Bormio, oh Bormio, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
- Bormio, you are the Mecca for epic cycling
- Bormio, your town is beautiful to relax in
- Bormio, your cobbled streets are unspoiled as though it were 100 years ago
Mecca for Epic Cycling
I’ve blogged extensively about the outstanding rides you can do from Bormio. Bormio is base camp for three of the legends of Italian cycling — Passo Stelvio, Passo Gavia, and Passo Mortirolo — as well as the incredible 4-pass glaciers loop. While there are many other great rides in europe — Col de la Bonette, L’Alpe d’Huez, Mont Ventoux, Kleine Scheidegg, Gross Glockner, Gruppo Sella, Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Col du Tourmalet — no town has such a great concentration of epic ride options.
Every adult, healthy, sane cyclist who has the financial and physical capacity to travel to Bormio must make the pilgrimage once in a lifetime.
And when you do, I recommend you do these rides:
- Passo Stelvio — the most incredible mountain in all of europe — either both sides in one day or just one side
- Passo Mortirolo and Passo Gavia — here are two accounts of this ride: this year and last year
- 4-pass glaciers loop featuring Passo Bernina
A Beautiful and Interesting Town
At the end of your ride, you may be too tired to enjoy town, but if you have a little energy left, it is indeed a beautiful and interesting place. The historical main street, Via Roma, is a cobbled pedestrian walkway (no cars) and chock full of interesting stores and restaurants.
There is good shopping here and it is very relaxing. Here is part of our group (Ernesto, Rudy, Jessica, and Lisa) tasting cheese at one of the delicatessens.
There is also lots of great shopping, including gourmet items (delicatessens, a cheese shop, 2 wine stores), clothing stores, jewelery, and a very nice kitchen and home goods store.
One thing we discovered this year was a laboratory for fresh pasta. Yes, Italians take their pasta seriously. This place sells a nice variety of homemade pastas, both rolled and stuffed.
Via Roma leads to the main square where there are several nice cafes and restaurants.
Here is another view of the main square from a different vantage point. This is the church steeple and the clock tower with the mountains behind.
There is plenty more to see in Bormio. I blogged about Bormio extensively last year. For more info and more (and better) photos, please click here.
Unspoiled Cobbled Old Streets
Bormio has a certain serenity to it that is unique. Walking around the cobbled streets takes me back in time. Because Bormio is unspoiled, I can imagine what life must have been like 100 years ago.
My very first memories of Bormio are from 1991 when I ventured down Via Roma. Having just ridden over Passo Stelvio, I was seeking a hotel and asked a group of young men for directions. They shared with me some fresh bread, asked where I had come from, and were amazed that I had ridden over the Stelvio. (Where else would I have come from if I were here?) Their enthusiasm and friendly nature is something I will remember forever.
Via Roma has grown up quite a bit since then. There are many more stores and it is slowly turning into a tourist destination.
Fortunately, there is plenty of unspoiled old town just a few blocks away. Bormio is one of the most beautiful places I know. Bormio is still authentic and true to its roots.
Here is an old stairwell leading up to someone’s home.
And just next door is one of the most beautiful porch scenes I have ever seen. Yes, I really like old rocks and red ivy geraniums.
Finally, here is another view of the skyline with a sunbeam coming down from an opening in the clouds.
I hope you have the opportunity to visit Bormio some time in your life and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I have been here 6 or 7 times so far. I will be back again, hopefully soon.
P. S. — I almost forgot. Bormio has some pretty nice hot springs, too.