Discover life in pile-dwellings at the Natural-Archaeological Park in Fiavé
In the natural setting of the Fiavé-Carera reserve, between Lake Garda and the Dolomites
Once upon a time, the grassy plain you now see before you was covered by the vast waters of the ancient Lake Carera, and instead of silence you would have heard a multitude of voices. That’s because this very spot was the site of a Bronze-Age village built on piles in the second millennium B.C.
Wouldn’t you like to see what it looked like, and how people lived back then? Join us on this adventure, exploring the Natural-Archaeological Park of Fiavé in the Valli Giudicarie, between Lake Garda and the Brenta Dolomites.
1# The Natural-Archaeological Park in Fiavé
The archaeological park, opening in June 2021, is located in an area with a fascinating history and nature: the natural reserve of Fiavé-Carera. Here, you can see reconstructions of some of the pile dwellings that once made up the ancient Bronze-Age village which lay nearby, where the Fiavé archaeological site is now.
A boardwalk over the water leads you through the wooden huts, recreated on the basis of scientific data uncovered during research conducted by archaeologists between 1969 and the 1990s.
Along the way, you will find illustrated panels, reconstructions of scenes, guided tours and workshops to shed light on the topic, helping young (and not-so-young) visitors to understood how the wood was processed, how ceramics were produced, and what day-to-day life consisted of in this ancient community. The best way to get to grips with history... or even prehistory.
But this is just one stage of your journey into the past: in fact, the Natural-Archaeological Park is part of a network that has three sites of interest, all within walking distance.
2# The Fiavé archaeological site
The second stage of this journey leads you to a spot close to the Natural-Archaeological Park; specifically, the archaeological site of the Fiavé pile-dwelling settlement, added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011.
Here, the remains of a dense “forest of piles” are preserved in the water, having miraculously survived the centuries and millennia since they supported the pile-dwelling village. This archaeological site is considered a landmark for the study of prehistoric communities, thanks in part to the many artefacts which have been rediscovered in excellent conditions. You can admire them at the Fiavé Pile-dwelling Museum, where we’ll be heading next.
For now, pause for a moment before the tops of these ancient piles and try to imagine what life might have been like in a village like this, thousands and thousands of years ago.
3# Fiavé Pile-dwelling Museum
The last stop on this journey into the past is just a twenty-minute walk away, taking you to the town of Fiavé. Here, an old country manor has been designated the Pile-dwelling Museum and houses artefacts from up to four thousand years ago, many of them surprisingly well preserved.
The exhibition includes ceramic crockery and jewellery in bronze, Baltic amber and gold; in addition to remains of food from that era and around 300 of the world’s best-preserved wooden objects, such as cups, ladles, sickles, drills and axe handles. Make sure not to miss the large model featuring over 70 figures, illustrating the construction techniques and everyday lives of our ancestors.