9.00 - 12.30 and 15.00 - 18.30
Closed on Wednesday
Alpine Pas tures: Revisited
High mountain pastures – a world away from traffic, the hurly-burly of modern times – after a long period of neglect are slowly finding their voice again in order to re-engage with the public. And clearly they merit serious consideration. Evoking times of old when our ancestors did everything they could to embrace life in the mountains, L’Alpe Servizio is typical, serving as it did the various districts of Campodolcino providing both hay and summer pasture for livestock. A natural plateau at 1953m, it represents a classic amphitheatre almost enclosed within the mountain whilst the watchful Pizzo Quadro dominates all below.
Abandoned cabins dotting the landscape today provide a good indication of where families would spend summer with their cattle - tended mainly by the women. Though Alpe Servizio is perhaps a little more complex: clusters of buildings “Carden-style” existing on differing levels, incorporating dwellings and barns. The area surrounding this totally unspoilt landscape is an alpine wonder in its own right and hosts a variety of deer, marmots, exotic wild birds and countless botanical species. Conifer forests give way to the north to magical alpine lakes. It should appeal to all our senses: a cornucopia of sounds and scents within nature at its purest. The laughter of scouts on summer camp provide a subtle link to a past when this little-known idyll would ring to the sounds of children at play (whilst at the same time observing shepherd duties). It encourages us to understand tradition, culture, the natural attraction of the pastures, and thus confirms its potential even today. But it’s certainly not just for the young and should remain a vital alpine landscape for both local and visitor in search of greenery, mountain terrain and tranquillity. Casual indifference is not an option here after the sacrifices of generations of mountain dwellers - dedicated to their cattle and dairy-based activities. There’s much work to be done to make sure this alpine gem remains an attractive prospect for tourist, trekker or nature-lover; bear in mind please that the newly-canonized
Don Guanella born in nearby Fraciscio spoke of these magnificent pastures as ‘sublime’ and almost ‘heaven on earth’ and he ought to know better than most! You can follow in his rural footsteps from Portarezza or even easier from Starleggia. Great views all along the way. Check the itineraries locally.