Solto Collina
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Between past and present

solto_collinaSolto Collina is a village in the Upper Sebino area lying on a plateau sandwiched between Lake Iseo and the upper Val Cavallina (Cavallina Valley). The origins of the village date back to medieval times, around the 11th century. It was a time of intense political instability and three high-ranking families who were very much in the public eye decided to move to this scenic area and build a system of defence there. From here it was possible to keep an eye on the movements of troops and convoys coming and going to and from Lake Iseo and the valleys.

The three families managed the fortunes of the village up to the 14th century when the Foresti family, a very influential family in the area, took over the lands. Their name was indissolubly linked to that of the contrada (district) to such an extent that the family’s coats of arms are still displayed on some buildings today.
It was only in the 20th century that the seven residential areas which make up the town were joined to form its present-day administrative structure.

The village’s rich medieval history has endowed it with a style of architecture typical of that era. As a result, the perfectly preserved historic centre is a cross section of life at that time: narrow cobbled streets clinging to the hill, a few wells and fountains, doorways and stone buildings which take you back several centuries in time to. In addition, as previously mentioned, the system of defence consisted of three elements: the castle, the tower and the tower house. The castle is located in the southernmost area of the village, in a scenic spot of the contrada called contrada Castello (Castle District). It is still in a good state of repair.

From a religious point of view, the parish church dedicated to St. Mary of the Assumption is very important. It was built during the 15th century and renovated in the early 20th century and inside there are works by various artists. Nearby you can see various small churches, also called “santelle” (shrines) or “oratori” (oratories), such as the outstanding one dedicated to Saint Defendente.solto_collina2

From a naturalistic point of view, the Valle del Freddo (Cold Valley) must be mentioned: a biotope about 600 metres long and extremely singular, as there are various, typical species of alpine flora, including edelweiss. All this is due to the very singular geological conformation of the valley which causes icy cold air to come out of holes in the ground in summer and warm air in winter.

This makes it of great interest from a scientific, naturalistic and tourist point of view: in fact you can venture into the valley to admire the unique features of the area. It is a highly-protected area since even the slightest human interference could cause irreparable damage to the fragile ecosystem.