CULTURAL HISTORY

Valle Camonica is an authentic territory. Together with the natural heritage it allows, in fact, to rediscover numerous aspects of the human presence: the medieval towns and the tourist resorts, the factory activities and the agricultural tradition, the great cycles of the Renaissance art and the artisan tradition of a widespread knowhow.

More than 10,000 years ago this territory hosted a civilization of prehistoric people, the Camunians, who left an indelible mark of their presence through the rock engravings. Three hundred thousand images engraved on the rocks, the largest collection of prehistoric rock art in Europe, the first Italian site recognized as Humanity's World Heritage by UNESCO.

After the Camunians, the Valley underwent a quick Roman colonization, with the first Roman settlement starting from the first century, whose remains are still visible today in the archaeological sites of Cividate Camuno and Breno.

 Besides the numerous parks illustrating and protecting the rock art and the priceless archaeological heritage of Roman epoch, there are very beautiful churches frescoed by learned Renaissance artists, such as Romanino or Pietro da Cemmo, the charming medieval towns, like Bienno (one of the Most Beautiful Towns of Italy) and the presence of a working museum system dedicated to safeguarding and promoting the roots, the traditions and the history of this land and its people to our days, thanks to the objects of ancient jobs and the early industrialization – with the smelting furnaces, the smithies and the hydroelectric power plants – and of the tragic blows of the Great War on Mt. Adamello.

In this valley, as in many others in the Alps, the sculptural tradition is very valuable, attested by the presence of important schools of intaglio and sculpture, such as the Ramus workshop in Edolo, from which came out the Baroque altars in many churches of Upper Valle Camonica, which culminates in the wonderful Way of the Cross in Cerveno, sculptured by Beniamino Simoni, and it goes all the way to the contemporary art by Franca Ghitti, a world-famous artist, who managed to translate in her works this tradition coupled with the secrets of “iron working”.

In Valle Camonica it is thus possible to discover signs of history, of faith, of art, memory and tradition and also thanks to the existence of numerous itineraries, among which the Charlemagne route and Magnificent Sculptures, the visitors can find a unique and amazing territory.




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