History plunges into the Revine Lakes

Revine Lakes

Ancient villages, narrow alleys, archaeological sites and poems posted on small patches between water lilies and reed

Behind, a steep slope covered with woods that starts from the peaks of the Belluno Prealps and reaches the valley floor. All around, small ancient villages that have retained much of their appearance, despite the provincial road that crosses them. And then, walking through a maze of narrow alleys between the stone houses or steep paths between the meadows, you arrive at the stretch of water. Indeed, to the two mirrors of water, dedicated to San Giorgio and Santa Maria. Although the former is currently called Lago di Lago (in a strange pun with the name of the hamlet in which it insists) and both are better known as Laghi di Revine. Visiting them in this season, before the rigors of winter and after the summer liveliness (which here means above all local hikers and tourists from northern Europe, primarily Dutch), allows you to enjoy an almost surreal quiet, in a roughly romantic and extraordinarily out of the way scenery. time. Poems among the reeds. In these mild November days, there is still someone who does not give up plowing the waters in a canoe or paragliding across the sky, taking off from Pian delle Femene to land in the equipped open spaces on the lakeshore, without any noise that scratches the soft silence of the place. The water lilies have faded and their large leaves remain on the water, near the banks covered with reeds and suggestively disordered willows that hide artisan shelters for boats, many of which are only pulled dry on the beach. On the opposite bank, beyond the fields that almost reach the shore, the villages of Molino di Fratta and Colmaggiore di Tarzo seem to emerge here and there among the trees that the mild autumn has just begun to color. Walking along the path that runs along the Lago di Lago, you will come across small pieces of cloth on which different spellings have written verses, quotes, phrases from author songs, and then hang them from threads pulled between two trees, like hammocks of swinging verses . Other verses are engraved on sections of old trunks hanging from poplars and mulberries: they are those of Luciano Cecchinel, one of the most authoritative voices of contemporary poetry, citizen of Revine Lago. And everything contributes to add poetry to poetry, making the walk even more enchanted. In the beginning it was one. The two lakes, separated by a small tongue of land, are of glacial origin (Wurm glaciation, from 30,000 to 13,000 BC) and until the 13th-14th century they were a single lake surrounded by marshy land. It was the numerous reclamations begun in very ancient times that changed the physiognomy of the original basin. Agricultural activities and the river carryover have progressively narrowed the surface of the Lago di Lago (the one to the west, the largest) so much so that, towards the mid-nineteenth century, it was necessary to deepen the Tajada outlet channel (1878) and the canal boats that connects the two current lakes (1923). In short: if the geological history began millennia ago, the hydrology of the two lakes has only been stable for a few decades.

The stilts of Colmaggiore. It was during the excavations of the canal of boats that, in 1923, a sword datable to the Middle Bronze Age (14th century BC) was found which, together with other small subsequent findings, gave rise to some suspicion about the archaeological value of the site. But it was in 1987 that in Colmaggiore, fifty meters from the same canal as the boats, a considerable quantity of prehistoric artifacts in flint, bone and ceramic together with the remains of wooden poles was collected by a lake citizen. The Archaeological Superintendence of Veneto and the Archaeological Group of Cenedese immediately established the exceptional importance of the materials: it was the largest, and so far unique, pile-dwelling settlement discovered in Eastern Veneto, dating from the late Neolithic to the Bronze Age, that is from the end of the IV to the beginning of the second second millennium BC

Prehistory at the Livelet. To enhance the discoveries of the Colmaggiore site, on the western shore of Lake Lago, the Livelet Didactic Archaeological Park was created in 2007, complete with a reconstructed pile-dwelling village, equipped with various covered and semi-covered structures, for workshops imitative archeology and educational initiatives for all ages, including schools. In addition, numerous concerts and cultural meetings are held there which, added to the beauty of the place and the efficiency of the organization, attract about 15,000 visitors every year: in a hamlet with about 500 residents (the entire municipality has about 2,200), they are not few.

The Park of the Lakes. It was formally established at the end of 2011, but we are only starting to see the “Parco dei Laghi e della Vallata” born from a project shared between the Municipalities of R

evine Lago and Tarzo. After some bureaucratic delays, regional funding has arrived and there are numerous small but significant interventions that are changing the usability of the area without impacting the site. Starting from two distinct cycle-pedestrian rings around the two basins, which until now cannot be crossed at the point where the canal joins the two lakes. In fact, a walkway between the two banks of the canal is in the testing phase and will be inaugurated shortly, which will also be equipped with a protected observation point and which will thus unite the two municipalities overlooking the lakes, while a floating pier a few months ago it has been connecting the beach of Lido di Lago with the Livelet park. Then there will also be signs and benches, a renewed refreshment point and therefore, as is desirable, also tourists. Which in recent years have increased, yes. But that such a seductive location could attract in large quantities. Hoping they don’t become too many, though. In order not to affect its charm.

The legend

The mystery of the sunken train
A train at the bottom of the lake: a legend? Perhaps, but – as the scholar Lucio Tarzariol has documented – it begins with a historical fact, namely that during the occupation of 1918 a cableway was built that connected Serravalle to Revine, where the station of a narrow-gauge railway that connected the town with Cison di Valmarino. The less certain part concerns the little train that sank during the retreat and whose rails could be glimpsed in dry periods.

In the Garden Museum of Serenity

In the historic center of Tarzo, the quiet of the lake begins to blend with the noise of the street. But the old stone steps leading to the back of Antonio Dal Col’s house lead to another world: in the Bonsai Museum of Serenity Garden (open every day), which in autumn adds to its magnificent singularity of hundreds of miniature trees a real riot of colors of leaves of all shapes. It is a terrace of about a thousand square meters leaning against the hill, made up of many small worlds enclosed in a vase, many of which have been awarded by the Nippon Bonsai Association and are famous among enthusiasts from all over the world. Armando has dedicated almost sixty years of research and passion to it, shared with Haina, his wife and talented disciple.

The sanctuary

On the mountain between paintings and pilgrims

The seventeenth-century Sanctuary of San Francesco da Paola stands on a cliff of Mount Frascon and houses numerous valuable paintings (open only on summer Sundays). In the eighteenth century it was inhabited by hermits and a destination for pilgrimages, as evidenced by the access climb that starts from the square of Revine, flanked by votive capitals of the Via Crucis. During Holy Week the Passion is celebrated there with a procession from the parish church to the churchyard of the Sanctuary, where the Crucifixion is represented.

Walk through the ruins

The three castles perched on the mountain
In ancient times Revine boasted three castles. whose ruins are still visible today on Mount Frascon, which is actually a hill of 380 meters, therefore easily reachable with an undemanding walk. The ruins of the three castles rise along the ancient road that led to Valbelluna through Pian delle Femene: Castel Major (in the “Pra de Palath” area), Salt de Casin (which was the minor fortress. With the typical Roman tapered base , located above the sanctuary of San Francesco) and the Castle of Monte Frascon.


A picnic area with games for children Il On the shores of the lakes there are some equipped public green areas in the municipalities of Revine Lago and Tarzo. The best known is the area of ​​”Va dee femene” in Colmaggiore di Tarzo (south side of Lake Santa Maria) whose name recalls that it was the gateway (among the reeds) for the washerwomen. Today it is a very well maintained picnic area, with many services and games for children.

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