Ponte nel Cielo: visit the “Bridge in the Sky” in the Italian Alps

posted in: Europe | 10

If you’re visiting Valtellina, in the Italian Alps, you can’t miss Ponte nel Cielo (“Bridge in the Sky”), a 140 meters high Tibetan bridge! You’ll find it in Campo Tartano, a small mountain village sitting about 1000 meter above sea level. It’s a simple suspension bridge more than 200 meters long, built in 2018 in the tight Tartano Valley. When built, it gained the record of sea-level highest Tibetan bridge in Europe!

The full Ponte nel Cielo, the Bridge in the Sky, with a wonderful mountain landscape
Ponte nel Cielo

The bridge: project and design

Ponte nel Cielo connects Campo Tartano with the pastures of Frasnino, on the two opposite sides of the Tartano valley. It’s 234 meters long, one meter wide and 140 meters above the Tartano river. Both bridge accesses are about 1030-1040 meters from sea level. Therefore the record of the European highest Tibetan bridge.
700 larch wood planks make up the central block of the bridge, which is held up by metal cables. The structure guarantees to hold up to 100 persons at the same time.

Ponte nel Cielo has been built by the Austrian company HTB, from a 2016 project. It’s currently managed by Consorzio Püstarèsc, which also organized a peculiar fundraising. Back in the building days, they were accepting donations for each and every one of the bridge wooden planks: with 100 euros you could have had your name on the entrance plate and three years of free access!

the beginning of the bridge Ponte nel Cielo
Let’s start walking

The visit

I strongly advise against visiting the bridge for those who don’t enjoy high altitudes and vertical drops. For everybody else, Ponte nel Cielo is a fun day entertainment, especially if combined with hiking in the surrounding mountains.

It takes only a few minutes to cross, but you can’t avoid stopping to take some stunning pictures to the bridge itself and to the valley below. The view is really impressive! You can see the entire Tartano Valley going down to Valtellina. To the East, looking towards the higher mountains, there’s the Colombera Dam. The village Campo, lit up by the morning sun, is really pretty. On the opposite side of the valley, there are woods and plenty of hikes to try out. The official website of the bridge suggests a wide net of paths in the area, all of them connected to one or the other end of Ponte nel Cielo.

As much as the thick metal cables look firm and strong enough, stopping in the middle of the bridge feels weird and unstable, especially when someone else walks on it, even if far away from you. The bridge swings, jumps, moves under the feet! The most stress came for me from the fear of dropping something and losing it forever!

Spoiler for Geocaching fan: up to January 2022, in the middle of the bridge there was a tiny treasure!

Since the access to the bridge is limited to 100 people at a time, during holidays, weekends and in the summer season you’ll have to book your ticket online. The cost for an adult is 5 euro and let you walk twice across the bridge during the opening hours.

The ticket office and the access to the bridge Ponte nel Cielo
Access to the bridge

How to get to the bridge Ponte nel Cielo in Valtellina

I suggest reaching the bridge Ponte nel Cielo in a private car. At Ardenno, you need to get off the main road that crosses the entire Valtellina, connecting Como Lake with Sondrio. Here you cross Adda river and start driving up the 12 hairpin bends that, for unknowing reasons, are all well numbered!

You can spot the bridge already from the road before the small village Campo, where you can easily park and then walk to the ticket office. There are not many signs neither on the way nor in Campo. But you can’t go wrong, the bridge is there floating in the air, visible between the houses!

View over Valtellina and the sourrounding snowy mountains
View over Valtellina

All the images in this page are owned by the author and therefore protected by copyright.
Some can be bought on Shutterstock and Dreamtime.

Pinterest image: Ponte nel Cielo, the Bridge in the Sky, in Valtellina, in the north Italy Alps.

10 Responses

  1. Annalisa

    Non conoscevo assolutamente queste zone della Valtellina e ne sono rimasta piacevolmente colpita. Mi piacerebbe molto sfidare le vertigini e passeggiare su questo ponte, ma non so se mia figlia mi seguirebbe!! Grazie per avermelo fatto scoprire… ci faccio un pensierino.

    • The Lady

      Se si soffre di vertigini, in effetti è un po’ difficile da affrontare! 😀 Ma l’attraversata di per sè non dura molto, e tua figlia potrebbe stare su una sponda a farti bellissime foto sul ponte! 😀

  2. Libera

    Sto per intavolare un progetto per un itinerario in Valtellina e i tuoi consigli potranno sicuramente farmi comodo

    • The Lady

      Grazie. Era la prima volta in zona anche per me e l’ho apprezzata davvero tanto! 🙂

  3. Valentina

    I’ve never crossed a bridge like that and I would like to try, even if I’m a little scared of altitude!
    I visites Alta Valtellina last summer and I fell in love with its beautiful landscapes. I will go back there soon and I will visit this bridge.
    Do you know if the dog are allowed to cross it?
    Thanks 🙂

    • The Lady

      I’m not sure… I’d say no. Think if someone is scared of dogs and meets you halfway through the bridge and can’t avoid you! Funny scene there, right? 😀

  4. Paola

    Soffro di vertigini anche in piedi su una sedia! Questo non è decisamente il posto per me, anche se ne sono infinitamente affascinata. Non so se riuscirei ad affrontarlo, ma mi piacerebbe molto provare. Ma già so che dopo due passi rimarrei paralizzata, con le gambe tremanti, in attesa di una mano in soccorso per tornare sulla terra ferma!

    • The Lady

      Ti capisco! 😀 Credo che la cosa peggiore è che ondeggia, e si sente proprio! Quindi anche non guardando giù, sai perfettamente che non hai i piedi per terra!!

  5. Eliana

    Wow! Non conoscevo affatto questo splendido ponte tibetano! Da brivido, proprio come piace a me! Adoro queste esperienze adrenaliniche!
    Penso proprio che lo inserirò in un itinerario a doc per la scoperta di questa zona!

    • The Lady

      La Valetellina è davveero carina. Io la conoscevo pochissimo e devo dire che merita! Il ponte è stata la ciliegina sulla torta! 😉

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