The Pioverna creek flows through the whole Valsassina Valley, creating a beautiful green waterfall near Taceno before flowing into Lake Como.
The Tartavalle waterfall, where a small hydroelectric power plant is also located, is well visible from the Valsassina cycle path. It is a very suggestive place into a picturesque natural setting and it is a destination for tourists and photographers.
Beyond the waterfall, the course of Pioverna becomes steep, closed between rocks and narrow gorges, and the green water of the Tartavalle creek forms the Bellano Gorge. It is a natural waterfall that flows down into a deep gorge, formed in over thousands of years, that can be visited through walkways and stairs.
The Tartavalle destination is famous as former thermal destination. In 1839 Antonio Fondra, a resident in Taceno, discovered a source of potable water with beneficial effects on health. In 1847 Father Ottavio Ferrario, a chemist, came to Valsassina to analyse the water, and it was qualified as ferruginous magnesia water. Thanks to this fact, the fame of Tartavalle source grew (in 1907 there were 1500 visitors per year), so much that it encouraged establishment of a bathhouse and an hotel managed by the brothers Don Clemente and Don Tranquillo Fondra.
In 1929 was built the thermal bath, then expanded in 1966. A few years later the first analysis, in 1911 a complete water analysis was carried out, and today the water is considered as one of the most alkaline water in Italy.
The Tartavalle baths brought a period of great tourism development for Taceno, that used to count numerous hotels and restaurants, and, more generally, for the entire area of the Upper Valsassina.
Unfortunately, the baths were later closed.
Photo by Gabriele Orlandi, Adso da Melz e Diego Panzeri.