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Ponte del Sole Dossena – Tibetan Bridge Italy: We rightly consider Lake Garda to be one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy. We were enchanted by the picturesque beauty, relaxed atmosphere and laid-back way of life of the Italians.

We are always looking for a special experience, for this we gladly accept a slightly longer journey.

After some research, Käthe discovered the Ponte Del Sole in Dossena. On short notice, we decided to take a trip from Lake Garda to Bergamo, to the Ponte Del Sole in Dossena, the longest Tibetan bridge in Italy. The description promised an exciting attraction, though not quite comparable to the Prada Costabella cable car, in a somewhat remote region.

The journey from Lake Garda to Dossena, Bergamo

We chose to travel by car from Lake Garda to Bergamo. Getting there by bus or train was too complicated and took too long. Also, we didn’t know how long our stay in Dossena would be.

With the car you are much more flexible and can start the return journey when you want.

Start of the day: From Lake Garda to Dossena near Bergamo

The Google app gave us a travel time of about 2.5 hours. Therefore, we left early in the morning at 8:00, still a little sleepy.

We took the route from western Lake Garda via SS45 (the famous Gardesana) towards Brescia. From there we took the A4 to Bergamo and then the SS470, finally the SP26 to Dossena.

Since we were still outside the peak season, the traffic was kept within limits. In summer it is quite crowded on the Gardesana, so you should plan accordingly much time for the trip to Dossena.

Arrival in Dossena: First impressions and expectations

After about 2 1/2 hours of leisurely driving we arrived in Dossena. It is a small, idyllic place with just under 900 inhabitants. Dossena is the “iron” capital of the Brembo Valley, one of the first inhabited centers of the region. Rare metals have been mined here since the Bronze Age, including fluorite. This material is used from the metal sector to the glass industry and from the aerospace industry. Fluorite mined at Dossena was an essential ingredient in NASA’s vector rockets used on lunar missions.

Besides the Tibetan bridge and the disused mine, the region around Dossena is famous for Italian products such as cheese, cold cuts and exquisite beer productions, as well as an enchanting plant landscape. Even Leonardo Da Vinci fell in love with the place in 1500, when he examined the deposits and materials there.

When we arrived in Dossena, there were hardly any tourists. These were mostly Italians who also did not want to miss the experience of the longest Tibetan bridge in Italy. Fortunately, we were almost alone on the bridge, only an Italian couple signed up for the attraction at the same time.

Das Büro der Veranstalter befindet sich in der Ortsmitte von Dossena und es gibt ausreichend Parkplätze für die Besucher.

The Ponte Del Sole in Dossena –
A walk across the longest Tibetan bridge in Italy

We agree: we would not call the walk across the Ponte del Sole Dossena – Tibetan Bridge Italy a relaxing stroll. With its 505 meters in length and up to 120 meters above the ground, it is above all impressive.

The Ponte del Sole is even considered the longest Tibetan bridge in the world, with interrupted tread and without side bars. The structure consists of seven steel cables (two for the interrupted treads, two for the handrail and three for the safety cables).


Preparations: Safety instructions and equipment

Before going on the Ponte Del Sole, there will be a briefing by the security personnel. This explains the rules of conduct. In addition, we have been provided with a via ferrata set with helmet.

The safety personnel check everything several times for safety-related function so that we can travel safely on this exciting bridge one after the other.

Our experience on the Ponte Del Sole

On the way to the entrance, great nervousness and a sinking feeling spread. With the first steps there are plenty of trembling knees on the Tibetan bridge, but the spirit of adventure prevailed.

It goes over 1200 metal steps along the narrow bridge. We felt the adrenaline bubbling inside us with every step and the slight wobble of the bridge. After the first few meters, we dared to take our eyes off our feet. We were rewarded with an indescribable panorama and a spectacular view of the landscape of the Orobiche Prealps. It’s a great experience that we can really recommend to everyone.

We were able to cross the bridge safely by latching our two carabiners: One carabiner is anchored to the continuous lifeline, the other is a so-called “attach and detach” carabiner.

Lunch in Dossena

Back in town and with solid ground under our feet, hunger drove us to a delicious lunch (pranzo) in a small restaurant (Gran Caffè), which was frequented only by Italians. The atmosphere was almost familiar.

There was a friendly atmosphere and the food was unbeatable good as well as super cheap (Primi Piatti, Secondi, house wine, espresso for 15,- Euro/person).

The via ferrata Dossena: our experience in the disused mine

After lunch, the next highlight was on the program, the via Ferrata in Dossena. This via ferrata goes through the old mines of a disused mine.

It is the only speleological park in Europe that leads to the underground world of Dossena, where we followed the exciting footsteps of the former miners.

Into the depths: the abandoned mine of Dossena

The mine finally ceased operations in 1981. After lengthy restoration and safety work, the mines were opened to the public.

The mines of Dossena were first mentioned by the Latin historian and naturalist Pliny the Elder in his work Naturalis Historia.

Finds of tools from this period prove this origin. The mining methods were still very primitive, the mining was done by hand with heavy pickaxes, the material was transported away with simple carts. Slaves were exploited as laborers at that time, probably early Christians, to which the origin of the Archpresbyterian Church of Dossena is traced. With the rise of the Roman Empire, the mines were abandoned and reactivated only in the Middle Ages.

Before we could enter the mines with our group, another comprehensive safety briefing took place. Each participant was provided with a via ferrata set including a helmet. In addition, the operation of the via ferrata set in the mine was explained, then nothing could go wrong!

Guided via ferrata: From darkness into light

We were able to learn interesting background information about the mine from the mountain guide Vladimir. However, the tour was unfortunately only in Italian and we did not understand everything.

But what there is to see there and the indescribable feeling of being underground made this action interesting even without extensive knowledge of Italian.

Our thoughts and feelings during the via ferrata in Dossena

The disused mine is the only speleological park (parco speleologico dossena) Europe. Here you can explore the old tunnels of the mines of Dossena with the help of cable cars, bridges, floating passages over natural caves, artificial chimneys and much more. One experiences the feelings of the miners who worked day and night by the light of the lamps to extract the valuable resources of the underground.

We got interesting insights into a mine, which are fascinating and made us feel the charm of the underground. There is an exciting atmosphere that you should experience for yourself because it can hardly be described in words.

The historic mining vehicles, the partly deep abysses and caves were extremely impressive. The via ferrata itself was not particularly difficult, but still exciting.

Tips and advice for your trip from Lake Garda to Dossena, Bergamo

We have some tips that will make the trip to the Ponte Del Sole in Dossena – (Tibetan Bridge in Italy) and the stay in Dossena-Bergamo a real unforgettable experience and avoid many a “mistake”.

We advise not to make the trip during the peak season on a weekend. The journey to Dossena then takes a correspondingly long time because of the possible traffic.

In addition, many Italians also travel to the popular destinations on the weekends. We also recommend booking tickets in advance(

Packing list and important tips for the Via Ferrata Dossena and Tibetan Bridge in Italy

Especially in summer, take enough to drink. There is no need to worry about bringing via ferrata equipment. It will be provided on site by the organizer.

Of course, there should be a head for heights for the ascent of the Tibetan Bridge and the via Ferrata into the Dossena mine. The via ferrata in the Dossena mine is also suitable for beginners. In addition, a minimum body height of 140 cm is mandatory.

The via ferrata is also passable in bad weather. Remember to wear sporty and warm clothes and suitable footwear.

FAQ Ponte del Sole Dossena – Tibetan Bridge Italy

How long is the journey to Dossena?

The journey from Tremosine takes about 2.5 hours or about 150 km. From the southern part of Lake Garda, the route and therefore the travel time, is correspondingly shorter.

Is it necessary to have your own via ferrata set?

No, your own via ferrata set is not necessary. For both the Ponte del Sole and the via ferrata in the mine, a via ferrata set will be provided by the organizer.

When is the best time to visit Dossena?

We recommend visiting on a weekday or weekend outside of peak season. The mine can be visited even in bad weather.

Is the Tibetan bridge suitable for children?

The bridge is suitable for children from 12 years and a height of at least 140cm.

What are the technical specifications of the Tibetan bridge and the climbing setig in Dossena?

Ponte del Sole Dossena – Tibetan Bridge Italy:

Length: 505m
Depth: 120m
Duration of the crossing: about 40 minutes

Via ferrata:

Length: 1000m
Depth: 100 m
Duration: about 2 hours
Difficulty: easy

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