida and from Santa Brigida to Valtorta. The Via Taverna on the same day.
The Via Priula is an easy hiking route that presents no difficulties whatsoever and, according to the CAI code, can be classified as trail “E”, accessible to everyone, even families with children. The stretch from Villa d’Almè to Piazza Brembana is also accessible to wheelchairs for the handicapped following the route of the Val Brembana cycle path.
In addition to the normal emergency and rescue numbers, it is good to know that in the lower and middle valley you are never too far from the inhabited centers that have pharmacies or first aid points. Also in the crossing of the Orobic chain, along the Via Priula, shelters are approached or one remains in the vicinity of the carriageway allowing easy escape routes. From Bergamo to Mezzoldo, in case of need, you can use the bus lines of the company Arriva and Bergamo Trasporti.
Not entirely. You can take the ‘tourist’ route along the beautiful cycle-pedestrian path of the valley, from Paladina to Piazza Brembana. The mountain section is not passable and, in this case, trained cyclists use the route of the road to Passo San Marco.
Generally from south to north and from east to west following the ancient and traditional flows of travelers and merchants. Then for the Priula, from Bergamo to Morbegno; along the Via Mercatorum, from Nembro or Selvino to the Verrobbio Pass; along the Via del Ferro, from Mezzoldo to Valtorta; along the Via Taverna, from the Ponti di Sedrina to the Passo di Crosnello.
The historic routes of Val Brembana are connected with the Regional Hiking Network (RER). The Via Priula is joined to Morbegno with the Valtellina Path (for Colico or for Bormio), with the Via dei Terrazzamenti (for Tirano or Nuova Olonio), with the Path of the Wayfarer (for Lecco or Val Masino). The same road is intersected at the San Marco Pass by the Western Orobie Trail. The Via del Ferro is joined with the Dorsale Orobica Lecchese (DOL). Finally, many other paths of local interest, indicated by CAI Bergamo or local associations, are interconnected with the historic routes.
Apart from the sections of the route above 800 – 1000 meters, where snow can be found in winter, all the others can be covered in every season of the year, with the exception, perhaps, in the lower valley, for the hottest moments of summer days. However, it is advisable to avoid the routes in case of adverse weather conditions.