22th Panel

THE VASO RE (RE DUCT) SYSTEM WITH THE “BURTULI’ BETOLA” FORGE

The Vaso Rè (the Rè Duct) made up of heap of stones with a part of stone made “gardènal” is well recognizable.
The sight of the seventeenth-century Parish Church of Saints Faustino and Giovita placed in the background of the duct is particular. In this point the Vaso Ré (the Rè Duct) fed two forges, which are also documented in the Napoleonic Map of 1821 with the number 2009. In fact, we find the Forge of Bortolo Ercoli “Bortol de Mondo” Family, which was after transformed into a residence and the Forge of Bortolo Bellicini “Burtulì Betola”, which is still preserved even if it closed down its activity in 1979.
This forge, which in the past was a “caadura” forge for the production of buckets and belonged to the Master Stefano Morandini, when was bought by Bortolo Bellicini was transformed into a “scartadura” forge for the production of agricultural tools. It is now one of the few that has not suffered massive interventions and so it preserves fully its original features, with the two hammers, the grinding wheels that works still with water, the furnance, “tina de l’óra” and all the others tools in perfect order. It is to be remembered the remarkable mastery that “Burtulì Betola” had in forging the iron, so that in 1978, during the first exhibitions of the “Hammers Valley” he was awarded a prize as the best “Forger Master” of the whole Province of Brescia.
Certainly he had learned its skill from his father “Mafè Betola”, the owner of the “Parada”, known as the “ma|istèr”, who traded its products in other Italian regions such as Piedmont and Tuscany.
There is also to be remembered how the “ma|istèr” were initiated into this work when they were children, at ten or eleven years old, and so they became real experts in ironworking.
They were often able to work also with other materials, such as wood, so to make themselves their furniture. In fact, when the hammer or other equipments have problems, are the “ma|istèr” who arrange or replace some parts of them and do every sort of maintenance with great skill.