Archaeological Botanical Park of Paradise, “Marmitte dei Giganti” Nature Reserve

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Between Valchiavenna and Val Bregaglia, on the Castellaccio and the Paradise hills, there is the botanical-archaeological park of Paradise. These two hills are located on the eastern edge of Chiavenna in a panoramic position overlooking the city and on the surrounding area. From the “Ca’ Rossa”, visitors can enjoy the most spectacular views of the historic center, the San Lorenzo complex, and the Crotti of Pratogiano area.

The park is included in the largest protected area of the “Marmitte dei Giganti” (“Giants’ Pots”) nature reserve. Established in 1955, it is now part of the Valchiavenna Museum.

The two hills, separated by the deep “Caruga” rift, are connected by a walkway and crisscrossed by a thick network of well-equipped paths for comfortable excursions and ascents to the highest peaks. The park features several geomorphological tracts, as well as prehistoric evidence and collections of rare plant species in its botanical garden.

During the last glaciation, the streams carried stone debris over the glaciers which eroded the rocks into very peculiar bowl-shaped craters. Hence the name “Giants’ Pots”. Along certain paths, visitors can find natural gutters, smooth rocks, and cave carvings, and wedges of mafic and ultramafic rocks called “the Green Stones of Chiavenna”: they are fragments of the ancient oceanic crust of the Tetide basin, which developed about 150 million years ago. Then, there are some paved areas made of “botòn” (soapstone turning waste), and a massive tower which houses the naturalistic section of the Valchiavenna Museum, with geo-mineralogical and local fauna dioramas.

The park can be visited along several mule tracks and paths that used to connect the ancient soapstone quarries. There are many suggested itineraries, available throughout the year, and many public events are regularly organized, even at night.

Mountain biking, hiking, cycling, skiing, Nordic walking, canyoning, climbing, and sport fishing are some of the most popular available activities in this park. In winter, it is also possible to rent skiing equipment and take individual or collective classes also with snowboards.

The park follows strict opening hours – alternatively, visits can be booked in advance.
The entrance to the park has been recently moved to Via IV Novembre (cemetery area of Chiavenna).

The park follows strict opening hours, and visits can be also booked in advance, to admire Sweet chestnuts (Castanea sativa), ashes, hornbeams, lindens, and oaks (Quercus petrea). Exotic species include black locusts (Robinia psuedoacacia), deodar cedars (Cedrus deodara), and red oaks (Quercus rubra).
The cliff vegetation includes tree heather (Erica arborea), and Northern European Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyachantha).

Visitors should also explore Palazzo Vertemate Franchi, including its rustic buildings, and a series of green areas housing Passito vineyards; there is also an orchard with a monumental ivy, the vegetable garden, and the Italian garden with a fishpond. Admission to the complex is paid.

One of the suggested itineraries leads to the fortress of Castellaccio (an important archaeological site with the remains of the defensive building dating back to 800 and 1000 AD), the necropolis (dating back to the XVII century BC and housing the Rio Maggiore and Rio Purgatorio with an impressive imposing 177-ft Clementine bridge), and the medieval tower.

The “Crotti”
Characteristic natural cold rooms, carved into the rock, serving the typical dishes of this area.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


Via C. Lena Perpenti 8/10 - Chiavenna(SO)

0343 37361

Altre info

A pagamento: intero 3 euro, ridotto 1,50 euro (studenti, gruppi scolastici, gruppi con min. 15 persone, over sessanta)

Da novembre ad aprile compreso, tutti i pomeriggi dal martedì a sabato. La domenica è aperto tutto il giorno a meno della pausa pranzo. Chiuso il 25 dicembre e 1 gennaio.

Orario estivo (ora legale) Dal 27 marzo al 28 ottobre 2018 Dal martedì alla domenica: 10 - 12 e 14 - 18 Lunedì chiuso. Orario invernale (ora solare) Dal 30 ottobre 2018 al 24 marzo 2019 Dal martedì alla domenica: 10 - 12 e 14 - 17 Lunedì chiuso. Ultimo ingresso mezz´ora prima della chiusura.

Questo sito utilizza cookie tecnici e di profilazione per fornirti una esperienza di navigazione personalizzata