The Alta Via delle Grazie route

"When your legs are tired, walk with your heart". So says Paulo Coelho and so the Pilgrim Credentials accompanies every Pilgrim of the Alta Via delle Grazie route during the 315 kilometers long journey.
  • Travelling time: 12 days

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Why we love it: It's a spiritual (and, of course, green) journey to discover yourself and some of the most beautiful sanctuaries of the region.

  • Length: 315 km

  • Total Elevation Gain: 0 m

  • Way to travel: On foot

  • Cost: 0

  • Our Advice: To be completed only if you're quite fit to walk long distances.

The Alta Via delle Grazie route is a circular itinerary leaving from and arriving to the upper part of the city of Bergamo. It develops around the areas of the Seriana and Alto Sebino Valleys. It's a spiritual journey to discover 17 Sanctuaries dedicated to the Holy Mary, scattered around the area. The inspiration comes from the well-known Camino de Santiago and a Pilgrim's Credential is also needed here. The symbol is a blue four-leaf clover and it's useful especially if you wish to overnight in one of the structures with an agreement with the Route's associations. 

The Alta Via delle Grazie route
The Alta Via delle Grazie route

 

The first day we leave from Bergamo, more precisely from the Santa Maria delle Grazie Sanctuary, that can very easily be reached from the train station. Our destination is Selvino: along the way you encounter the Beata Vergine Maria di Monte Perello Sanctuary in Sanbusita di Algua. On the second day, we walk towards Vertova and we stop along the way to visit the magical waterfalls of Vertova.

 

The Alta Via delle Grazie route
The Vertova Waterfalls, photo by Paolo Mutti via flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third stage brings us from Vertova up to Premolo: along our way are located the Madonna della Mercede and Madonna del Frassino of Val del Riso sancturaries. During the fourth day we walk from Premolo to Gromo to see the Madonna delle Lacrime, which has shown the first tears back in 1511. Here there's also here a Tibetan Bridge definitely worth visiting.

Our fifth day of the Alta Via delle Grazie route foresees walking from Gromo to Valbondione without coming across any sanctuary, thought the many churches in the local hamlets are equally beautiful. In the meantime, we're waiting for our sixth stage, that brings us from Valbondione to Ardesio, where there is the Santuario della Madonna delle Grazie, a well-known pilgrimage destinations for hundreds of visitors every year.

Santuario della Madonna delle Grazie in Ardesio
Santuario Madonna delle Grazie in Ardesio, photo by Nazasca via wikimedia

Day 7: we keep going on along our journey, this time from Ardesio to Castione della Presolana. Here we meet the Beata Vergine Addolorata del Paradiso and Madonna delle Grazie di Sommaprada sancturaries. On the eight day we leave again from Castione della Presolana to reach Sovere and two more sanctuaries: Madonna delle Grazie, Natività di Maria Vergine.

The ninth stage lets us discover a beautiful island, named Monte Isola (Mount Island): we need to reach the Iseo Lake's center to find on the top of the mountain, the Madonna della Ceriola sanctuary.

Mount Isola
Mount Isola, photo by pascobs via flickr

We're getting closer and closer to the finishing point, because on our 10th day we'll be going from Sovere, in Val Cavallina, to Gandino, in Val Seriana. Pilgrims should pay a visit both to the Beata Vergine della Torre and to the Madonna D’Erbia sanctuaries, where the cassock of San Giovanni Paolo II is treasured.

11th day from Gandino to Fiobbio, stopping at the Santuario di Altino and at the Santa Maria del Misma sanctuary. We finally conquer our last stage on the twelfth day leaving from Fiobbio, crossing Redona and its Park, to reach once again Bergamo and the Santa Maria Maggiore Sanctuary, our starting point. 

We can now relax and spoil ourselves visitng Bergamo's city center and its Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe, Piazza Vecchia, Piazza Duomo and much more! Why not choosing in an Ecobnb? Here you are all of them

And finally, as usual... Safe journey

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