• Monte Tornone
  • Monte Tornone


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    • 1200 AD - 1900 AD


      • This work was undertaken as part of the project “Per un programma condiviso di valorizzazione e fruizione dei luoghi in Valle di Scalve: tra l’antica Pieve e la località “Castei”. Un prezioso itinerario storico-archeologico in Comune di Vilminore” (Doc. U. P. Obiettivo 2 Lombardia 2000/2006) with the aim of assessing the potential of the identified sites, both from a historic-archaeological point of view and from that of their future use. Three of the areas investigated, indicated as Areas A, C and D, area situated on the south slope of mount Tornone. Area A. Situated at 1185 m a.s.l on an E-W alignment were numerous square structures with uniform walls. They seemed to be structures of various sizes (from 5 x 3 m to 6 x 8 m), dry-stone built using stones of varying sizes, the floor were missing and must have been made of perishable material, either beaten earth or wood. This may have been a residential complex but was more probably a group of workshops. Area C. On a rocky spur situated on the south-west side of the mount’s crest at 1315 m a.s.l were the remains of a watch tower. The structure, built directly on the bed-rock had a square plan with sides of circa 6 m and an internal surface area of circa 15 m2. The entrance was probably on the SW side and must have been above ground level with access via a ladder. The interior elements must have been wooden. It is possible that it was part of an organised defence system constituted by a series of watch towers placed along the Paisco valley and the Scalve valley. Area D. Turning back up the slope and continuing east for circa 300 m one reaches a vast trapezoidal area surrounded on three sides by imposing walls. In the central-western zone, almost up against the wall, was a large stone building with a rectangular plan and an internal area of circa 70 m2. It was divided long ways into two zones, each of which divided into two rooms. Square holes suggest, at least in the northern part, the presence of an upper storey with a wooden floor. As regards the lower floor, a beaten floor of earth mixed with gravel was found. The entrance on the south side was characterised by door jambs made of large squared stone clock. These had collapsed but remained in situ. In the Napoleonic cadastral register of 1811, where it appears with the same dimensions, it is indicated by the toponym “Prato di mezzo” and is said to be destined for pasture and pine trees. In reality it does not seem to be terrain suitable for such a purpose. The imposing walls built with more stone that could be obtained simply by clearing the ground, does not appear consistent with being a simple animal enclosure. In 1825 the toponym changed to “il Follo”, a term that could be associated with “fullering”, a technique for forging metal, thus suggesting the area’s use for craft-working activities associated with the presence of the mines which characterise this zone. This hypothesis is supported by the declared use of the area as “aratorio segativo con legno” where the term ploughable, given the particular nature of the terrain, seems to be linked to fiscal motives whilst the actual use would have been timber production which would fit in well with the metal working activity.


      • M. Fortunati, A. Ghiroldi, 2008, VILMINORE DI SCALVE (BG). I siti del Monte Tornone e la Pieve di S. Pietro. Indagini preliminari, in NOTIZIARIO 2006. Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Lombardia, Milano: 44-48.