Olá! Today I would like to show you a corner of peace and relax, a place a few miles from the center of Brescia, the city where I live now.
I’ll take you to Val Bertone, ready to came with me?
I drive to the north of the city, following the signs for the stadium Stadio and immediately after those for Nave – Valle Sabbia: the directions are clear, you can not go wrong.
The road that from the North of Brescia leads to Nave rises slightly but can be easily driven; just after the center of Nave, I continue straight for Caino.
Here the road starts to get more tortuous, but do not worry, you can easily travel even with a small car.
I am amazed to see the old paper mills on my right, many of which have been abandoned and remained a symbol of the past industrial wealth of this place, while on my left the hills become ever greener and lush.
If you want to know more about the local paper mills, I recommend this book, very interesting.
We are almost there … The center of the town of Caino develops on a large curve to the right, after the curve we just have to continue for a couple of km before reaching, on the left, a large dirt parking.
… and here we are!
From here we have two choices:
We can park and continue on foot – the most ecological and healthy choice – or arrive by car at the bar, pay the daily permit to one of the guardians (free offer with a minimum of 2 euros) and take the dirt road, about 2 km long, wich leeds to the destination parking.
The parking spaces are limited, about twenty.
Today I will go by car, because I will have a picnic and my backpack is quite heavy; for those who go on walking, recommend light running or trekking shoes and a bottle of water.
The walk is about 15 minutes uphill but not particularly hard, suitable for children.
As arriving I’m welcomed by the Refuge which is managed by the “Gnari della Val Bertone“, a volunteers group who, since 2014, operates in this corner of paradise, taking care and supervising the all area sending away those who do not respect nature and its inhabitants.
I voluntarily subscribe the 5 euros per year membership card, doing so I am not only supporting their skillful work, but also have now the possibility to eat in this characteristic wooden shelter at a really cheap price. Here you find their Facebook page.
From the menu you can choose between grilled, hot melted cheese, sandwiches and often, even if not always, you can find added in the list some vegetables dishes as well as spaghetti in the version garlic oil and chili pepper or tomato sauce. A tasty home-made kitchen prepared by the lovely cook, Mrs. Franca. Password: adapt and socialize.
I read with joy, in the note affixed near the cash desk, that in the beechwood nearby, during the summer, yoga classes can be followed, lasting one hour each; maybe I will take advantage of it today, but first I rather find a nice place where to sit for my picnic.
I leave the backpack and the blanket under some trees not far from the shelter and decide to walk along the stream, to admire the beauty of the place.
Next to the refuge flows the stream Garza, the water is fresh and very clean. It seems incredible that it is the same waterway that gets dirty and foul-smelling in the city. Here it is really crystalline!
The Garza comes from the Prealba mountain from multiple sources and flows into the Mella, near Capriano del Colle. Until 1947 it naturally entered the river Mella in Bagnolo, but its course was diverted to bring water to the heath territories which, due to drought in the summer, lost a good part of the crops. Long before, in the fifteenth century, it continued along Via S. Faustino and crossed the suburbs of the city receiving the urban discharges.
On the banks of the river, many picnic areas equipped with tables, benches and barbecues are available to visitors. If you are interested in cooking a barbecue on the spot, I suggest you reach the Valley early in the morning, especially in the hottest periods, in order to ensure a table and barbecue. I recommend: do not forget the charcoal and everything needed for grilling!
Sharing is always a welcome thing and, once you finish cooking, leave the barbecue free for those who come after you, it’s a nice way to make new friends and why not, share recipes!
I continue my walk:
The surrounding wood is not too dense, ideal for lying on a blanket and relax: there are plants of all kinds, many butterflies, caterpillars and many cyclamen … so be careful where you put your feet.
I put on anti-rock shoes, those I use at the seaside, and now I walk in the stream; the water is shallow and the bottom is stony; every now and then I stop, take off my shoes and rest on a rock.
A butterfly came to greet me! I guess she likes the flower on my headband!
I begin to get hungry, so I go back to my camp to taste my sandwiches!
The silence, the scented air and the pleasant temperature make me really relax…
It is time for my yoga class, I head to the beech forest… I must not lose it!
The teacher is kind and very good. At the end of the lesson, she tells me about the healing and beneficial properties emanated when embracing trees.
I immediately hug an hazel tree next to me: the feeling is really curious but pleasant … try it!
It’s late… the time flew and I would not want to leave; I take another walk, however, and discover other corners of the valley: An old fountain of the 60s, a small place of prayer and other glimpses of the stream very suggestive.
It just doesn’t seem to be just outside the city!
If you have little time to move, you don’t want to do long queues for the Lake or the mountains, this place is for you but also for your children and four-legged friends. Just bring a blanket, mosquito repellent and water shoes if you want to walk in the creek.
I remind you that camping is not allowed and that the fires should be lit only in the barbecue areas.
Now I really have to go…
I reluctantly greet the Valley and the very nice refuge volunteers, who made me feel at ease, I take the car back to the heat of the city.