Valle Imperina

Route details Recommended period Summer Phone+39 0439 3328
Useful advice: It is accessed from the Agordina A-road; you park next to the mining centre (Le Campe district) and continue on foot (pedestrian bridge over the Torrente Cordevole).
The Mineral Centre of Valle Imperina is located in the town of Rivamonte Agordino (province of Belluno). It is one of the most important sites of the Parco Nazionale Dolomiti Bellunesi [National Park of the Belluno Dolomites] because it bears witness to a mining activity that was carried on for nearly six centuries.

Surrounded by luxuriant vegetation, the deposits of Valle Imperina have provided raw materials to the copper industry and engendered one of the largest general and metallurgy centres in Veneto.

The tour starts at the visitor centre "Uomini della Valle Imperina" [People from Valle Imperina] inside a building that was originally a hydroelectric power plant that served the mines. Here you will be able to tour the permanent exhibition on the mining industry. A short distance away stands the building of Forni Fusori [Blast Furnaces], the emblem of the centre and one of the most extraordinary examples of industrial archaeology in Veneto.

The Ostello [Hostel] is set up inside an 18th century building which started out as a warehouse but then became a dormitory for the miners.

From here visitors can choose between two long theme-based itineraries: "Via degli Ospizi", which develops along the Cordevole torrent and goes all the way to the Vedana Charterhouse; or "Sentiero della Montagna dimenticata" [Path of the forgotten Mountain] which leads to the former mercury mines of Vallalta.

Just visiting the ancient buildings and retracing the steps of the miners is enough to understand how hard life was in the mine, a story of fatigue and sweat.