Sondrio | Run 12 km | Boirolo for the bois and the gyals

Even though Valtellina is an alpine valley, there aren’t that many opportunities to truly break the tree line and enjoy being up there – as in, not too technical, not exposed, but nice and runnable. That’s exactly what this is.

Boirolo is a little gathering of houses at around 1,600 metres. The road up to it is marked with kilometres signs for cyclists so it is also highly recommended that you ride up before doing this run.

It’s a real beauty of a run and you’ll continually marvel at the scenery. if not, you should stop and look around. Take your eyes off your watch and your heart rate.

A lollipop-shaped run because that just happens to be as far as you can drive up with your car. Normally we wouldn’t advocate driving up the little roads as we like to keep them quiet for bikes, but we can make an exception in this case.

A fairly simple route to follow and in a very sunny spot. Summer only, of course.

Sondrio–Tirano | Road 32km | The Scenic Option

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.


Triangia | Run 5 km | The Balcony

A fairly new trail called the Balcony Trail, this is a wonderful route that condenses the greatest views and a fairly techy trail into just 5 km, which renders it the ultimate trial mountain run. We highly recommend this for families and those new to mountain running and looking for a taste of its beauty. After this route, you will go on to far bigger achievements. But for right now, and for those coming back from injury, this has just enough spice to heighten your senses and get you hooked.

Park in Triangia (the perpetually sunny village above Sondrio). There’s a cafe in the centre of the village, or head 2.5km up the road to Ligari afterwards for coffee and cake.



Sondrio | Run 9km | Not the typical athletics track

This is a really basic but truly wonderful route that sets off from the athletics track and essentially does an extended scenic loop above it.

It takes in the most exciting and accessible vineyard trails and takes you on a panoramic tour above Sondrio. The first part is mainly uphill before it flattens off then drops you down towards the track again. There are many ways to extend this route, but it’s a great, time-efficient, touring run for those with an hour to spare. The photo below is clearly not representative of the vineyard trails, but does signify where you’ll find free parking.

Laps on the track afterwards, optional.