The smallest village in Italy – Storie dei nostri borghi

That branch of Lake Como which turns towards noon, holds many surprises.
In its lands, perched in the mountains of Valsassina and behind the Resegone, for those who observe it from Lecco, there is the smallest village in Italy. His name is Morterone.

In August 2020 it was named in the local news not so much for its primacy as the smallest village in Italy but for celebrating the birth of little Denis. In fact, in that village it was more than 8 years that a creature no longer came to light.

The name Morterone derives from the Latin “mortarium” which means mortar, since its position in a natural basin reminds a small mortar in which herbs, fruits, roots and seeds are crushed.

The problem of the depopulation of our lands is a serious problem and it is also a phenomenon, for the moment, in continuous increase.

More than a village, Morterone is a very, very scattered village that is divided into various locations where very few houses make up a locality.

You can get there along a 15 km road that starts from Ballabio very narrow, steep, with few side protections, with scary overhangs, with a beautiful panorama and that runs along the Grigna massif. As inexperienced in the place, due to the various hairpin bends and intersections with other vehicles, it took us 45 minutes to cover it.

Once in the village of Morterone we stop at the only restaurant bar in the village, the Trattoria dei Cacciatori and stop to talk to Viviana who is also the sister of the new citizen of the village Denis.

Viviana explains that she lived her first years here in Morterone, now she works in Lecco but often returns to her family home here in the village.
This small village has only 10 inhabitants who live here all year round and some of them go down to the city every day to work, following the road, which is treacherous for us, but very familiar to them.
The residents are 29 but in the summer the inhabitants reach up to 150 people.
And to think that in 1582, when San Carlo Borromeo came on a pastoral visit, the inhabitants were 320.
The village, however, has a center where the town hall and the Church are located. The Church itself shows us that the village was already alive in the 15th century. Its origin, however, is presumed to be a Romanesque temple from various finds.

Its inhabitants have always lived on sheep farming, in these mountains the families raised cows and certainly produced milk and cheese, worked wood and hosted transhumances.

Even today, from April to October, the sheep come to these mountains and keep the village fields and woods clean.

Tourism is their primary source of income because the magic of the place makes that the descendants of the families of the village own their family home and use it as a holiday home and as a base for a relaxing weekend.

Today in the village there is also a contemporary art museum where the works of art are located in the open air village.

the main dish of the trattoria in the village are fried gnocchi and pizzoccheri.

Video: Madonnina dai riccioli d’oro

Un abbraccio/ a big Hug
Marcus Dardi

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