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Tuesday, June 02, 2020

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Fairytale valleys, enchanted woods, regenerating silence. The surprises hidden in the woods of northern Italy are infinite. There are places where contact with nature is profound and almost overwhelming. This is the case in the Scalve Valley, a mountain community situated between the provinces of Bergamo and Brescia, in the heart of the Orobie, Bergamasque Pre-Alps.

A road excavated in the rocks starting from the town of Angolo Terme (BS) is one way to reach the valley and it is a magical and enchanted prelude with sloping rocks, fir trees, and little waterfalls following us along the journey. This is the entrance to a fairytale land, where nature reigns supreme.

Gleno-diga-orobie-bergamasche

Gleno Dam

Between the several hiking routes, the Gleno Dam is a destination you can’t miss. It is a steep, yet not difficult, route that takes 45 minutes to cover. Starting from the town of Pianezza, the trail hugs Gleno mountain and finally reaches the dam. It collapsed in 1923 and the ruins are evidence of the disaster.

Trekking along this route is immersing yourself wholely in nature: forgetting about the world and learning to listen to the silence. Sometimes the path reveals beautiful views of the valley: sloping firs, far away peaks, distant towns…we’re in another world.

When we arrive at our destination the dam is impressive. Only its “extremities” remain: tall, suggestive, hypnotic ruins. It seems like a magic portal: an ancient entrance to another dimension.

Behind the “portal”, we find an artificial lake, a grassy pasture, and mountains. There is a kiosk where we can relax while having something to drink in unison with the landscape. Around us is only the green of the woods, the sparkling water, and the immense portal that lies wide open in front of us. 

What’s left of the dam belongs to the earth now. This is an example of humans exploiting nature and then nature wanting back what is rightfully hers. Those ruins are still there, every day, to remind us of it. Here is where history and nature intertwine; where your gaze disappears over the horizon and we learn to listen to the stories of silence. 

Copyright photo of the article: valseriana.eu

A. Abbondi

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