Valle Camonica, the valley of signs
Valle Camonica is known all over the world for its incredible richness and variety of rock carvings: thanks to these in 1979 the valley became the first Italian location to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site with more than 180 different sites located in 24 towns.
Valle Camonica is located in Eastern Lombardy and is one of the largest valleys in the central Alps; with a surface area of around 1518,19 km2 and with 140,992 inhabitants the area extends from 1883 metres above sea level in Passo Tonale right down to Lake Iseo, 90 km further down the valley.
The entire valley is crossed by the River Oglio, the fifth largest river In Italy that starts in Ponte di Legno where the two streams of Narcanello and Frigidolfo meet to then feed Lake Iseo and end its long journey in the River Po.
The entire valley is characterised by carvings left by man from prehistoric times right up to more recent events in history.
- the largest rock art site in Europe with more than 300,000 petroglyphs
- evidence of Celtic and Roman civilisations as well as medieval towns and castles
- thermal waters and typical food and wine
- territory suited to sport with modern ski lifts, trekking paths and MTB trails
- 55% of the area is protected including parts of Adamello Park and Stelvio National Park
The first evidence of the presence of man in Valle Camonica dates back more than 10,000 years when after the last ice age the melting of the glaciers created ideal conditions for the settlement of the first communities.
The ancient Camuni left more than 300,000 petroglyphs along the valley making Valle Camonica the largest rock art site in all Europe today.
It is possible to take an incredible journey in to prehistory with the archaeological parks in Valle Camonica and admire the symbolic petroglyphs that tell stories of navigation, dance, war agriculture, magic and daily life.
Art, culture, nature
In addition to the priceless archaeological heritage Valle Camonica is also an area of great historical and artistic importance given the Celtic, Etruscan and Roman remains, wonderful churches, sanctuaries, hermitages, medieval towns and castles that still litter the landscape today.
The valley is also synonymous with nature and sport: a state-of-the-art Ski Area, bike trails and trekking in protected areas that make up 55% of the entire area of Valle Camonica. Most important of all being Adamello Park and Stelvio National Park, that make it possible to do many outdoor sports activities.
Valle Camonica has many thermal springs; body and mind can find their balance in the thermal centres in Pisogne, Angolo, Ponte di Legno and Darfo Boario Terme.
The area also has many excellent cheeses, wines and meats, such as Silter, the famous traditional aromatic cheese, white mountain wines as well as salamis where the meat is cut, cured and seasoned according to traditional methods handed down from generation to generation.