In the footsteps of Charlemange
In Val Rendena, a connecting road of historic importance
After crossing Val di Sole, the DoGa cycling route continues through Madonna di Campiglio, where you will learn a tale of the legendary warrior Charlemagne (Carlo Magno). Your next stop? The Moschera Pass.
The passage of Charlemagne
The name of the Moschera Pass is unlikely to mean anything to you unless you are a true Charlemagne history buff. During the time of the Habsburgs, the earliest hoteliers in Madonna di Campiglio were so anxious to attract German clientèle, who were fascinated by the legend of “Karl der Grosse”, that they changed the name of the Moschera Pass to the Campo Carlo Magno Pass (Charlemagne Pass) in 1909.
There is plenty of testimony - that comes from as far as France - supporting his having passed here as he returned from a journey that began in Val Camonica, via the Tonale Pass and finally Madonna di Campiglio and Val Rendena.
The church of Santo Stefano
As you descend towards Carisolo, you will come across a rocky bluff at the entrance to Val di Genova, atop which sits the church of Santo Stefano.
The northern façade features a 16th-century fresco by the painter Simone Baschenis, depicting the catechumen baptism performed by Pope Urbano I. To the left, instead, you can admire Charlemagne with his imperial crown, surrounded by soldiers and bishops, a memorial of his passage through the valley. Finally, on the opposite wall is a large fresco by the same artist which shows the Danza Macabra (Dance of Death), a theme which is fairly rare in Italy.
The church of San Vigilio di Pinzolo
After visiting the church, climb back onto your bike and continue along the DoGa tourist cycling route. On your way down to Tione, you can visit another famous fresco of the Danza Macabra by the 16th-century Baschenis family of painters, this time in the church of San Vigilio di Pinzolo: it’s definitely worth a stop.
Here, you will find yourself in the same position as Charlemagne: facing a journey of exploration to learn more about the beautiful and fascinating secrets of the four Trentino valleys crossed by the DoGa. Unlike the famous emperor, however, you will not make your voyage astride a sturdy war horse... but in the saddle of your trusty two-wheeled mount!