The Blue valley
Travelling along the road to Valzurio along the perimeter of the mountain, you can see the laghetti azzurri –the blue lakes- which lend their name to the area; in fact their colour varies from light blue through darker hues according to the season.
After the last bend on the road, a captivating scene unfolds to reveal the atmospheric hamlet of Valzurio, surrounded by the lush greenery of the valley in which it nestles. It retains an air of times past with its old houses, cobbled alleyways the little 16th Century church, the haylofts, barns, and the ancient fountain. But it has undergone a recent revival, thanks to the renewed agricultural activity of the current inhabitants.
During the winter, when the snow covers the countryside, the blue valley offers tranquil snow-shoe or alpine ski routes, while in Spring and Autumn a riot of colours paints the landscape – just waiting to be captured by those with a passion for photography.
Crossing the forest of beech and fir, you uncover the history of the valley following the ancient routes of the woodcutters and coal workers, the paths become tours of a large outdoor museum : stone baitas, mines, furnaces where they heated the limestone to produce lime, the many still-visible mines where the coal was extracted etc.
The tiny settlement of Moschel, Spinelli and Colle Palazzo, rich in tradition and legend, offers beautiful scenes of times past – the shepherds and their transhumance still recount their tales in these places.
To the north the Presolana dominates the landscape, while from between the rocks andrhododendron bushes at the base, the Ogna stream rises and flows through the valley forming splendid pools and ravines.