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Travel Guide: Wonderful summer walks in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy

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Madonna di Campiglio, a small mountain resort located in Northern Italy’s Trentino region, is nestled below the Brenta Dolomite Mountains. Walkers of all levels will find endless opportunities to take in the stunning natural landscapes that surround them, including lakes and rivers as well as peaks and valleys.

The landscape is divided into five areas that are naturally separated by roads, cabin lifts and paths. You can easily pass between these areas by purchasing the Dolomeet guest card and asking your hotel for the Trentino guest card.

Mountain Stream on Pradalago in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy

The four peaks that rise above Madonna di Campiglio are Pradalago (Cinque Laghi), Spinale, Spinale, and Groste. Each peak can be reached via a cabin lift, which is available for unlimited use with the Trentino Card. Vallesinella, a wooded valley where a tributary flows through it, is home to some stunning waterfalls. The town is easily accessible by foot. However, a bus service runs regularly to this valley (free with Trentino Guest Card). This bus takes walkers to the most beautiful places.

Musical Fun on the Path to Lago Ritorto above Madonna di Campiglio in Italy

The Giro di Campiglio

Let’s begin at the Giro di Campiglio. The circular path runs through the trees-covered slopes of Madonna di Campiglio. There are several points to access it from the town.

This is an easy walk that offers stunning views of the city below and the mountains beyond. The walking map in the centre of town contains links to other walks. These are clearly marked and well-signposted.

Giro di Campiglio around Madonna di Campiglio in Italy

Walking on Pradalago in Madonna di Campiglio

You can reach Pradalago’s peak by either a cabin lift or on foot. The cabin lift is located at the far end of town, while the main footpath begins at the Giro di Campiglio. The path is open and easy with some steep sections.

Pradalago in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy

The peak is accessible to walkers from two directions. One, they can head towards Lago Nambino, which involves a steep climb followed by a steep descend. Or, they can take the more easy path to Lago Malghette. The only way back to the town is by foot. However, it’s mostly downhill.

You can also take a break at Ristorante Vivariani to enjoy the view from the large terrace and decide where you want to go next. If that is too much walking, you can take the cabin lift down to the town.Lago Malghette near Madonna di Campiglio in Italy

Walking on Cinque Laghi (Five Lakes) in Madonna di Campiglio

Although there is a route from the town to Cinque Laghi’s peak, it is not recommended for those who are able to walk uphill. It is steep, long and very steep. Follow the trail to Lago Ritorto from the back of Ristorante Cinque Laghi. The narrow path leads to a steep slope that offers spectacular views of the valley below.Lago Ritorto in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy

Lago Ritorto, the first lake of the Five Lakes Walk, is reached by a steep ascent to a ridge above the lake. You will pass four more lakes on the way to Lago Nambino.

It takes approximately six hours to complete. The only places where you can get water or snacks are at the start and end of the walk. It was a difficult walk, but it is possible for experienced walkers. I felt a sense of accomplishment after completing the walk.

Other options from Lago Ritorto are to take the path down into Malga Ritorto (farm/restaurant), which is visible from the lake.

There is a tourist train that runs from the malga to Patascoss (self service cafe). From there you can take various routes down to the town, either straight down or via Lago Nambino.

You can always retrace your steps to the cabin lift and descend into town to enjoy a cup of coffee outside a cafe on the main square.

Walking on Spinale in Madonna di Campiglio

Spinale has a path that leads to its highest point. If you’re looking for a challenge, go ahead. The cabin lift is the easiest way up. The top has many paths that can be walked, including half the way up Groste peak. This peak leads back to Madonna di Campiglio, or the valley of Vallesinella.

Walking from Spinale to Boch in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy

My favorite path is from Spinale to Ristorante Boch, half-way up Groste mountain. This path traverses a large Alpine meadow, surrounded by the Brenta Dolomites, and carpeted in wild flowers. You can hear the marmot’s piercing shriek warning his clan that humans have arrived. The gentle clanging of cow bells coming from the cattle that roam these lush summer pastures. It’s a pleasant walk for all levels of walkers.

Boch is conveniently located at the Groste cabin lift’s mid-station for those who don’t want to walk back into town. It is possible to descend to the Groste cabin lift, and then take the Grotte path for a quick cut into town. (left just before the lift station).

Madonna di Campiglio

Walking on Groste in Madonna di Campiglio

Groste is the highest peak over Madonna di Campiglio. It can be reached by a two-stage cabin elevator or a long uphill hike. You have many options starting from this peak, including Rifugio Tuckett’s path, which is home to a small museum that honors Roger Tuckett, an English walker who was a great fan of the area.

On top of Groste

Although the Rifugio was originally a mountain refuge, many of them have become excellent restaurants. There are two routes from Tuckett to Rifugio Brentei: the easier path to Casinei and the harder path to Rifugio Brentei.

Groste’s top scree is dotted with miniature alpine flowers, which are miniature versions of the ones found in the alpine meadows. Admire the delicate beauty of these miniature blooms as you wander across the scree before heading down to the midstation, either by foot or via the cabin lift.

Path to Cascata di Mezzo through Vallesinella in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy

Walking through Vallesinella, Madonna di Campiglio

This is one the most popular walks in the region and should be done on a weekday when locals are not at work. Vallesinella has three waterfalls, but most walkers focus on the top two. Cascata di Sotto, which is slightly out of the way, is well-signposted and easy to find for those who are willing to take the extra step. Cascata Di Mezzo, the middle waterfall is my favorite. You can reach it via a beautiful path that runs alongside the Giro di Campiglio, and winds through a huge deciduous forest.

You can also take the shuttle bus to the center of town, which is free with Trentino Guest Card. However, you should check for green days. Or, you can walk up the hill into the valley. There is a pathway down to the waterfall from the large parking lot above Cascata di Meszzo. You can also walk through the woods from the road.

Cascata di Mezzo, Vallesinella, Madonna di Campiglio in Italy

Just below a large parking lot is the path that ascends beside Cascata Meszzo. To join the Cascate Alte path (opposite Rifugio Vallesinella), cross this carpark. This lovely path runs alongside the River Sarca tributary, which eventually flows into Lake Garda.

These tributaries are so numerous that they don’t have any names. This section is my favorite – the water flows silently over little plains before crashing onto small, rocky precipices. It emerges from below the Cascate Alte, a long drop of water.

Vallesinella in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy

It is easy to find a path up the hill beside Cascate Alte. The alternatives to the top, which include serious walks and climbs, involve a longer walk. However, there is a shorter and more beautiful path. This has a steep section of stony at the beginning so it is best for walkers using walking sticks and walking boots.

Although it isn’t marked, a well-worn path to the left of main path marks the beginning of it. Although I wouldn’t recommend walking down the side Cascate Alte, there is an alternative. You can retrace your steps to Rifugio Vallesinella, and take a rest there before returning to town via the shuttle or a gentle descent.Valery by Lago Serodoli on the Cinque Laghi walk in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy

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