Getting from Sondrio from Tirano can be straightforward or blissfully complex. This is the latter. And it’s worth every drop of sweat, every crank of your neck to look alternately at the bike computer and the views, and every pedal stroke in the direction of Tirano.
It sets off from the car park at the tennis courts on the outskirts of Sondrio, first heading along the trusted Sentiero before breaking free and heading towards Faedo and Piatedo Alta. This is the first climb of the route and it’s just a little lump to get the legs warmed up and the lungs opened. It starts with one long drag but gets more exciting the higher you get. You’ll then drop down again and rejoin the Sentiero for its nicest cobbled section. The next climb takes up you to Castello dell’Acqua and it’s a SUPERB bit of road. It skirts along the edge of the mountainside with prestigious views before a mellow drop down to San Giacomo. Quickly across the road and another, very short climb awaits.
This whole route has been conceived to avoid the main road and escort along the valley’s hidden gems. If you ask us, it succeeds on both fronts. A truly winning route, it gets even better after a 500m stint on the main road when you take a left turn off the main road towards Boalzo. This is where the roads get really quiet (although the earlier side sections are also very quiet), and there are a few lumps and bumps on the final, super scenic 10 km to Tirano.
Avoid this route in the deep winter as the two first climbs are on the shady side of the valley. Obviously it can be ridden in both directions too – just reverse the route on Komoot.