Un itinerario naturalistico
Lungo le strade di campagna si scopre un percorso denso di natura, storia e cultura.
Un sentiero fra prati, castagneti ombrosi e vie d'acqua, sulle sponde dell'Oglio, che raggiunge i borghi di Montecchio, Pellalepre e di Fucine, i pascoli di Dosso Blusega con i suoi formaggi tipici, il paese di Gianico che ospita l'emozionante e secolare festa della Funsciù.
The suburb of Montecchio, on the Oglio shores, has lost almost completely the memory of its medieval origins: in 1471, a ruinous landslide, caused by the flood of Rovinazza creek, cancelled a substantial part of the town with the ruins of the castle, already destroyed by the Venetians some twenty years earlier. The slow reconstruction has defined a town of 19th century style: a symbol of rebirth is the bridge on the Oglio, made in 1686 from a project by Francesco Cifrondi, while on the crag over it, called Dosso, you can glimpse at the remains of the castle, which used to be one of the most important ones of the valley, given the strategic position and the control of the river. At a little distance from the bridge, you find the little church of St. Maria del Suffragio, or Oratory of the Dead , declared national monument: in fact the pictorial cycle displayed inside is one of the most interesting and complex ones from the mid 15th century: with Christ Almighty in a mandorla and a wonderful Madonna of Mercy. Next to the Oratory you find the parish church of St. Maria Assunta, which is attested since 1200 and in the course of centuries,underwent several reconstructions and remodeling.,Outside the town of Montecchio, at the foot of the Monticolo hill,,is the Corni Freschi archaeological site: on a big boulder, commonly, called “rock of the halberds” 6 , there are 9 engraved halberds and 15 daggers, in a very visible composition dating back to the late Copper Age (3rd millennium b.c.e.). The selfsame hill is rich with
evidence documenting human presence from time immemorial: remains of Roman age dwellings, engravings, writings and symbols of medieval epoch and of the period of time between the two world wars. The highest point of the route is dominated by a fauna observatory, which lets you admire the Valley from high above. The itinerary proceeds to discover the farmers’ routes towards the suburb of Fucine, going down then to the suburb of Pellalepre, to end in the Gianico territory (about 2 hours).
The suburb of Fucine, surrounded by meadows and chestnut groves, rises at the entrance of the Cervera valley, luxuriant with extensive fir-woods, alpine pastures and coppices, which go up the slopes all the way to Dosso Sparviero. The town, originally from the 16th century, owes its name to the
ancient forges (fucine), activated by a canal from the Re creek, which produced weapons and farming tools. The Fucine experienced artisans had learned a lot in their field: already in 1600, the blades produced in these factories could well match the most famous ones from Toledo, considered at those times absolutely the best ones in Europe. At the end of the 19th century, however, with the exhaustion of the available raw matters in loco – iron and wood – and with the increase of the competitiveness of the foreign production of industrial, not artisan setup, only three forges were attested, currently
fallen into disuse. One last trace of that epoch is the ancient water sawmill, in dialect “rasega”, preserved in via Montesuello, once bustling with artisan activities. Not far from the square where the 17th-century parish church rises, dedicated to the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is possible to visit the Museum of the Alpini of the City of Darfo Boario Terme, placed in completely new spaces, allowing a greater availability and an all-inclusive view on the great collection there. The Museum tour shows the birth of the Alpini corps, from its foundation to the development over the years of weapons, means
and equipment used during military operations; through images, findings, documents and information panels emerges a moving and involving journey in the memory and in the happenings of many brave Alpini.
The Dosso Blusega pasture district is accessible from the suburb of
Fucine, towards “Cervera”, in a couple of hours of walking on cobbled mule track. It develops over about 53 hectares, from an elevation of 1395 m a.s.l. (Dosso Rognone) to the altitude of 1893 m a.s.l. (Dosso Sparviero), although the most productive sections are at an average altitude of about 1600 m and currently the bovine density is about 60 UBA of oxen of Bruna Alpina breed, and 40 UBA of goats and sheep. The district is divided into 7 sections:
- Malga Cauzzo, with a surface of about 6,65.84 hectares;
- Malga Piazza La Nera , with a surface of about 5,26.23 hectares;
- Dosso Sparviero, with a surface of 5,64.85 hectares;
- Gras Caudel, with a surface of 2,41.47 hectares;
- Dosso Blusega, with a surface of 27,58.18 hectares;
- Malga Perlepere, with a surface of 3,48.49 hectares;
- Malga Dosso Rognone, with a surface of 2,57.00 hectares.
Nearly all the buildings at the Dosso Blusega mountain pasture are used when moving the herds, the main one naturally is Malga Cauzzo (endowed with EC stamp for cheese making), used in the first period of mountain pasture for about 30 days and in the last period for about 15 days; in the first days of July then they move to Piazza La Nera and then for another fifteen days to Malga Perlepere, also endowed with Blue Stamp, and then again to Piazza La Nera for 15 more days. Dosso Rognone currently is not used, but it serves as backing for Malga Perlepere. The two malgas, subjected to intervention, are the most used ones during the mountain pasture and they are most easily reached in terms of route connection. Furthermore they are part of the itineraries in the vast area of Val Grigna, an aspect which greatly strengthens the attractiveness for summer tourism.
The Silter Production
The production of Silter 5 6 cheese is typical of Valle Camonica and the pre-Alpine areas east of Lake Iseo. The name of this cheese comes from the term that used to designate the typical buildings, located on high-elevation pastures, used for the making and/or the first maturing of the produced cheeses.
The Silter is made solely with milk from cows of Bruna Alpina breed – which has always been bred in these areas – following atechnique of homemade working handed down since many generations. The rind is yellow, hard and smooth; the inside straw-coloured yellow presents itself after 6 months slightly ocellated, with a sweet taste even if aromatic; after a year of maturing the ocellation is more widespread, the cheese is firmer when being cut, the characteristic taste and aroma are accentuated and the cheese is excellent also to be grated.
For information: www.saporidivallecamonica.it
The road network to reach the malgas and on the entire stretch of road going from the suburb of Fucine to the Cervera area is regulated by the VASP rules (farming-wood-pastoral road conditions).
For about two and a half centuries, every ten years the extraordinary feast of the “Funsciù” has been celebrated, when the 16th-century wooden statue of the Madonna on a throne with the Child , put up in the church of St. Maria al Monte, is brought in a solemn procession around the streets of the town. On
this occasion, the historical centre, as well as the rest of the residential area, gets decked out with pine tree branches, decorated with thousands of paper flowers made by the women of Gianico with techniques handed down for generations. The outcome is an amazing enchantment of colours and lights that ravish the visitor in an extraordinary emotional vortex.
THE HISTORICAL CENTRE
In the historical centre of the town there are several private homes and courtyards presenting architectural details worthy of being admired:
- Massari home, via Cimavilla 20, with a granite ashlar arch dated 1508,
- ex-Fiorini home, via Cimavilla 15, a 17th century building, with an engraving of a coat of arms like an amphora in flower flanked by two rampant quadrupeds facing each other above the entrance door,
- Viola home, via Cimavilla 6, with 16th century window platforms,
- Mondinini home, via Cimavilla 26/30, with painted fragments and graffiti from the 16th century,
- Pedretti home, via Cimavilla 26/30, with the original location of the Madonna on a throne dated 1578, now moved to the town hall,
- Fiorini-Marchetti home, via Roma 2, made in three plant bodies on various levels with windows in grey sandstone from the 17th century. On this street, detached from the house, there was an ex-spinning factory. An elegant fountain in the shape of a sacellum with a rectangular basin is a good sight in the broad courtyard, well visible from the arched portal in Sarnico stone, showing the date 1803.
THE TOWN HALL
The town hall finds its seat since 1988 in the 17th-century building, ex-Fiorini home, then Mazzoldi. The main face presents a three-arcade porch with Doric columns and brackets at the edge, in Sarnico stone, with cross vaults. On the second floor one can see the ancient loggia with seven arches, with Doric columns placed on a string-course in Sarnico stone.
THE PRESS FOUNTAIN
The Press Fountain, located in front of the ex-town hall, links its name to a previous fountain erected in the same place and located next to a mill. It is a typical 17th century make, remade in the 19th century, with further restorations in 1988. The basin is octagonal, made with slabs in Sarnico stone, united by granite plates. Worth noticing two grotesque masks in high relief.
THE WAR MEMORIAL
Placed in front of the ex-town hall, it was accomplished in 1923 by the sculptor Maurizio Vogini from Darfo. Reported here are the names of the Fallen ones in the 1915-1918 and later wars.
THE CHURCH OF ST. ROCCO
Erected for a vow made by the people of Gianico in 1817 against the fevers or epidemic typhus, it is located next to the provincial road. Worth noticing the porch with a serliano arch placed on side pillars and columns in Sarnico stone. The inside is divided into two ribbed vaulted bays: in the presbytery St. Rocco in glory is frescoed, restored in 1984 by Giovanni Poli from Edolo; on the altar instead there is a niche with the wooden statue of St. Rocco, 18th century, while on the sides the figures of St. Fermo and St. Defendente were painted by Brighenti.