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Isola (1268m): part of the administrative area of Madesimo. It was an important centre from ancient times as the road to the Spluga pass went through it, an important pass linking Italy and Central Europe through the Cardinello Gorge. The gorge was already used in Roman times and, at times, in the middle ages. Access is via the old mule track cut into the vertical rock face that towers over the Liro Torrent. It climbs gently for over 500m. The trail is comfortably wide at all times, and even has a handrail in parts. At certain points it is truly impressive. In December of 1800, Napoleonic troops led by General McDonald ventured up the Cardinello Gorge with the loss of many men and animals and their loads, all swept into the gully by snow drifts. The trail also goes through the superb hamlet of Rasdeglia, with its perfectly preserved, rustic architecture. The road from Isola to the top of Mottaletta provides access by car.
Last update : 2010-08-09