Marocche di Dro
The Marocche are the largest landslide system of stone material in Europe, kilometres and kilometres of stones stacked on top of each other. It is a real system because they did not come about through a single collapse, but with at least a dozen over time. Imagine the valley covered by the retreating Garda glacier: as the lateral pressure of the ice on the walls subsides, the mountains crack, split and give way. One failure after another throughout history has brought almost half of Mount Brento from up there to down here, crushed and crumbled. They say that one of those events in particular must have been immense and produced hills of debris 250 metres high, which with the inertia force of the falling rocks have accumulated on the other side of the valley.
There is a legend that tells of the city of Kas, whose inhabitants led lives of lust and vice. The landslide that caused the marocche would have be the result of their divine punishment. The interesting thing is that in 1922, during an excavation to expand the pipeline of the Fies hydroelectric power station, the workers found a piece of tile at a depth of forty metres. This proves that there were actually settlements in the area dating back to Roman times and that the last collapse must have occurred quite recently.
From boci, when we were seven or eight years old, we used to come and play at the marocche. In the morning we would leave from Dro with sandwiches and Coca Cola in our knapsack, we just took a step outside the house and we were in the fields. Immediately afterwards we would climb the first stones and enter another world, which was completely ours, and which with some imagination we transformed into a scenario of western duels to the death or science fiction plots on the edge of reality. Endless adventures, what more could a child want?
At that time, I’m not talking about centuries ago, I’m not that old, there were no mobile phones and our mothers left us full freedom for four or five hours, and although they had no idea where we were they were much more serene than today’s mothers. Today, if an eight-year-old boy stays out for four hours, they call the police. These attitudes changed very quickly, within half a generation.
Two people from Salò came here to shoot an adventure film because the environment was so unusual.
Then other films, about uranium prospectors, an unfortunate television series, commercials, comic sketches followed by advertisements …
They made one about the sheriff of Silver Valley … a western!
They transformed a farm near Dro into a saloon … as children we went to peek inside: there were guns, cow-boy clothes, horses. How wonderful!
We used to go back to the marocche … to play, to be explorers, to climb … sometimes we risked hurting ourselves; but nobody was ever hurt. Some accidents with the cars on the road, but none of us children ever fell.
The mountain, the rocks, we were always going around doing silly things.
At the end of the school day, we would do our homework and then we were off: we used to come here where we could dream …
… and the river, and the marocche, and the mountain.
Then the wars, the battles, the bases. Bows, arrows, bamboo and slings … we were all friends, but when there were clashes … you were with your gang and the other boys were with the other gangs. Everyone was with his own gang.
In Dro there was an important gang, that of Via Capitelli,
they were strong!
And we were from public housing, then there was the rest of the village …
One of the most fascinating places in Garda Trentino is certainly the Marocche, an expanse of boulders that never seems to end. In this lunar-looking desert there are species of animals that live only here, natural bonsai … and even dinosaur footprints. For the hiker who faces the Top Loop of the Garda Trek, it is inevitable to look at this rocky expanse, while facing the climb on the slopes of Monte Stivo.
The person who is sharing his memories with us is Dino Sommadossi, the head of Dro’s library and president of the association concerned with Fies.