Meeting point: Capo di Ponte railway station
Distance covered: 6 km
Elevation change: 140 m
Type of path: Paved
Recommended clothing: Waterproof jacket
Recommended footwear: Comfortable walking shoes or lighweight boots
Recommended equipment: Nothing specific
Lunch: Packed lunch from home or buy something locally
Price: € 15 plus ticket to parks and museum (€6) *Custom pricing available for groups
Minimum number of participants: 10
Notes: Current description refers to a Sunday trip - opening hours differ on Saturday.
The National Archaeological Parks of Naquane and Cemmo contain some of the best-presented and most easily accessible examples of Valcamonica rock-art.
Our journey commences at the Capo di Ponte rail station (trains from Brescia or stations along the line to Edolo – parking available for those that prefer to drive). We will walk past the site of a (now buried) Iron Age ritual offering site and take the path through the woods to the Naquane National Archaeological Park. There we will take an in-depth look at five of the most important rocks, including the huge Rock 1 with images extending across a curved surface for more than 20 m [CHECK THIS]. We will see images of warriors, granaries, deer, dogs and other things that were important to the Iron Age (first millennium BC) people that carved most of these pitoti (as the figures are known in the local dialect).
From Naquane we return to Capo di Ponte, cross the river Oglio and make our way through the village of Cemmo to the second National Archaeological Park, that of the Massi di Cemmo. These two large boulders feature carvings that are older than those that we saw at Naquane – these are images from the Copper Age (3500-2000 BC). Here, people carved weapons – daggers and halberds – and animals – deer and wild boar – along with human figures and scenes of ploughing.
After a packed lunch (sandwiches are also available from bars in Capo di Ponte) we will visit the recently opened Museum of Prehistory in Capo di Ponte. While this museum contains a wealth of excavated material from Valcamonica prehistory, by far its most immediately striking exhibits are the large number of statue stelae displayed on its ground floor and in its garden. These feature imagery very similar to that seen at Cemmo and date from the same period. There will be some free time to explore the display of archaeological finds from Valcamonica on the museum’s upper floor before we return to the train station and make our way home.