Surrounded by dense chestnut woods – once thought to be the domain of Marian fairies – Strembo has always been a free and independent village.
The village is sited on the alluvial fan running down from Mount Mezùl, at the point where the Ruina river flows into the Sarca. Its origins go back a very long way: dates found on some houses suggest that it may have existed before 1300. Tradition says that the village of Strembo was predated by a small settlement in the “Afcei” locality between the villages of Strembo and Mortaso, going back to around 1150.
Strembo has always been a free and independent village. This has also been demonstrated by the fact that the powerful Bertelli family of Caderzone never succeeded in imposing a tax burden on it. Strembo also escaped the plague of 1630, thanks to the barricades that were erected and manned day and night to prevent the spread of the epidemic north and south of the village.
Almost everyone in the village owned goats. Each day from spring to autumn they were herded to the “Tampleli”, where the “cavrèr” (goatherd), with his horn on his shoulder and his trusty staff would lead led them to pasture.
In autumn and winter especially, many heads of household became “moléti” and travelled around with their “grinding wheel” to sharpen knives and scissors. The more enterprising of them would also go abroad, where earnings were more substantial. In addition, many inhabitants went to Trieste to work as pork butchers and settled there. Even today, many delicatessens in Trieste are owned by people of Strembo origin.
Steep lanes punctuated by entrance halls and large, old Giudicarie houses are the identifying features of this village. The main occupations are timber processing, livestock breeding and preserved meat production. The medieval parish church dedicated to San Tommaso contains an interesting altarpiece of the high altar, attributed to Giovanni Andreis. Strembo is the headquarters of the Adamello-Brenta Natural Park.
The village is also the birthplace of some of the figures who helped launched tourism in Val Rendena, including Giovanbattista Righi - the father of Madonna di Campiglio - and Luigi Fantoma - the “King of Genova” (Val Genova) - who accompanied explorers on their ascent of Adamello.
Points of interest
Ragada chapel and Austro-Hungarian cemeteryThe Ragada Austro-Hungarian cemetery in Val Genova was created during World War I in a small clearing bordering the road and the Sarca River. When the war ended, the bodies buried here were transferred elsewhere, and now, with the passing of time, only a few remnants of the cemetery remain. In 1951, a small church was erected in Ragada near the remains of the military cemetery, and the church’s bell tower now houses the bell that was once in the old bell tower in Strembo. In 2014, the District of Strembo and the Adamello-Brenta Nature Park had the small Ragada cemetery restored based on historical documentation and vintage photos.
Cassa Rurale fountainThis and other fountains in town receive their water from sources above the village, the pure, cool waters of which were channelled into town by way of ingenious, durable systems that separated the flow of water to homes and to the fountains. These precursors to modern piping systems were made with either wooden canals or more resistant, handmade “separator fountains” in granite. Over time, these systems were, of course, replaced by more efficient systems, but one of these ancient channels was spared and turned into a lovely monument: the separator fountain located outside the Strembo Cassa Rurale bank. This ancient tool (which appears to have been made in the early 1500s) was originally located in the area known as “La Val” and provided water to four fountains in Caderzone Terme before being taken out of commission and moved to Strembo.