A jewel to be discovered: the church of St. Maria at Pellizzano
Malè – Pellizzano: km 15; Pellizzano – Menas: km 7
In upper Val di Sole, on the right hand side of the Noce, you will stumble into one of the most representative examples of sacred art of the whole region: the church dedicated to the Nativity of Maria at Pellizzano. The church is set amongst an urban area of remarkable historical value, dating back to the late Middle Ages and to the Renaissance periods, boasting noble mansions with coats of arms on top of the stone portals. The church was decorated by several generations of fresco painters (namely the Baschenis, from 1477 to 1533): both the portico and the entrance wall are covered with paintings. The most precious contents of the church are its five altars, all finely carved and decorated and matched by antique altar pieces. On top of the left aisle is located the Disciplini alter, with a frescoed painting by C. Vallorsa (1571), portraying the local Compagnia dei Battuti. The Pellizzano church houses several precious pieces of furniture: reliquaries, wooden gates (1626), Via Crucis, as well as glasses and processional crosses of great value. Outside the church, dominated by a powerful bell tower, behind a delicious wrought iron gate, a late medieval statue of the Madonna col Bambino, also referred to as the “Madonna of the drowned ones” is venerated as part of a cult rich of numerous legends.
Three kilometres far from Pellizzano, the road winds up with several hairpin bends to the so-called Lagodei Caprioli (roe deer lake) at Fazzón (m. 1301 s/m), a spectacular stretch of water and a starting point for more difficult hikes in the surrounding mountains.
The other side of the valley, along the sunny side of the mountain range, is dotted with typical villages, all linked to the bottom of the valley by a good network of roads. The first hamlet is named Claiàno, and boasts an 18th Century eight-sided shrine; then comes Termenàgo, with its two churches (a gothic and a neo-classical one). The little hamlet named Castello comes further up, with the little church of St. Donato dating back to the15th Century. Ortisé (at 1,479 m asl) was home to the world-famous mycologist Giacomo Bresadola (born1847- dead 1929): some of his writings are exhibited at the Museo della Civiltà Solandra in Malé). His work is recalled by the St. Cristoforo chapel (with three late 17th Century altars carved by the Bezzis). The village further up is Menàs (m. 1517) with few houses clustering around a poor chapel.
The mountain overlooking these small villages offers outstanding views and a wonderful peace. If you’ve got some spare time, we suggest a walk towards Malga Monte (following the pathway that goes to Val di Rabbi across Passo Valletta (m. 2684) or towards Malga Pozze, surrounded by peaks of almost 3,000 metres.

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