Along old streets, to the churches and the Castle of Caldés
Malè – Cavizzana, going the hamlets around Caldes: km 10,5
Caldés welcomes visitors with its three bell towers. The oldest one rises in the village square and dates back to the 13th Century; it is almost a guard looking over the so-called “strada dei cavalieri” (the knights’ street), that splits the village into two sections. The little road is lined with some typical old buildings, that used to be the dwellings of local rural noble households; stone coats of arms and portals are a witness of Medieval times, as certainly is the castle in the eastern part of Caldés. The castle was built between the 13th and the 17th Centuries and recalls old legends of unhappy lovers. In the interior, boasting large halls and stone staircases, you will also see a chapel with frescoed paintings of remarkable artistic value. To the opposite side of the village rises the little church of St. Rocco, built after the plague of 1510, whose series of wall paintings is now almost completely lost; the 17th Century wooden alters have been preserved.
Past Caldes, an easy road (km. 1) takes to the area called “Còntre”, a quiet picnic area on the right-hand side of the river, that here flows a little quieter that elsewhere. From Caldés you will easily reach the small villages clinging to the Southward side of the mountains. Cassana, very close to the Valley’s main road, has a small church dedicated to St. Tommaso (15th Century) that embellishes the tiny village. A little further up you’ll get to St. Giacomo – whose old name used to be Solàsna –. Its church stands out like a jewel amongst robust rural buildings. The church houses two altars with a wooden altar-piece (that was built in the 17th Century by the Bezzis, a family of woodcarvers from Cusiano).
St. Giacomo is part of a number of small villages that have been traditionally referred to as “le capèle”. These are located along the Valley’s main road and boast some ancient churches (such as the one of Saints Pietro and Paolo at Bozzana, or of the Annunciata at Bordiana). On the opposite side of the valley is located Cavizzana: its church is dedicated to St. Martino (one of the protectors of Longobards). Inside the church there are four masterfully carved altars (that were probably carved by the Ramus and by the Bezzis, whose workshops were in upper Val di Sole during the 17th and 18th centuries)..

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