The Eco-Museum of Vaso Rè
The eco-museum of the Vaso Rè (the Rè Duct) and the Hammers Valley
The eco-museum territory of the Vaso Rè (the Rè Duct) and the Hammers Valley is located in the Grigna Valley, which is the side valley of the Central Camonica Valley, on the inside of the Adamello Park, a highland with a great environmental value. It is enclosed between the historical nucleus of Bienno and Prestine, which have preserved the original architectural features of the old villages.
These places still keep intact the traces of their long history and old economy: the forges and the historical buildings, the fifteenth-century mill, the Venetian sawmill, the hermitage, the churches and their historical frescoed cycles, are examples that prove it.
The eco-museum is featured of various demos-ethno-anthropological themes.
The ironworking made by craftsmen, that is well highlighted by the local museum system, is appreciated and preserved in the most significant places where iron was stricken: such as, the Ethnographical Museum, with the old water hammers, the demonstrations of the traditional methods of how iron was worked, the forge-playroom for the teaching activities, the forge-workshop for the forging courses and the expository forge for the exhibitions and art meetings.
The theme of the mountain agriculture and the one of the transformation of agricultural products is equally significant and it is witnessed by the fifteenth-century Mill-Museum, which still mills the grains. It preserves inside the old house of the miller, which has been transformed in a museum of the rural lifestyle. Another element that is worth being valued is the Venetian sawmill of Prestine, which at the beginning was also run by the Vaso Rè (the Rè Duct) water.
The eco-museum has already achieved a challenging job for the identification and exploitation of some aspects of the local immaterial culture, in particular, investigating the issues related to the knowledge and learning of how the wrought iron was stricken by craftsmen and the traditional techniques that was used for grinding cereals into flour.
As regards these topics, there have been collected the instruments, the objects, the tools, the artefacts and the cultural spaces associated with them, that communities, groups and persons identify as part of their cultural heritage.
This untouchable cultural heritage that has been passed on from generation to generation is constantly recreated by the communities and the local associations in accordance with their lifestyle, their interaction with the nature and their history and it provides a sense of identity and continuity for the local population. However, there is still much to do with reference to the preservation of the traditions and oral expressions, including the language, that are intended as a vehicle of the untouchable cultural heritage, performing arts and folk songs, social customs, rituals and festivals.