Photographer's Note

Pian del Lupo - Alta Valmalenco - SondriornAn ideal place for those who want to relax in the mountains, away from the major tourist flows but well equipped, with quality hotels and shelters and well-maintained paths.rnIt is located along an ancient route that led from Sondrio to Switzerland, through the Muretto pass.rnDuring the 11th and 12th centuries, when the lords of Sondrio, the Capitanei, extended their jurisdiction over the Valmalenco as well, creating or perfecting a system of defensive buildings and watchtowers along the Muretto road. Located at strategic points and placed alternately on the two sides of the Mallero stream, these buildings allowed an effective network of light signals with the castle of Masegra located above Sondrio, residence of the Capitanei.rnAt the beginning of the 16th century, the valley fell under the dominion of the Grisons, the Muretto pass became one of the politically strategic roads in the Grisons and one of the busiest for trade. The Malenca economy was mainly based on the sale of dairy products and those obtained from the processing of soapstone and slate. The production of serpentine slabs for roofing (piode) was, in fact, the main economic activity of Valmalenco since the Late Middle Ages.rnIn 1797 the government of the Grisons was replaced first by the Napoleonic one and then by the Austrian one. The Valle road, abandoned to itself, was gradually reduced to little more than a path mostly trodden by smugglers, by shepherds who went to look for work in the Engadine and by the first tourists, lovers of the mountains, who between Otto and Twentieth century they were discovering the beauties of the alpine valleys. In fact, 1862 represents the historical date that marks the beginning of mountaineering in the Valley: the conquest of the top of Mount Disgrazia, the "glorious peak" (3678 m), by four English climbers.rnBetween the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Valmalenco suffered the significant repercussions resulting from the abandonment of the centuries-old Muretto road with a general impoverishment of society and the local economy. The agricultural and pastoral economy of the Valley was reduced to mere subsistence, as well as the mining industry, which had lost most of the commercial outlets, suffered a significant contraction. Many inhabitants thus decided to emigrate, choosing distant and often definitive destinations, such as those overseas in Argentina, America, Australia.rnThe general depopulation of the mountain, especially towards the city of Sondrio, characterized the entire second half of the twentieth century, despite the revival of mining and new job opportunities related to the construction of the Campo Moro and Gera hydroelectric basins (1955-65 ).rnThe construction of the Chiesa-Palù cable car, the Sasso Alto ski lifts, the increase of those in the Municipality of Caspoggio, the rapid development of accommodation, commercial and leisure facilities, as well as the building growth, have also profoundly changed the landscape face of the Valley, but the highest part, including the area around Pian del Lupo, is still intact with the mountain pastures that are sometimes still inhabited, such as Monte Oro.rnThe cuisine also deserves, seeing is believing.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 18978 W: 130 N: 40067] (213875)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2021-07-19
  • Exposure: f/1.1, 1/91 seconds
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2021-07-27 1:10
Viewed: 0
Points: 28
  • None
Additional Photos by Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 18978 W: 130 N: 40067] (213875)
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