Extended archaeological itineraries that lead from topical museum displays to archaeological areas, carefully saved and protected within recent construction projects – passing through Casazza, Predore and Lovere – reveal fascinating insights into the Bergamo Alpine foothills in Roman times. At Casazza, the later Roman village (vicus) of Cavellas (from the Celtic root *cauo-), that gave the Val Cavallina its name, well illustrates the daily existence of normal people living on an important inter-valley link road. The sumptuous Roman villa at Predore, from which the village took its name (Praetorium in the common late-Roman sense of “aristocratic villa”), shows us the contrasts of the nobility’s life – otium (leisure activities) together with the pragmatic aspects of the economic management of extensive and diverse land holdings. The rich and well-known burial ground of Lovere, in a locality whose name records the floating of large oak trunks on Lake Iseo and the River Oglio, is not just a “city of the dead” but marks the gateway to Val Camonica – with its unmistakeable distinctive features, such as the typical mugs used to sample wine made from the Raetic grapes praised by Pliny. The synergy between the various organizations – state bodies, local authorities, foundations and associations – involved in developing the network uniting these diverse and complementary sites has created a spatial and temporal journey of undoubted charm and interest, that offers visitors an opportunity to understand from varied viewpoints the Roman inhabitants of the Bergamo Alps.
Filippo Maria Gambari - Lombardy Archaeology Superintendent