The living cathedral in spring

Cattedrale Vegetale in March

Old man winter might argue that less than a week remains until he officially takes his leave, but with temps in the mid-60’s I’d say he has already left the building. In the past we’ve visited the cattedrale vegetale during fall season, winter, and now we can also add spring. This past Sunday was one of those beautiful get-up-and-go days, so we packed a picnic lunch and headed toward the mountains for Maddie’s 7th birthday.

Maddie's 7th birthday

As the very top image shows, the cathedral has a long way to go until the young trees fill in the framework. I have to say that my favorite time of year to visit is when the entire area is covered in white, but even here with the last patches of snow, this work of natural art is not any less wonderful. I wouldn’t suggest summer as it can get uncomfortably hot even at this altitude, and the lack of a nearby restaurant or restroom could be a disadvantage to some.

Getting there

Cattedrale Vegetale signpost Parking area for cattedrale and rifugi

The cathedral is located just above località Plassa in Val Serina (Bergamo). Traveling east on SP27 from neighboring Oltre il Colle, take the left road upon reaching Zambla Alta. Here’s a link to google streetview and you can’t miss the signs (left image above). Following via Plassa for around 2 miles will eventually lead to a large summer residence. Drive up the right (the left leads to a large parking area) where it ends at the trailhead (right image above). Parking is allowed along one side of the road and as of this date is still for free.

Walk up to cathedral

If you’ve managed to snag a parking spot close to the trailhead, the cathedral is all yours in less than a ½-mile and a matter of 10-15 minutes by foot. BUT…and of course there’s always a but…be prepared for the 12% grade. These photos top and bottom should give a fair idea of what I’m describing as I stood in the same spot but shot at different angles. While it is paved asphalt all the way, the grade could prove to be a little too tough for weak knees.

Walk down from cathedral


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