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Val Camonica

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  • Val Camonica is 90km long and contains 41 towns and villages, making it the second longest valley in Italy. The healing powers of the waters of the spa town of Boario Terme, in lower Val Camonica, were written about as early as 1497 by the naturalist Paracelsus. The Italian writer Manzoni was a regular visitor to Val Camonica, living to the age of 88.Nearby at the Capo di Ponte (Mid Val Camonica) is the National Rock Engraving Park, with prehistoric rock carvings, dating from Neolithic times through to the Iron Age. The carvings relate to the history of the Camuni tribe throughout this period. It is an amazing site, containing thousands of figures: an enormous stone history book. One of the most common carvings is that of the Camonic rose, which is now the emblem of the Lombardy region.In Boario Terme (lower Val Camonica )is the Archeopark, an open-air interactive park where you can try out various daily prehistoric activities e.g. lighting a fire, shooting with a bow and arrow and grinding corn and baking bread. This is a realistic construction of a Neolithic village with huts perched on a rocky hill. Some school groups stay in the village for a few days to get an authentic taste of prehistoric life. The traditional art of woodcarving continues in this area. The Cammunian Wood Handicraft Workshops, where all types of objects from religious ornaments to babies cribs are produced, are a fusion of modern and 16th century techniques.The Industry of Val Camonica has long been associated with mining, steel and textiles (thanks also to the abundance of water power). Water again played a part when in 1923 the enormous Gleno dam collapsed flooding large areas of lower Val Camonica. A visit from King Vittorio Emanuele 3rd and numerous restoration works eventually breathed new life into the area.
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