Albiano is a little town in Cembra Valley, quite infamous for its open pit mine which spoils the valley view, some say.
They extract the so called porfido rock (porphyry), the gold of Cembra valley.
But what happens when you get closer, in a hot Sunday afternoon ? One day I decided to check, and it was pretty rewarding.
How to get there
If you live around Trento, you could go by car to lake Santa Colomba and then on foot till Albiano, it’s an easy walk.
If you hate cars like me, you might go with bus 10/ to Montevaccino (mind the slash / : Plain 10 only arrives until Martignano) or 3 to Cortesano, and then follow signs for Lake S.Colomba and then Albiano. It’s quite a walk but it’s worth it! The park with statues is then a perfect resting place before going back.
Enter the mine
A canyon, abandoned facilities, a rusty mining trolley. Nothing moves, it can’t.
On the field
Everything is silent. No voices, no people around. Just sand, containers and rocks. And rocks do not talk.
Show me the stones
Raw, squared, small, big, flat. Pick your choice.
Battered crates cater raw materials.
Rocks don’t complain, so industrial revolution came and gave them some rough treatment. But Sunday is rest day and rusty machinery lays perfectly still, like retired from heavy work to become an immutable part of the scene.
A human touch
Machines aren’t smart. Sometimes you gotta show ’em humans can do better. It’s not easy, though – hard stone requires hard work with the big tools.
Feel the rhythm
Listen to latest radio hits and you will break any freakin’ stone.
After hitting rocks hard enough, it’s time to declare victory :
As a tribute to its pre-industrial past, a little surprise awaits you as a park populated with statues. Of course, they are made with porfido. But what is that lady carrying? Porfido yet again? What is the man trying to catch ??
It turns out porfido hasn’t always been the star here. After all, Albiano people don’t eat stones (who would have thought). Long ago they were mainly concerned with chestnuts, until the mining mania took over.
Many think Albiano is the victim of an unreasonable war against the mountain. But don’t let pessimists fool you, Albiano is also a beautiful town with a history to be discovered – just get there and see by yourself.