Surrounded by thick chestnut trees, one time considered the realm of Mariane fairies, Strembo has roots in an old past. The independence of its inhabitants let the village not to be conquered and dominated by the powerful Bertelli family, who governed the neighbouring village of Caderzone. Not even the plague in 1630 could get in the village, thanks to the alert control of its inhabitants. Towards the valley, Strembo is skirted by Sarca river, where the fluvial park together with the recreational area create a wide zone dedicated to relax. Some of the characters who started the tourist development of Val Rendena were born here, among which Giovanbattista Righi – the father of Madonna di Campiglio – and Luigi Fantoma – the king of Genova (Val Genova) – who went with the explorers to the Adamello conquest.
Documented from the half of the 16th century, the original church had a 17 m high stone bell tower, lower than the church itself. For this reason, in the past Strembo people were held up to scorn by people of the other villages; in 1928 the bell tower was replaced by another new 37 mt high one and the old bell tower was demolished. Its bell called Bajarela was moved to the church in Ragada (Val Genova). The church itself was rebuilt and enlarged in the half of the 19th century.
The main facade is decorated with a fresco of the martyrdom of St. Tommaso, while on the south-east wall there is a sundial with St. Tommaso, an allegory of the rural world that offers the sun to God receiving love and hope in return. Inside, above the high altar in Carrara marble, there is the painting of the Madonna and St. Tommaso. In the apse, there are the painting of Christ on the throne and the canvas of St. Giovanni Battista in the desert, a copy of the famous painting of Tiziano.
Born in Strembo in 1819, Luigi Fantoma was a man of medium height, little eyes, piercing look, one of the most important personage of the valley. He was known for his ability in chamois and bear hunting, for which he received a rich reward by the Austrian state. After returning from the military service, he didn’t find his friends and relatives in the village anymore; so he went to live in Val Genova with his wife, the blond Giovanna, and built a wooden house in Ragada area. In winter, the valley was completely isolated, covered by a lot of snow. In summer, it was the place where the Austrian nobles came to make excursions and to hunt in Adamello. Fantoma became their favourite guide and he met several personages like Julius Payer, Albrecht Wachtler, Queen Vittoria of Germany, who wanted to know him in person. Fantoma was the guide of Julius Payer during his first exploration in Adamello - Presanella, helping him also in the creation of the first topographic map of the area.
In the photo Fantoma is portrayed with his wife. According to tradition, people say that while the couple was posing for this photo, Fantoma asked his wife to back away because he wanted to be alone to the fore.
Born in Strembo in 1830, he was a very witty man, considered the father of the birth and development of tourism in Madonna di Campiglio. He bought the lands of the Campiglio hospice from Trento Curia and realized the road which linked Pinzolo to the rising resort. Not without difficulty, he changed the crumbling hospice in a comfortable alpine establishement, which welcomed the first mountain tourists (then it was transformed into Grand Hotel Des Alpes, which hosted the Austrian royal family).
In behalf of Trentino mountaineers society – the so called SAT – (founded during a meeting in this establishment in 1872), he built Lares refuge and thought to build also a refuge in Mandro- ne area, in addition to a railway from Pinzolo to Condino in Val del Chiese. His sudden death, on 16th August 1882, broke off his plans.
Besides Luigi Fantoma, there are other two typical personalities of Val Genova and Adamello. In 1864 Girolamo Botteri, together with Julius Payer, went to Adamello top, climbing and conquered it in two days. After this event, Payer asked Botteri to help him to make the Adamello and Presanella map; the Austrian expert dedicated its guide to Cresta Nardis, which from that moment was called Botteri top. During Cima Adamello expedition, Payer and Botteri were accompanied by another young boy of Strembo, Giovanni Catturani. Payer invested Catturani with the title of alpine guide and then Catturani accompanied the glaciologist Solklar on Lobbia Bassa and the alpinist John Ball on Pisgana Pass.
It collected the water of the area and redistributed it to Caderzone village through granite canals.
They are christian religious architectural little buildings, that have origin from the popular faith handed down in the centuries. A capital was usually built as a vow of a lucky escape, as a famine or a pestilence, but also as a place where the Christian community could pray together.
Several frescos decorate the walls of the rustic houses of Strembo. In front of “Cassa Rurale” bank there is the “cavrèr” fresco (it means the goatherd); on the wall of one of the houses in Cesare Righi square there is a painting dedicated to the “föc” (the fire). Near Marconi square a fresco represents the “brivàr” (to take the cows to the trough) with the “tamplèli” fountain in the center; a second fresco in the square shows St. Tommaso d’Aquino, patron saint of Strembo, with a Roman martyr. Going to Splaz di Balbù area there are other religious frescos, as that of St. Giovanni Nepomuceno and the Praga town, where the saint has been thrown into the Moldava river.
It shows the despair of a soldier in a barbed wire, watching his fellow soldiers’ death; he is raising his arms to the sky in supplication and consolation.
In the past many people of Strembo had to leave their village and go to other Italian towns like Trieste and Mantova (but not only) to seek their fortune, working in the cold cuts production. Still today in Trieste many delicatessen’s owners come from Rendena.
It covers 250.000 sq. m. in Caderzone Terme, Strembo and Bocenago at various height differences, near rivers or little lakes, fairways and wide greens. It is composed by 9 holes - 35 par, with a driving range, a putting green, a pitchin green; its club house has a restaurant, a pro shop and a solarium.
The valley is crossed by Sarca river, which divides Presanella from Adamello; according to legend, it is the home of spirits, elfs, devils and witches. It is characterized by the wild beauty of the landscape with its wonderful waterfalls (Nardis, Lares and Mataròt) and its small valleys.
Strembo became the owner of a wide part of Val Genova, after a loan given to Mortaso inhabitants (Spiazzo Rendena). “Vagugn” river was considered a threat for Mortaso people in the last centuries: for this reason, they made a defense work but, during the catastrophic flood in September 1882, Mortaso was one of he most damaged villages in Val Rendena.
A big landslide went down the valley, sweeping away woods, fields and stones, destroying the road and changing the river bed. The day after that flood, a new strong bank was built to defend the village: Mortaso people had to ask for great loans, which could be wiped out only many years later in 1904, when they sold some lands in Val Genova (Bedole, Lobbia, Mandrone, Mataròt) to Strembo people.
In Val Genova Strembo municipality owns also Ragada area, where there are several beautiful mountain houses (still used today), which in the past formed a little village used by peasants for the summer mountain pasture. In 1951 a little church was built: it has still today the old bells belonging to the bell tower of Strembo church and in summer it hosts the Ragada festival.
Since summer 2011 the village of Strembo is twinned with Fornalux, a little village of Maiorca isle, in the Balearic Islands. After the visit of a little delegation of Fornalutx in Strembo in April 2009, Strembo inhabitants visited Fornalutx. This new relationship allovs to exchange cultures, traditions and the knowledge between these two territories.
You can find Strembo "Family route" map at Val Rendena town halls, Pro Loco tourist offices and Tourist Board offices