Walking to “Rese basse” and  “Virgin of snow – Queen of peace”

Passo Stelvio

Total length of excursion: 2750 meters
Total uphill difference in height: 95 meters
Approximate total time needed for the excursion: 1 hours and 15 minutes
Difficulty: easy (3 out of 10)
Recommended season: from the middle of June to the first half of October (check the altitude of snow before your trip)
Suitable for rainy days? Yes
General characteristics of the natural environment: high mountain
Presence of water\fountains on the excursion: yes
Trip on the borders of the Stelvio National Park: yes
Benches on the route: no
Picnic areas on the route: no
Alpine shelters, bars or restaurants along the route: no
Circular route: no
Back and forth route: yes
Pushchair accessible: no
Excursion starting point: hairpin turn “de la Stua” – hairpin turn n°8 driving down to Passo Stelvio
Geographic coordinates of the starting point: 46°31’55.82” N – 10°26’22.77” E  —-   UTM:  32T 610402  –  5154185
Altitude of the starting point: 2580 meters asl             Maximum height reached on the excursion: 2630 meters asl

Description of the excursion

The excursion to the “Rese basse of Scorluzzo” and “Virgin of snow – Queen of peace” is the easiest way, in the Bormio Area, to visit the front line of the White War.

The route, surrounded by an incredible high mountain panorama and enriched by the little lake of the “Rese basse”, brings you to an evident grassy hillock.

There, perfectly hidden in underground tunnels, are present and visitable the Italian artillery positions that were pointed in the direction of the Stelvio pass and the road below during the First World War.

This itinerary is also very interesting for geological and geomorphological observation. In particular it’s possible to see the way that water, snow and glaciers have shaped the neighboring landscape.

The alpine flora is also precious with the presence of significant species like: gentians, buttercups, rhododendrons, soldanellas and achilleas (Taneda in our dialect). An easy and satisfying excursion suitable for everyone on a single track with limited difference in height.

From the hairpin bend “de la Stua” take the single track on the right that, going slightly downhill, brings you to the crossing of a couple of pleasant streams. After that, with a slight ascent, the track takes you to the wonderful little lake of the Rese basse in just a few minutes.

After going just a few more meters slightly uphill you will reach your goal. Here, with the sculpture of the “Virgin of snow” dominating the horizon, there are many remnants of the war.

Historical remnants that in some cases are almost lost to time and in others are well preserved and restored (in 2004) by the retired “Alpini” (retired Italian mountain soldiers) of the ANA (Associazione Nazionale Alpini) divisions of Valtellina with the support of the “Comunità Montana Alta Valtellina” and “Banca Popolare di Sondrio”.

From the sculpture of the Virgin of snow you go back the way you came until you reach the carpark. Before going back I suggest you take a break in the area to discover and visit, with the help of a flashlight, the tunnels where the Italian soldiers (Alpini), and their artillery battery, recovered from enemy fire. In addition to the inevitable reflections on the war, you could enjoy the view over the Stelvio pass from the incredible observation points.

In the area you can find some information panels about the conflict made by the “Lions Club Val Mustäir (CH)”.

At the end of the excursion, we suggest you visit the interesting Museum “Carlo Donegani” at Stelvio Pass and take a short break at the military memorial monument near the small church of Saint Ranieri near the III° Cantoniera of Stelvio.

It is my pleasure to inform you that every year, on the morning of the first Sunday of August, the “Gruppo Alpini Bormio” organizes a commemorative excursion on this route. The Sunday after the “Banca Popolare di Sondrio”, instead, organizes a Mass.  

Enjoy your walk!

Stefano and all staff of Albergo Adele