The Gleno dam: Val di Scalve
VAL DI SCLAVE
The Val di Scalve is located in the Bergamo area and here is the Gleno dam. The Valley is colored with bright autumn leaves: yellow, red and orange. Following the path 411 from Pianezza (village of Vilminore Di Scalve) you reach the Gleno dam. A dam that unfortunately refers to a sad story.
THE PATH 411
The path way to reach the dam takes about an hour. From the easy profile, start with a half hour uphill and finally the remaining kilometers on a flat and scenic trail. Today there is nothing left of the dam but a concrete skeleton nestled in the woods. A commemorative plaque recalls what happened on the morning of December 1, 1923.
The dam, built between 1919 and 1923 to produce electricity thanks to the use of water, was actually built without respecting the safety rules: It was built a larger dam compared to the initial project and with poor material (mortar instead of cement). Already in the early months of 1923, shortly after the completion of the dam, losses were evident: premonitors of what happened on December 1, 1923 at 7.15. The dam collapses. Entire villages were razed to the ground by the power of water and mud. The total victims estimated were 500.
BEYOND THE DAM …
Although the dam reminds us of a sad chapter in our history, what remains of it is today in the middle of the Orobie park, near a small lake, where the dam basin once stood. Here you can enjoy the beauty of the Bergamo mountains, perhaps enjoying a good sandwich. Find a small bar near the pond.