The present town is a recent development, established by Royal Decree in 1928 by the merger of Mortaso, Borzago and Fisto into a single municipality called “Spiazzo”, a place name referring to the centre of the three communities.
Its origins can be traced back to a Sanctuary dedicated to St Vigilius. It is in fact the place where the bishop of Trent is said to have been martyred on 26 June 405, during his last missionary journey. Tradition has it that where the high altar of St Vigilius' church now stands, a stele to the god Saturn once stood. The bishop is said to have torn it down, provoking a tragically murderous reaction from the pagan population. The place was thenceforth converted to Christian worship, however, and the town is considered the historic seat of the Pieve di Rendena.
Points of interest
“Terra di Moleti” itinerary of art and culture In Mortaso, there is the “Terra di Moleti” (literally: “Land of Cutlers”) itinerary of art and culture. Inaugurated in 2017, the itinerary provides a look at old roads and other hidden corners of the village and features works of art inspired by the work and lives of local cutlers, complete with information panels.
“Via da le Vide” itinerary of art and cultureThis exhibit can be enjoyed by all, taking a relaxing walk above the village of Borzago. It features works of art made of wood dedicated to rural life and traditional crafts.
“Salagad’Art” itinerary of art and cultureAn old rural home, acquired by the local council, has been restored after structural issues arose from weather damage, a serious fire in 1998, and other events over the years. The building was reconstructed using materials, architectural techniques, and room design from the period in which it was originally erected. The home is now a fascinating permanent exhibit dedicated to life and work of that time and features hundreds of items of clothing, furniture, photos and other objects based on research conducted by the exhibit’s curators and donations from private collectors.
This exhibit runs along an ancient mule track (salagada in the local dialect) between Spiazzo Rendena and Teggia di Fisto and invites visitors to listen to nature, pay close attention to the natural landscapes around us, and to take in the messages of art and literature. It features works of art in weathered steel accompanied by the words of a number of great thinkers.
Acqua Life learning centreSituated near the Sarca River and bike trail, the Acqua Life learning centre is dedicated to the river fauna, typical of this protected area. The sustainably built centre features learning spaces both inside and out. Outside, visitors can see the various species in their natural habitat.
There is also a small hatchery for the reproduction of marble trout for the Sarca River that is always in operation with the help of the Upper Sarca Fishermen’s Association.
Church of San VigilioThis was once the parish church for three small villages, Fisto, Borzago and Mortaso, that eventually merged to form the town of Spiazzo. Each of the three villages had built their own altar within the church; the Rosary, Our Lady of the Snow, and Our Lady of Sorrows. In the 1530s and 1540s, the church was the object of architectural additions and alterations in Renaissance style, and it was during this time that Simone II Baschenis carried out the interior and exterior decorations, some of which survive to this day, such as in the nave, the facade, the intrados, and the archways in which the side altars are found. Frescoes include a series of stories of the Virgin Mary and the stories of St. Stephen. Legend has it that this church was erected on the exact spot where St. Vigilius was martyred in the fourth century by locals who were still devoted to paganism.
Museum of the White War in AdamelloThe “Museum of the White War” in Spiazzo was established in 1973 thanks to Sergio Collini and Giovanni Pellizzari who grouped all their finds into a single exhibition and shared them all with the world. Two rooms in the basement of the town’s middle school were set up for the first permanent exhibit dedicated to the White War. This exhibit quickly grew as it recovered albums of photos from the war here in the Rendena valley, making contact with veterans from both sides of the White War in Adamello to hear their stories from those times, and collecting more military relics. Another important find for the museum was the diary of a young lieutenant of the Kaiserjäger, Felix Hect von Eleda. Today, the museum has grown and has moved to the old elementary schools near Spiazzo’s Church of San Vigilio. In its new home, this skilfully managed, engaging exhibit winds through rooms dedicated to various aspects of this mountain-top war, including intriguing maps and models of the situation at the front.
Cort da TognoThe walls of this traditional inner courtyard, used during World War I as the headquarters of Tione Military Command, were frescoed during the 1930s by Vigilio “Togno” Pellizzari, an eclectic artist originally from Borzago. It is a one-of-a-kind work of folk-art featuring scenes from proverbs, satire of daily life, and other humour, often accompanied by related captions.