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Natura, arte rupestre, archeologia, turismo culturale

Welcome to the Riserva!

The Nature and Rock Engravings Reserve, covering some 300 hectares encompassing the villages of Nadro, Ceto, Cimbergo and Paspardo, forms the largest protected archaeological park of Valcamonica. Engraved rocks occur amidst a natural mountain environment that preserves traces of human intervention over time.

Over millennia, our ancestors left intellectual messages in the form of images, a kind of “writing”, often symbolic, but never gratuitous or purely aesthetic, that give us an insight into potent notions from Europe’s past. Archaeology, environment and ethnography alternate in a unique setting—a distinct view of alpine life during the past 10,000 years.

The territory of the Reserve lies on the left bank of central Valcamonica, the lowest point at 360 metres in the locality of Zurla, the highest in the village of Paspardo at roughly 1000 metres above sea level. Guided by proposals of the Centro Camuno di Studi Preistorici, which has led systematic research since the 1960s, three municipalities, jointly with the Department of Ecology of the Region of Lombardy and the Province of Brescia, in 1983, established the Riserva Regionale delle Incisioni Rupestri di Ceto, Cimbergo Paspardo  (Regional Reserve of Rock Engravings of Ceto, Cimbergo and Paspardo) to protect a large area with rock-art, which also took into account important ethnographic and environmental considerations. Here, ancient paths, rock shelters, megalithic walls, remains of prehistoric hillforts, medieval farmsteads and agricultural terraces are evidence of the evolution of the alpine environment over thousands of years.

The Reserve spreads over some 3 million square metres, for the most part forested by chestnut and birch, which falls within roads that connect three villages, Nadro di Ceto, Cimbergo and Paspardo, whose age-old historical centers remain intact. Pathways to assorted vistas lead off from the encircling circuit.

The archaeological sites in the reserve include around 500 engraved rock surfaces from prehistoric and medieval times. This substantial assemblage of rock-art made on on outcrops occurs in clusters of varying density, starts in the territory of Nadro (Ceto), doubles back to Cimbergo and continues beyond the torrent Ré in the area of Paspardo.

The landscape and environment change with altitude: at low altitude there are terracing with horticulture and vineyard, more uncommon are the clearing for pasture, chestnut forest (from five hundrends to one thousand meters on the see level), and conifer and pasture at high altitude.

The researches have brought to light more than twenty sites with engravings, both from Prehistory and historical time. The areas equipped for the visit are: Foppe di Nadro at Ceto, Campanine di Cimbergo and few areas in Paspardo.

The area of Sottolaiolo in which you are now, is a small archaeological site equipped for the visit of people with reduced mobility and partially-sighted and sightless people.

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Aprile  2023