The villages of Molina, Cavalo and Breonio

 

Located in the Regional Natural Park of Lessinia, Molina is a small medieval village that still protects and treasures its abundant water supply, the main source of its wealth. In the past, water power was used by a large number of mills but now the sparkling waters of the Progno torrent are enclosed in the Parco delle Cascate-Waterfalls Park, a spectacular, natural oasis that covers an area of some 80.000 m2 and offers visitors scenes of exceptional beauty, such as cascades, waterfalls, lakes and luxuriant vegetation.

 

The park entrance is located down a long, narrow and paved road that departs from the town square. Once you pass through the entrance there are various signs indicating the way. A pathway leads down through the centre of the gorge and follows the stream which flows slowly at this point to form small emerald pools of water. However, in other parts the same stream picks up speed to create beautiful, thundering waterfalls as it falls down the bare rock. Each waterfall has its own name: Cascata Verde, Cascata del Pozzo dell'Orso, Cascata del Marmittone, Cascata Polverosa, and there are many other, natural phenomena whose names refer to real events but that also invite meditative reflection. In other words, this is a park that is meant to be seen and listened to as well. At day's end, let the soothing gurgle of a quiet stream be the final touch to a relaxing day. Walking enthusiasts will enjoy the panoramic trail that takes them up above the narrow gully through which the torrent flows. The complete route takes about three hours.

 

The Park is an oasis for plant-life. To find out more about the flora, visit the Museo Botanico-Botanical Museum, just behind the church, where you can see all the various species of grasses, shrubs and trees found in the park. There is also a special section dedicated to rare flowers that risk extinction, along with protected species. Explanations are provided on the geological formation of Lessinia and its natural areas.

 

Recently restored, the Mulin de Lorenzo-Lorenzo's Mill, originally had two wheels which made it possible to grind cereals, as well as press wool. Outside, you can still see a rudimentary block of stone, once used for shellig corn. Inside, there is a large millstone and a small lathe for ceramic work.

 

In Molina you can also admire the Malga, an Alpine hut established in 1879.  In the mornings, each member would bring the milk of his cows to the malga to have it transformed into cheese. On the inside, there are two rooms: the first one, called logo del fogo (fire place), is where cheese is produced, while the second room is called logo del late (milk place) and it is used as a deposit for fresh cows' milk. The malga remained active for about a century and was closed in 1981. The malga is used for teaching purposes.

 

The villages of Gorgusello and Breonio are of interesting historical note because they still retain part of their original urban layouts. Ancient pebble walls alley ways and stone houses have been preserved and in seeming indifference to the passage of time, the villages have kept a certain flavour of the past. The ruins of the church you see just before reaching Breonio are the remains of a temple built in the XIX century to replace the church of San Marziale which had become too small. Due to the earthquake in 1882 and the excessive weight of the structure, which was built on land subject to landslides, the church never officially opened. Breonio still preserves the noteworthy San Marziale Church, built probably in the XII century, and restores to its present Gothic form in the early 1500s. The works within date from this period and include splendid frescoes by Francesco Morone and Domenico Brusasorzi, important Veronese masters at the time.

 

Near the church there is another historical monument, an ancient medieval fountain, discovered in 1998 by the Pro Loco of Breonio, after it had been covered over by a road in the early 1900s.

 

The last stop on the itinerary is Cavalo, where there is another ancient church, dedicated to San Zeno, built on what was already sacred ground for the ancients Romans. Of the original structure, assumed to be from the XII century, only the white limestone bell tower remains. The church underwent renovation in the XVIII century when it was raised and susbantially modified. There is a wonderful view from the square in front of the church, which takes in the valley towards the small town of Monte and extends as far as Lake Garda.

 

 

Visit the section Publications of this site in order to download the flyer of this itinerary.





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