- Art & Culture
Rural settlements in Berbenno
Maroggia - Motta Bassa (Monastero)
The rural settlement of Maroggia has a peculiar location, on top of a natural spur cultivated with vineyards. Its origins date back to the early Middle ages, as proven by some architectural elements on the facades of the buildings.
A loop route links the whole settlement: this structure was envisaged in order to grant a good sun exposure to all buildings. the birth of the town is linked to vine cultivation and wine making: the settlement is surrounded by terraced vineyards. The construction techniques are typical of the rural houses: stone walls, wooden roof frames covered by stone tiles, wooden galleries, stone staircases that lead to higher floors. Each building has a huge cellar, used to preserve the "Maroggia" wine, of the oldest and most esteemed wines of Valtellina.
Nowadays, the settlement is almost abandoned, but some homes in the North-Eastern part of the settlement have been renovated and are now inhabited.
Motta Bassa (Monastero)
The rural settlement of Motta Bassa is close to the church of St. Benigno. The distinctive feature of the settlement is the closeness of buildings, many of which share walls. The buildings are crossed by a series of cobblestone paths and staircases. The stone buildings, with wooden roof frames covered by stone tiles, have two or three floors.
On the ground floors there were barns and haylofts (which are still partially used), while homes were on the higher floors, many of which had a fireplace. In one of the buildings there is still a room with a vaulted ceiling. The settlement developed from East to West: both houses and roads were built along this axis. Nevertheless, a covered passage allowed to cross the settlement from North to South and this is where the entrances of the homes are located. Nowadays the settlement is almost entirely abandoned, the houses are mostly damaged and in some cases even unstable.
The barns on the ground floors are still in use, as well as the deep cellars used to preserve food.