Last summer I went back to visit i parks of rock engravings in Valcamonica. It was like a flashback, all of a sudden I felt catapulted back to when as a child I went to see the rock carvings with the school.
Some small and short frames of my memory have surfaced. I saw myself there, under the hut, grinding corn kernels and using stones to light a fire. It was weird, those childhood moments came back to me and I was very happy.
This classic trip to elementary or middle school “touches” the majority of children from Brescia. I don't understand why, but it's a fixed stage that I still remember in a pleasant way. I admit, I remember more corn and stones than rock engravings of the Camonica Valley but, on the other hand, one is small and gives weight to different things.
Among the rock engravings of the Camonica Valley
Valle Camonica is a very extensive and very varied territory. It goes from about 200 meters in the village of Pisogne up to over 1800 meters in the Tonale pass. In this piece of Brescia area there are many points where you can find some engravings (called historiations) dating back thousands of years. Are 8 rock art parks located in different points between the town of Darfo and the town of Sonico. Although they are all important, some are of greater importance such as the Supracommunal Interest Park of Lake Moro, Luine and Monticolo or the Rock Engravings Park of Naquane.
During my rediscovery of the value and importance of the rock engravings of Valcamonica, I had the opportunity to visit these two parks, both interesting and very well kept.
Walking along the path built between the rock carvings you find yourself face to face with representations dating back thousands of years. The strange thing, and at the same time the strong point of the parks of rock engravings in Valle Camonica, is that usually the archaeological finds are confined in museums behind display cases and adequate protection. Here, however, you walk in an open-air museum, the cave paintings are a few centimeters from the visitor. It is this union between nature and a walk through history that makes everything so fascinating.
Another positive is that in some parks it is allowed to enter with your dogs such as in the park of Naquane; in the Luine park it is not possible because being a nature reserve, the smell of dogs could be a problem for the animal species present in the area.
Naquane Park: rock carvings at Capo di Ponte
This archaeological park located in the locality of Capo di Ponte is one of the most important and visited in all of Valcamonica. The area in which there are the rock engravings is quite large and there are several paths that allow you to give a sense and an itinerary among the various rocks. It has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How to get to the rock graffiti park?
Is simple. Just follow the numerous directions for the park of Naquane. What is less simple is being able to understand where to park and from which side to access the archaeological area of the rock engravings.
The advice is to park near the Church of the Saints, where there is a small car park on the right of the road going towards via delle forge. Parking is not paid and it is better to arrive at the site not too late, otherwise you risk having to leave the car on the road side. From this point on, to reach the rock graffiti, continue on foot, first on an asphalted road; after a few meters you have to turn left into a small road about 300 meters long. At the end of the road there is the ticket office and a small themed souvenir shop.
Il cost of the entrance ticket to the park of rock engravings and of 6 euro for adults and 3 for children. Allows entry to the Naquane Rock Carvings Park and the Valle Camonica National Museum of Prehistory (MUPRE). It should be noted that the museum ticket is valid within one month from the date of purchase.
The itineraries among the rock paintings
Inside the park are 5 itineraries proposed among the engravings, the most popular one lasts about 1 hour and includes the yellow and blue routes. Touch the rocks of greatest interest, those with noteworthy rock engravings. Many passages on the rock carvings have been built through wooden walkways to allow visitors to appreciate the scenes more closely.
The tour inside the park is very pleasant, each rock and each sign have their own explanation and their own meaning. Some representations are still under study as it is not easy to be able to give a tangible meaning to a sign dating back thousands of years. In case you want to deepen some concept, there are accredited guides within the park that can be an additional source of information.
You can find more information on the Park of rock engravings of Naquane to this address: http://vallecamonicaunesco.it/parco-nazionale-incisioni-rupestri-naquane/
Rock graffiti in Valcamonica: the Luine Park
In the locality of Darfo, 20/25 minutes away from Capo di Ponte, there are other traces and signs of the prehistoric past. The most important rock carving park in this area is that of Supracomunale interest park of Moro, Luine and Monticolo lakes. On the sandstone rocks of Luine there are the oldest rock carvings of Valcamonica and the park is well cared for.
The area is vast and from the top of the park it is possible to see the entire Valle Camonica as well as the nearby town of Darfo.
Also in this case the car park is about 300 meters from the park entrance, it is a large car park. Entry is free and opening hours are different depending on the season.
More information on the site http://www.vallecamonicaunesco.it/parco-luine-monticolo.php
Caution: the archaeological site of Luine, unlike that of Naquane, does not provide the possibility of accessing with dogs because with their smell they could annoy the local fauna.
Entrance to the Luine Rock Carvings Park
The entrance to the park must be documented and this is done by Mariagrazia, the caretaker who manages the site together with her son Mario. She is very nice and is very proud of her job. I spent several minutes talking with her and she made me sign a register full of many names of foreigners from all over the world. Mariagrazia is very pleased with this, she even told me about a girl who had one of the rock paintings in Luine tattooed on her arm.
Luine park is interesting and fascinating, they are 3 the paths inside: yellow, green and red. The best known is the red one and it lasts more or less an hour. It depends on how long you stop to read and understand each rock engraving. The rocks with rock carvings more important are the 30, 34, 46, 49 and 104, on the latter you can easily distinguish two beautiful Camunian roses, symbol of the Lombardy region.
Walking inside the Luine park, for the umpteenth time you realize that you are in one of the open-air museums of the Camonica Valley. Man, nature and history suspended in a fascinating balance.
You can find more information on Luine Park at this address: http://vallecamonicaunesco.it/parco-lago-moro-luine-monticolo-2/
After the visit to the rock engravings: relax on Lake Moro
After visiting the parks of the rock engravings of Valcamonica, I have not disdained and highly recommend it, a ride to the Moro Lake. It is a few minutes drive from the Luine Park, there are many indications and it is not difficult to reach it.
However, it must be specified that there are two roads: one that comes from Angolo Terme and the other from the town of Darfo.
I arrived from the first of the two and perhaps it is not the most comfortable due to lack of parking and due to the fact that you have to walk, first downhill and then uphill, a small road that leads to the green area of Lake Moro where you can find the kiosk and a tavern. Maybe it is better to take the road that starts from Darfo.
Near the kiosk there are several points where you can lie down and sunbathe. For those who want to have fun, they can rent a pedal boat and spend some time sailing here and there between the shores of the lake.
Another activity that I recommend doing? Diving from the pier not far from the kiosk, it's a pity I didn't have a swimsuit with me, I felt a bit of envy to see all those guys who jumped into the water. So, next time I visit Lago Moro, I will definitely not fail to bring me a costume!