THE HISTORIC QUARRY OF TRONTANO, VERBANIA
While quarrying of beola granite in the Beura Cardezza area has been well-documented since antiquity, solid evidence of mineral extraction at Trontano does not appear until the beginning of the twentieth century. The lack of documentary evidence would suggest that until then the amount of quarrying was not enough to support a substantial business as was the case of nearby Beura. It was probably enough to meet local demands through random finds of rock for extraction. Beola stone, valued for its beautiful colour and the ease with which it can be worked, was widely used in the Ossola valley in the construction of houses (especially for roofs and floors) but also in religious buildings where it is found in shelves, steps, gutters, door frames etc. The first quarry to operate on an industrial level was the Piodale quarry at Croppo in the Trontano area.
Ester Bucchi de Giuli
The concession to work the Historic Quarry of Trontano was granted to Domo Graniti S.p.a., a company that has been active in the production of tombstones since 1976, specialising in the extraction and cutting of natural stones from the Val d’Ossola. The company is well-known for the prestige of its quarries and the excellent quality of its products. Work in the quarry consists of cutting banks of rock from the mountains and their subsequent division into blocks using various techniques that involve the use of special detonators and diamond wire chosen according to the characteristics of the deposit and the material to be extracted.
- Beola (white)
- Beola ghiandonata
- Beola (gray)
- Granitello Sempione
- Serizzo Antigorio Classico di Oira
- Serizzo “Passo”
- Serizzo Formazza clear
Beola and Serizzo marble add value and solidity to constructions and they blend in with every environmental setting. Its applications are very widespread in construction: ranging from flooring and panelling to the load-bearing elements of a house (doorways, window ledges, shelves and balconies) and include decorative features such as flower boxes, fountains and benches and funeral equipment. Serizzo is used mainly outside while the more refined beola is more suitable for interior decoration.
It is hoped that someone will take over the quarrying rights at the Trontano quarry soon so that it will once again play its part in the local economy.
How to get to the quarry
By car: from Domodossola, when you get to the roundabout at the eastern end of Via Mizzoccola, head for Trontano-Masera-Locarno. The access road to the quarry is nearby about 60 metres after the roundabout on your right.
Satellite settings: Lat. 46.113321, Lng. 8.310413.
THE ORRIDI DI URIEZZO
Valle Antigorio was covered in ice from the Ghiacciaio del Toce during the last ice age, to a thickness of more than 1000 metres. The layer of ice was so thick that only the very highest summits were visible. In this section of the valley the glaciers and the streams eroded and modelled the rock leaving complex and impressive patterns rarely seen so distinctively in the Alps. The erosion was so extreme that in less than 3 km the rocky step of Premia was penetrated to a depth of 160 metres.
But the clearest sign of this erosive action can be found in the Orridi di Uriezzo – deep cuts in the rock made by the ancient network of mountain streams that ran their course at the base of the glacier that passed through the valley. When the glaciers withdrew, the way that the local water network developed changed significantly: the peculiarity of the Orridi di Uriezzo is precisely in the way that the stream that shaped them no longer runs through these narrow incisions, so now you can walk along them with ease.