Anyone who wants to spend a day in total relaxation, surrounded by unspoilt nature, surrounded by fresh and clean air and, above all, by absolute silence, should note among its destinations Pian delle Betulle, also known as «last paradise»!
His nickname is extremely true and what he foretells corresponds to the reality of the facts since, once you get there, you find a real paradise out of the world, where it seems that time has literally stopped.
Pian delle Betulle is located in Alta Valsassina, in the province of Lecco, that is, in a green valley that develops parallel to the branch of Lecco Lake Como. It is a mountain plateau, located at 1500 meters above sea level, which takes its name from the presence of an extensive and centuries-old forest of the Queen of the North, that is, the Birch Pendula Roth. In total, there will be more than 200 trees, many of which have passed 100 years of life, all about 20 meters high, with a crown circumference of 4 meters and gray bark.
In Europe, the birch is considered the «tree of wisdom» since Roman times, when its branches were tied together with those of the elm and an axe to form the bundle littorio, that is, the banner of magistrates.
The place is so extraordinary that it is really worth organizing a trip out of town, get ready and go to live new and exciting adventures!
How to get to Pian delle Betulle
Despite its altitude, Pian delle Betulle is really easy to reach: it is located 30 kilometers from Lecco and 80 kilometers from Milan, and you can opt for two different roads to reach its top.
Cable car Pian delle Betulle
The first option is the cable car that, starting from Margno, in just 5 minutes leads to Pian delle Betulle. The plant was built in 1957 and was renovated in 2011. The departure times are very convenient and the return ticket for adults costs just 12 euros.
Once aboard the cable car, the view is spectacular: you can admire, in fact, the surrounding mountain peaks, getting lost in a panorama difficult to replicate in other areas of Italy!
From Paglio to Pian delle Betulle
An alternative to the cable car is the simple walk, convenient and accessible to all. You have to pass Margno, by car, for about 2 kilometers until you get first to the church of Santa Margherita and then, on the right, towards Alpe Paglio.
After a series of hairpin bends, which are repeated for about 4 kilometers, you reach a large square used as a parking lot, where you can leave the car all day; from here you start a walk of 20 minutes along a path in stone and dirt, leads through a cool and spectacular forest.
Obviously, if you intend to choose walking, it is recommended to wear comfortable clothing, including shoes. It is advisable to bring a sweatshirt also in summer, because the temperatures are still very low, and a sunscreen to avoid the typical mountain burns.
What to see at Pian delle Betulle
Once arrived, there are many things to see in Pian delle Betulle, both in summer and in winter, even in the company of children!
Flora, fauna and panorama
The first thing to do is, certainly, to get involved in the unspoilt nature; the few houses are holiday homes, which leave more space to pastures and pastures, where you can buy milk and cheese.
Two places to visit are the park next to the glade, which houses beautiful examples of deer, and the pond of tadpoles, located under the Church of the Alpini. All this, enjoying a breathtaking view that ranges between Lake Como, Lake Lugano, Swiss Alps and Monte Rosa!
The Church of the Alpini
The Pian delle Betulle welcomes the pretty Church of the Alpini, built in 1959 by the architect Mario Cereghini following a vow made by the Battalion Morbegno in Squimarit in Albania and dedicated to all the Alpini fallen and disappeared during the Russian retreat.
Every first Sunday of the month of September, the Alpini meet inside the church to remember and pay homage to their dead companions by placing a «pot». Next, you start the Alpine Festival, on the occasion of which you can taste the polenta taragna.
What to do in Pian delle Betulle in summer
During the summer season, Pian delle Betulle is the perfect destination to organize a picnic trip on the grass, and then have fun in practicing your favorite sport of tennis, basketball, football and horse riding in the sports boss present on site.
At the same time, enthusiasts can make a fun and exciting excursion through the woods, choosing the most popular route:
- to Val Biandino (about 2 hours and 30 minutes);
- for the «Lares Brusaa» (about 1 hour);
- for the mountain pastures of Ortighera and Oro (20 minutes);
- for Crandola (1 hour and 30 minutes);
- to Alpe Grasso and Alpe Piazza (about 30 minutes);
- to Rifugio Santa Rita (3 hours and 30 minutes);
- to Rifugio Ombrega (1 hour and 45 minutes).
The excursions are accessible to all, also because they provide well-marked roads and paths. Try it!
The Jungle Raider Park of Margno
In Margno there is the Jungle Raider Park, an adventure park consisting of several paths that wind through unspoiled nature, many of which are suspended by air between logs, wooden walkways and lianas that connect the trees. Living an experience inside is as much fun as safe thanks to the constant presence of professional instructors and well equipped equipment!
The Jungle Raider Park consists of 6 routes, each with different levels of difficulty; starting from the brief area, where the equipment is provided to participants and instructors explain how to move between the walkways to pass the various steps correctly. Then we start with:
- children’s path: suitable for children from 3 years, with platforms 1 meter high and 8 obstacles to overcome. Parents can follow the activity from the ground;
- air path: suitable for boys with a height below 120 cm, undemanding, with platforms 3 meters high 18 obstacles in all;
- Breeze path: for boys taller than 130 centimeters who want to experience some thrill on platforms 5 meters high;
- wind path: suitable for children over 140 cm, sometimes challenging, with 15 obstacles to overcome places at 8 meters high;
- typhoon path: designed for children and adults over 150 cm, with platforms placed at a height of 16 meters and obstacles to overcome by means of a pulley;
- tornado path: suitable for adults and children over 160 cm, definitely challenging with platforms 15 meters high and 15 obstacles.
Whatever the choice, fun is guaranteed!
What to do in Pian delle Betulle in winter
With the arrival of winter, Pian delle Betulle turns white and becomes a favorite destination for skiers of all levels, from amateurs to professionals. Through the chairlift you can easily reach the lifts, where you can enroll in ski courses or rent the necessary equipment for skiing and snowboarding.
The mountain plateau includes 5 ski slopes for a total of 12 kilometers and the chairlift connects two slopes at high technical and fun.
Here you can also do Tubing, that is a descent on inflatables in a super addictive path to try even with children!
Where to eat at Pian delle Betulle
The fun gets tired, so there comes a time in Pian delle Betulle where you need to refresh! Luckily, there are plenty of refreshment points to recover your energy after the adventure park or a descent into the snow:
- Malugani grocery store, a small shop where you can buy the necessary to organize a picnic on the grass;
- The Barettino di Marco, which offers visitors typical mountain cuisine;
- Settimo Cielo, the refuge you meet just off the chairlift, where you can buy (and taste) sandwiches, toast and hot chocolate;
- La Libellula, a restaurant-pizzeria complete with sports field and play area for children;
- Baitock, a hotel where you can also stay overnight in one of its 11 rooms available.
There are plenty of ideas, as well as reasons to involve the whole family and live a unique and unforgettable experience in Pian delle Betulle, the last paradise!