It’s under the territorial jurisdiction of Darfo Boario Terme and covers an area of 88,5 metres.
393 metres above sea level, Monticolo is a hill situated in the middle of an alluvional plain bordering on the river Oglio on its south west side.
It’s one of the most interesting natural environments of Valle Camonica for its geomorphology and for its typical vegetation: Mediterranean on one side,alpine in the north and rich in chestnut woods in the south-west.
On the hill there are small turphy basins one of which is still active.
There are also ruins of prehistoric builts-up, several rocks engraved in ancient times and a lot of other marks that make it unique.
From its top you can see the valley below from every side and read its history very easily.
There are many archeological ruins today spread all over the valley and still not completely studied : rock engravings belonging to different periods up to the Christian age or marks of settlement as a few handmade objects confirm.
Of great historical importance is a big engraved stone called “I Corni Freschi” representing halberds and placed at the foot of the hill: it probably dates back to 2500 BC (Calcolitico period or beginning Bronze Age).
MONTICOLO TOUR ITINERARY
It’s a journey of about 2 kilometres: you’ll cross the old muletrack, go up the south side of the hill and go down to the North getting near the “Corni freschi “ place.
Of great importance is the road paved with local stones and built during the Second World War, when the hill was used as a defensive post.
The road has recently undergone redevelopment and is now provided with informative panels and lay-bies, so as to make it easily and safely practicable.
Up to now this redevelopment has covered only the first part of the road as far as the natural lake. There are many chestnut trees there, very profitable in the past for the production of tannin, exported all over Europe by the local inhabitants.
Three natural ponds are also on the way, sprung from the glacial erosion and collecting the draining water from the surrounding declivities.
It’s very important to keep dampness in the whole area, which allows the surviving of newts still today.
Going up along the muletrack you meet the first of the several engraved rocks showing Christian crosses dated back to different times.
There you can see marks of an old church, probably devoted to S.Stefano, while a bit further on there are the ruins of an old farmstead used as a deposit of munitions during the Second World War and equiupped with a tank for collecting rainwater.
Not very far away there is a the military post, used by the German soldiers during the Second World War.
Walking through the hill it’s possible to see 2 big engraved rocks, also with Christian themes, trees and monstrances.
Following the path you can reach the low area which runs along the foot of Monticolo and, in the south-west, towards Darfo, the rock of “Corni freschi”, recently submitted to conservative repairs.