A path of 10 permanent artistic installations on mountain paths and in characteristic villages to rediscover the history of the Camunian stone: for slow tourism enthusiasts

A path of 10 permanent artistic installations on mountain paths and in characteristic villages to rediscover the history of Camunian stone: for the inhabitants of the valley and the lovers of slow tourism.

Slow tourism is what creates a connection sincere with nature and the territory: multidisciplinary proposals and immersive itineraries that satisfy because at once they pervade culture, experiences and life. To be experienced lightly (we are still on vacation) but without superficiality.

A good example of this comes from Val Camonica with the project The memory of stones: a journey in stages of 10 site-specific and permanent sound installations designed to rediscover the history of stones of Val Camonica and over 200 quarries where they were once collected, set aside in the 70s in favor of a more convenient foreign import.

Alessandro Pedretti and Milena Berta, he musician and she sculptress, are the creators, curators and creators together with the Cultural District of Valle Camonica.

What is La Memoria delle Pietre and what does it give the traveler?

It is a multi-disciplinary and multi-dimensional path, a 360 ° immersive experience born from a geological, historical and anthropological research on the territory that has mapped the location of the ancient Camunian quarries.

The installations consist of a sculpture, placed in the place where a quarry once stood or in ancient villages and made with a stone native, and a music designed ad hoc, usable with a QR Code.

The interaction with the works generates the activation of all the senses - tactile, sound, visual - but also a reflective study that begins with the title of the work and continues with a poetic accompanying.

This, together with the musical part, generates a mix of emotions and sensations that move even the most fasting to the basic matter. The daily gestures we are used to can become music without us noticing it.

What is a sound sculpture?

By sound sculpture we mean the interaction between matter, its tactile and visual dimension, and the musicality that comes from its processing.

All the sounds proposed tell the sculptures they are associated with: while Milena sculpts the material, I (Alessandro) record the sounds both in the quarry and in the laboratory, which I then approach with a musical reworking obtained through a specific research , usually linked to the place where the work will be installed (which is also where the stone comes from).

So each trace tells the stone and also the history of the territory in which it is located?

Exactly. For example, the one located in Isola, a hamlet of Cevo, has as its protagonist the sound of the working of the local stone Diorite , combined with a melody that I produced starting from the typicality of the country, famous for its accordionists.

In this case the music was made by recording the sounds in the workshop of Mattia Ducoli, a very young accordion restorer.

We tried to intertwine the rhythmic and granular sounds of stone with this type of music and we arrived at an almost mystical finished product.

What kind of experience does interacting with one of the installations offer?

Stopping to reflect in front of an installation allows you to enjoy the territory in a different way. That of Vezza d’Oglio, for example, the only decomposed of the ten, is located at 1600 meters above sea level in the vicinity of an abandoned quarry.

It develops in 4 sub-stages that tell the change of sound and shape: from station to station, I would like to be a fluid substance that changes rocks into flowers is getting closer and closer to a floral semblance, of hand in hand with the music. Leading the track is the voice of the last stonemason alive in Vezza d’Oglio (unfortunately recently passed away).

Left speechless, he tells his life with a subtle sound: the work on snowy days, the sculpture of stones with the explosion technique. You feel the effort, the commitment, the value of friendships and bonds.

It is a passionate knowledge, intimate with the territory. Unconventional, one of those that leave a mark. At the end of the piece, almost paradoxically, the sounds and presences of the surrounding nature are grasped in a new way, as after an awakening.

Where are the 10 stages distributed?

There are 10 municipalities involved, distributed throughout the Val Camonica along a path indicated by special maps. We recommend dividing the visit into three days, assuming a hybrid movement that combines walking with transit by car (for the more distant ones).

You can also do everything on foot or by bicycle, but it is an option that we suggest only to the most experienced.

Your advice for a weekend in Val Camonica to discover La Memoria delle Pietre?

Ideally, you can dedicate a first day montagnina to the Upper Valley, organizing two walks: you start from Vezza d'Oglio and walk in the woods to the Borom quarry, where you meet the first decomposed installation in 4 stages; we then move on to Vione with Spring Snow, located in the village of Canè. From here you can get to Cortebona, in the Val Canè, from which you reach the white marble quarry.

The second day can instead be dedicated to the middle valley with Isola di Cevo, an abandoned hamlet that we recommend to reach by car via an easy road, and then move on to Pescarzo di Capo di ponte, a village of about 300 inhabitants. , and continue with Ono San Pietro where you can find the installation located in an old calchera on the Via Valeriana (one of the Valcamonica paths re-mapped in recent years). This can be reached with a short walk after leaving the car in the town.

Then Cerveno: here the installation is located right in the village, where the music resounds thanks to the large system that can be activated by means of a simple button. The effect is magical. You can then close with Braone, reachable with a half-hour walk from the town center: in the town of Negola you will find a monolith of tonalite and continuing towards Piazze, the granite quarry.

For the third and final day you can instead start from Darfo Boario Terme, with the installation The stone that sweats positioned on the cycle path or easily accessible by car; then you can move on to Angolo Terme, in the hamlet of Mazzunno where the installation is located in a viewpoint that leads to the old quarry and then Lozio with the Sommaprada hamlet easily accessible by bicycle; the old Occhiadino quarry is very suggestive, theater, in 2019, of the first concert of the S/TONES review.

Where does one get such a strong desire to pay homage to the territory?

La Memoria delle Pietre is a project of romantic origin: we live in Valcamonica (where Milena was born) we met in 2017, we both had works with galleries and museums such as GAMeC. of Bergamo and we have decided to combine our professions in a single path.

We created La Memoria delle Pietre and our synergistic work between stone and sound met with great interest both from the municipalities that we then involved in the project and from the Community Montana, who supported us and helped us a lot operationally.

Together with the director of the cultural district Sergio Cotti Piccinelli we dedicated a year to building the network project with an important slice of resources dedicated to the geological and historical research from which we started.

The great value of this project, in fact, is also the solid scientific basis from which it starts. We would like to specify that nothing new has been used, but we have always worked on abandoned stones the last century.

Some tips to experience Val Camonica of La Memoria delle Pietre

To fully experience the area and its most authentic distinctive features, here are some suggestions where stay or dine.

Where to sleep:

  • Vione: Il Cavallino
  • Lozio: B & amp; B at the Fountain
  • Cevo: Camping Pian della Regina

Where to eat:

  • Vione: The horse (hamlet of Canè)
  • Vezza d'Oglio: Trattoria Cavallino (fraz. Tu)
  • Dog: Trattoria Turnachè
  • Cerveno: Osteria Concarena
  • Thermal baths corner: Duse
  • Lozio: Al Resù