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Dembra. On August 2, 1881, 15,000 pilgrims were reported.

The following year, on September 17, 1882, the Fiemme Valley, along with a large part of the Trentino, was devastated by catastrophic flooding. A votive tablet, hanging on the walls of the sanctuary, commemorates that event. It records that Pietro Ballante was saved after spending three days in the flood waters. And then the drought returned. Those were difficult years marked by hardships and seasonal migrations. Then came the First World War! At the end of that painful period, in 1919, the community leaders decreed that there would be an annual procession. In June of 1944, a new solemn vow was pronounced: If the Valley would be spared the horrors of this war, a special Mass would be celebrated every five years on the third Sunday of

September. An Act of submission to the Madonna Addolorata was declared on May 26, 1996. From promise to promise, from one vow to the next, especially in bad times, this sanctuary has been, for the people of the Fiemme, a source of hope, and if not hope, at least resignation.

In 1978, theives sought to rob the statue, thinking it a praiseworthy wooden sculpture. But they had not figured its weight, it being an amlgam of alabaster and plaster of Paris. The Statue was dropped to the ground. It was subsequently sent ot Bologna for restoration under the auspices of the Province of Trento. On May 24, 1980, the statue was returned to the Fiemme community.
Alberto Folgheraiter is the author of many books regarding the Trentino, including his definitive and colorful book I Sentieri dell`Infinito-Storia dei Santuari del Trentino-Alto Adige The Paths of the Infinite-The Story of the Sancutaries of the Trentino Alto-Adige sanctuaries.

Fiemmes Treasure: Its Woods


magineto this day, the city of Venice still lies on the trunks of spruces and larches of Val di Fiemme. After consuming the woods in the flatlands, Venice started to import high-trunk trees from the Alps and the Dolomites, in particular from Val di Fiemme, carried out along the streams of water. The very construction of the ancient city of Venice situated on water depended on the importation of huge amounts of wood to allow the civil engineering of its city: basement poles, attics, roofs, doors and windows, design, etc. The Valleys forest provided the material for the

for the Venetian shipyards to construct the ships that dominated the world for over 300 years.

But the forests of Val di Fiemme are famous worldwide for another reason. The famous Stradivari used to construct his renown violins with the wood of the spruces that grow in this Valley. There are very few European forests where this prestigious wood can grow and be used to create violins and other musical instruments. The Val di Fiemme is one of these magical vallies where you can see the whole production chain of this precious raw

participating musicians are asked to choose their personal spruce as a gift of Val di Fiemme given to artists who diffuse sublime melodies throughout the world, playing instruments that originate from these very forests, welcoming and well-kept places, thanks to the thousand-year management of Magnifica Comunit di Fiemme.

material. The wood is mainly produced by spruces grown in a unique context that combines exclusive land and climate. It has extraordinary mechanical-sounding features. The resonance spruce is still sought-after and used to create harmonic boards for string instruments such as organs, pianos, violins and others that are used and played in every corner of the world. It is studied and tested by many universities and research laboratories In the world of music, people usually refer to the Val di Fiemme as the Forest of the Violins or The Valley of Harmony. There is a long tradition of constructing harmonic boards - deeply rooted in this valley. A valley enterprise, Ciresa of Tesero, has become the premier firm for the international manufacturers of musical instruments. It is estimated that throughout the world there are over 160,000 pianos being played manufactured with the wood of Fiemme. One area of the Val di Fiemme that best represents this special tradition if not a vocation is a forest high above the area of Predazzo.

Effectively, several spruces in this thick forest are already branded with the names of international musicians: Uto Ughi, Daniel Hope, Uri Caine, Ivry Gitlis, etc. Very often, the artist develops a curious affinity with his designated tree. The ritual ends when the artist plays a track dedicated to his spruce. A mysterious resonance between man and nature vibrates in the wood. Magically, this affinity becomes palpable between these two living beings of different species, but carrying some identical chromosomes. It is a skill of the craft to recognize the resonance in a spruce and to discern whether the trunk has the proper characteristics for a good musical instrument and whether it has the potential for the sought after sound. Many master flute makers focus on the trunk to exclude possible knots from young branches that might impede the good vibration of the sound. The regular imprints that distinguish the resonance spruce can be recognized just by lifting a tiny portion of the bark. When the tree is felled, you can see these imprints in the top section.Furthermore, the master flute makers even deem the position of the spruce compared to the plants of its same age in the whole group, to understand whether it was subjected to the action of wind or if the young plants near it while growing might have depleted its nourishing and changed its growth and the regularity of its fibre, over the years. The best period to fell the tree down is in the late autumn, when the wood is dormant and stores less fluids and nourishment. Tradition suggest a waning moon to capture its best features. Quite a tradition! Quite a skill.quite a story! Written by Beatrice Calamari

The Resounding Forest, il Bosco che Suona. The columns of this outdoor temple of musicae red spruces. The distinctive red spruces, appreciated by Stradivari and other great master flute makers like the Guarnieris and the Amatis. Every summer, these forests embraces a unique musical ritual. Renown international musicians gather at a high altitutde to take part in a musicfestival, The Sound of the Dolomites". The