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A thrilling trekking adventure at high altitude — Sentiero Roma

Giampaolo Rossi

A thrilling trekking adventure at high altitude — Sentiero Roma

Hiking Collection by Anna_Orsatti

4-8

days

3-6 h

/ day

33.1 mi

13,400 ft

11,475 ft

The Sentiero Roma is one of the most challenging hiking routes in Italy and one of the first High Routes in the Alps. Exciting and evocative, this trek is perfect for a holiday at high altitude: it mainly runs at 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) and crosses mountain passes, such as the Ligoncio Pass, the Camerozzo Pass, the Cima di Zocca, and many others. You reach 2,940 metres (9,646 ft) above sea level by crossing the Cameraccio Pass, the highest of the whole trail. You cross Val Codera, Val Masino and Valmalenco and enjoy breathtaking views of the impressive surrounding mountains.

To walk the Sentiero Roma, it’s useful to have good fitness and mountaineering experience. Many parts of the route are exposed and equipped with fixed chains. The best months to tackle the route are June, July, August and September. You might still find snow along the route, so I recommend taking an ice axe and crampons, as well as a helmet, harness and via ferrata kit.

To complete the Sentiero Roma in its entirety, it’s necessary to divide the route into several stages. This Collection proposes five days with overnight stays at the Brasca refuge, the Gianetti refuge, the Allievi Bonacossa refuge and the Cesare Ponti refuge. As this is the most common way of dividing up the itinerary, it’s best to check availability at the refuges in advance. This itinerary takes you along the path in a clockwise direction, starting in Novate Mezzola and ending in Chiesa in Valmalenco.

You can reach Novate Mezzola by taking the train from Milano Centrale in the direction of Tirano, getting off at Colico. Here, change trains and catch another towards Chiavenna, getting off at Novate Mezzola. Then head for Mezzolpiano, where the route starts from the car park of the same name. If you arrive by car, you can leave it in the car park and buy a weekly ticket.

The Sentiero Roma ends in Chiesa in Valmalenco where you can reach the Sondrio train station by bus. Check the timetable on the website: stps.it (in Italian). To return to Novate Mezzola from Sondrio, take the train to Milan and get off at Colico to change trains in the direction of Chiavenna.

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Sentiero Roma: Da Mezzolpiano a Chiesa in Valmalenco

32.8 mi

13,350 ft

11,400 ft

Last updated: May 3, 2022

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Novate Mezzola to the Luigi Brasca refuge — Roma Trail

    Difficult
    04:14
    6.48 mi
    1.5 mph
    3,375 ft
    225 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The first stage begins in Val Codera. Depart from the Mezzolpiano car park, where you can leave your car for the entire duration of your excursion. If you don't have a car, you can reach the start of the route by train by getting off at the Novate Mezzola station.

    

    Climb the stairs carved into the rock

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  • Difficult
    05:17
    4.20 mi
    0.8 mph
    4,350 ft
    375 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Begin this stage of the Roma Path leaving the Brasca Refuge behind you and follow the signs towards the Barbacan pass.

    

    The first part of the path goes into the woods with a slight climb that becomes progressively steeper, until it reaches a 36% gradient. After the first two kilometers of challenging ascent

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  • Difficult
    04:36
    6.30 mi
    1.4 mph
    1,375 ft
    1,850 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This part of the Rome Path includes sections equipped with chains and ropes and passages on iron steps. Some spots are very exposed and steep, so be especially careful if you suffer from vertigo. I recommend that you bring the via ferrata equipment with you throughout this stage.

    

    From Rifugio Gianetti

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  • Difficult
    06:19
    6.76 mi
    1.1 mph
    3,325 ft
    2,775 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This stage of the Path of Rome includes some segments equipped with chains, stony ground with precarious granite rocks and passages where it may be necessary to use crampons and ice axes to proceed.

    

    From the Allievi Bonacossa Refuge, walk up the slope that winds through streams and grassy stretches until

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  • Difficult
    06:25
    9.33 mi
    1.5 mph
    975 ft
    6,250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This stage of the Roma Trail begins uphill towards the Corna Rossa Pass. Just under two kilometers along the moraine of the Disgrazia glacier takes you to 2,836 meters above sea level and then crosses the pass. You may need to use crampons and an ice ax on this part of the route. The steeper face of

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    5
  • Distance
    33.1 mi
  • Duration
    26:51 h
  • Elevation
    13,400 ft11,475 ft

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A thrilling trekking adventure at high altitude — Sentiero Roma

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