A popular summer and winter resort, Aprica sits at 1,181 metres above sea level on the top of the mountain pass going by the same name, which links the river valley of the Adda with that of the Oglio, namely Valtellina with Valcamonica. Thanks to its prime position, Aprica is a great place to base yourself for visiting the rest of the region, confident in the knowledge that you’ll get temperate weather in summer thanks to the altitude – and generous heapings of snow in winter.
With more than 50 km of ski pistes that coast down to the town from 2,300 metres, the Ski Area Aprica & Corteno offers an impressive range for skiers of all abilities. From expert runs to family-friendly ones, the ski area is fully connected and easy to reach. Cross-country skiing, snowshoe hiking, and ski mountaineering is also on offer amidst the tranquil surroundings, if that’s more your style.
As the eastern gate to the Parco delle Orobie Valtellinese, Aprica is encircled by protected natural areas, including the spectacular botanical richness of the Pian di Gembro Nature Reserve, and the Valli di San Antionio Nature Reserve with its family-friendly walks that let you discover nature up-close. Flanking the 200 km of trails is a mixture of forests, meadows, and Alpine lakes, which can be explored on foot or by mountain bike (with some exceptions). For lovers of road cycling, Aprica is virtually unrivalled given its proximity to mythical mountain passes like the Passo Gavia, Mortirolo and the Stelvio, on which the history books of cycling have been written through their many dramatic appearances in the Giro d’Italia.
To encounter the Alpine fauna and flora, a visit to the Osservatorio Eco-Fauntistico Alpino di Aprica is a must. Set up and managed by the natural biologist Bernardo Pedroni, it is a vast area that is home to designated walking routes for learning about the wildlife and observing certain diverse species of plants and animals. Unlike other observatories, the animals roam freely here, without restrictive fences, and this lets visitors experience the wildlife in complete safety–just metres away from them. Two brown bears live within the area and these awe-inspiring specimens can also be observed from certain points.
Beyond sport, a stroll through the old districts is a great opportunity to admire the murals done by modern artist Alcide Pancot, whose refreshing interpretations of Aprica’s history and its wildlife were commissioned by the town. Captivating illustrations blending nature, fantasy, and colours pop up at regular intervals on this cultural route. On a similar note, the town’s folklore and traditions are brought back to life through annual festivals, such as the Sunà da Mars, La Festa par i Sciori, and I tep d’ina olta.