Malé. The old town, the Parish church and the Museo della Civiltà Solandra
The administrative centre of Val di Sole is a little town of ancient origins, probably Roman. Malé’s role as a Parish centre is witnessed since 1178, but most probably dates back to the Longobard and Carolingian ruling (7th -9th centuries). Malé is an important trading centre and tourist resort, as well as a communication hub (Trento-Malé railway). The town’s present look results from an opposition of historical buildings to some other buildings that were rebuilt after the 1892 fire. The event spared the church, that is located at the town centre, in a square that, for many centuries, was used as a parvis and a graveyard: a lean shrine, dedicated to St. Valentino, rises in front of the Romanesque-gothic façade of the Parish church. The portico, featuring lean columns, has a typical Renaissance style (1531). The church’s interior has 1 nave and 2 aisles. The walls and the presbytery were masterfully frescoed by Pino Casarini (a painter from Verona). The two alters located by the presbytery have a typical Val di Sole baroque style; the pulpit by G. D. Bezzi (1670) is remarkable. The painting of the Nativity was made by M.Teofilo Polacco (1614). The left aisle houses an imposing baptismal font, that for centuries served all the villages in lower Val di Sole, including Rabbi. The side chapels boast some 17th and 18th Century items.
At the Western outskirts of Malé, integrated in a building of administrative offices, you can see the church dedicated to St. Luigi (18th Century, it was first dedicated to St. Giovanni Nepomuceno, protector against floods): the 17th Century altar is by the Ramus family.
Not far from the main square is located the Museo della Civiltà Solandra, housing a permanent exhibition of cultural and working traditions of Val di Sole. The craftsmanship of carpenters, blacksmiths, farmers, cattle farmers, weavers and coppersmiths are displayed along with the life settings of the Valley’s ancient inhabitants and with an accurate exhibition of original tools and a reconstruction of workplaces. The core of the museum is represented by a stùa, the best room in the valley’s traditional houses (coming from Val di Rabbi). A visit to the Museum allows a meeting with the longstanding culture of the local population, not only superficial or based on pure nostalgia.
Malé offers several opportunities for a relaxing stroll. Walking past the river Noce, you’ll get to a thick fir wood forest at Regazzini. Not far away, by a chapel dedicated to St. Biagio, a famous market fair used too be held since the Middle Ages (the so called mercato del Bosco, the wood market). The chapel used to provide shelter for travellers (reported as early as in 1274).

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