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The way of the stonemasons and the Cornon Sacellum

To retrace the steps of history and art.


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Where is


Via Guglielmo Marconi, 2, 36020 Pove del Grappa VI, Italia (0m s.l.m.)


The path of the stonemasons

From the ancient hamlets of Pove del Grappa starts a path that in the past allowed stonemasons to reach the quarries in the area, located 700 meters above sea level. It is a paved path that in the past has seen Spartan men and equipment go up and down, wives with food and worries, noisy children, industrious elders--a mule track leading to the quarries via the Cornon sacellum. Today it is a walk from the center of the village to immerse oneself in nature. In a short time but with some effort you reach the sacellum, and from there you can take several paths to discover these mountains. A very suggestive option is the path of the tunnels, which by crossing open passages on the side of the mountain allows us little by little to return to the village, without ever missing a wide panorama of the valley.

01-panorama.jpgPanorama of Pove and the Brenta Valley

The Madonna of the Cornon

The sacellum of Cornon is a devotional temple that, with its classic, regular volumetry and elegant columns, stands out in the surrounding untamed and free nature. It was built by stonemasons in the early 1900s, and dedicated by them to the Madonna to protect the Povese community. One of the most evocative times to visit it is on May 1, at the beginning of the month dedicated to Our Lady, the day on which Holy Mass is celebrated at the Cornon Sacellum.

Despite its small size, for locals it is a place of strong spirituality. This is evidenced by a plaque found shortly after the sacellum itself, which commemorates the courage and perseverance of Don Balasso: he was the town's parish priest who, by now debilitated and weakened by illness, had expressed a desire to return to visit the Madonna del Cornon. Some parishioners then, equipped an old sleigh, made the parish priest get on it and then dragged him to the beloved shrine. A pleasant reminder of the spirit of sharing, altruism and humanity that animated our small communities.

The quarries of Pove, between past and present

Moving on, one reaches the spur of the quarries, a privileged vantage point over the territory and the surrounding beauty. Just to give an example, from here the gaze can stretch as far as Bassano del Grappa, coming to distinguish its Ponte Vecchio, but it can wander even further, toward the plain and the Berici Hills, an authentic spectacle.

02-gallerie.jpgThe path to the quarries

Stonemasons climbed along this mule track in order to reach the quarry, for centuries the hub of Pove del Grappa's economy. As early as the 16th century, the architect Scamozzi praised the quantity and quality of the marble slabs extracted here in Pove. Of the different types, the one that most characterizes this place is "biancone," a marble that owes its name to its white or ivory-white color. The good quality of the material was reflected in the craftsmanship of the local artisans: it is not for nothing that the work of the Povesi stonemasons is esteemed all over the world. It was hard, dangerous work that led them to quarry the biancone at high altitudes and then bring it to the workshop, where it was expertly worked. In the late 1800s, however, mining went into crisis: many stonemasons preferred to go elsewhere, then came the wars and the industry never recovered. Today the quarry remains as a monument to the stonemasons and their art. Not far away, their old shelter also tells of echoes of that industrious past, and together with the quarry offers the attentive walker an opportunity to imagine a place then steeped in sweat and toil.

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Daniele Bosa