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Botazzo / Botač

20 August 2024
Waters
Borders
Conflicts
Traditions
Estrangements

Program

7 p.m. exploration of the Rosandra Valley by a local guide; departure from the Premuda refuge - Bagnoli Superiore 245, 34018 San Dorligo della Valle/Dolina - and arrival in Botazzo

8:30 p.m. packed dinner at the Botazzo bridge

9:30 p.m. start of the show at the Botazzo bridge

event language: Italian

Information: +39 3281547471

thanks to: comune di San Dorligo della Valle/Dolina, Mitja Lovriha, Jasmina Smotlak 

The Val Rosandra is a wonder from many points of view. 

From a geological point of view, there is the mutual overlapping of layers of flysch, that is sandstone, clay and marl shaped together with the formation of the mountains, with layers of limestone created by the sedimentation of marine organic remains. The most interesting aspect is the co-presence of a double asymmetry, both on the vertical and horizontal planes. The upper part of the valley, dominated by sandstones, has an appearance which we could define, as Pospichal, the famous Austro-Hungarian botanist author of Flora des Oesterreichischen Küstenlandes (1899) put it, as phlegmatic, with soft hills uniformly covered by hornbeam and oak woods, while the lower part, dominated by limestone, has decidedly more dramatic shapes: here the limestone dip slope of the last part of the valley’s orographic left side, contrast with the limestone layers on the anti-dip slope on the other side. This gives to the whole an aspect of profound contrast, almost of continuous imbalance, with the slopes alternating screes steep walls, on which karst phenomena then acted to form ravines and caves, peaks, pinnacles and spiers that seem suspended in the void.

From a biological point of view, being a margin, the valley presents a high rate of biodiversity, with the encounter between the Balkan flora (black hornbeam, manna ash), the Mediterranean flora (holm oak, terebinth) and the Alpine flora (alpine daphne, serviceberry), along with various endemic contributions, above all the asplenium lepidum and the moehringia tommasinii. The diversity of the environments allows the co-presence of aquatic species near the stream, of cliffs and scree on the slopes, and of woods and moors on the hills. 

Finally, from a historical point of view, human events seem to confirm the geological nature of the place, with the valley having always been a link between the sea and the continent: the goods that were most traded towards the inland in the Middle Ages were salt from the Štramar salt flats and, in modern era, Middle Eastern spices that arrived from the port of Trieste, often ground on site in the numerous mills present along the stream. In the opposite direction, the peasant women from the inlands came down to supply the city with milk, poultry, fruit and vegetables in a daily migration of centuries-old tradition.  

“I think that everyone has the right to live in dignified living conditions and the right to travel to seek them, if necessary. So for me these people are all welcome. But by God, why do you have to steal the watermelons that I grow with so much difficulty, and why leave your garbage on the riverbed? That's where I get pissed off, benevolently of course, but you understand me..." In the calm of the evening the words of Ferruccio from Botazzo bring me back to the real reason for my being here.