A small but important municipality included within the Lessinia Regional Natural Park, it extends in the upper Val d'Illasi right up to the southern slopes of the Carega mountain group.
What is interesting is the etymology of the name: the forest, which is the forest, which is on the 'progno', also understood as pronus, inclined, but in local dialect indicates the stream that crosses the valley and flows into the land.
The small Cimbrian centre of Giazza, with its splendid Forest, the Madonna della Lobbia, the Crib of Campofontana, are just some of the attractions of this area... A part of Lessinia to be discovered!
There are also many excursions and trails to try in Selva di Progno and in Val d'Illasi.
A pearl set between the end of the Val d'Illasi and the beginning of the Valle di Revolto. Here, two streams converge to form the Progno d'Illasi, but above all Giazza is the starting point for numerous paths that lead towards Lessinia and the Carega mountain range in Trentino.
The place name Giazza derives from the Cimbrian word 'Ljetzan' (ice), and this particular hamlet in the municipality of Selva di Progno is the only place where this ancient dialect, also known as 'Tauc', is still spoken. A language of Germanic origin, it was brought to the Thirteen Cimbrian Communities – of which Giazza is the undisputed capital – by Bavarian and Tyrolean settlers during the Middle Ages.
This place is also known for being home to the first state-owned forest in Italy, the Forest of Giazza: 4,700 acres of woods criss-crossed by scenic paths that lead to the Carega mountain range in the north, the pastures of Lessinia in the west, and the borders with the province of Vicenza to the east.
The ideal destination for mountain sports enthusiasts, Giazza hosts lovers of via ferrata, mountain biking, mountaineering and trekking: the E5 European long-distance trail passes through here, and the area is connected to the E7 path by several alternative routes. And when winter comes around, there is no shortage of routes for snowshoers, ski mountaineers and ice climbers.
Traditions, such as the Cimbrian tradition of lighting the 'Carbonara', are very important for Giazza. But that's not all. June sees the celebration of the famous 'Festa del Fuoco' (Fire Festival), a magical ritual in which braziers representing the Thirteen Cimbrian Communities are lit.
On the shortest night of the year, the magic of the Summer Solstice comes alive in Giazza. With re-enactments, music and fire displays, the ancestral rites of the Cimbri are renewed through the lighting of thirteen fires, a symbol of their unity.
The Forest of Giazza, alongside the Forest of Folignani, is the largest and most characteristic forest of the entire Lessinia region. It is the result of reforestation carried out at the beginning of the twentieth century, with the forest officially inaugurated on 10 August 1911. It is located in the northeastern tip of the province of Verona within the Lessinia Regional Natural Park and covers an area of around 4,705 acres, straddling the provinces of Verona (in the municipality of Selva di Progno), Trento and Vicenza. Mainly formed of large beech, silver fir and hop-hornbeam trees, it is very rich in biodiversity, with various animal and plant species. It is classified as a Special Nature Reserve of the park and also falls within the Special Area of Conservation IT 3210040 'Monti Lessini - Pasubio - Piccole Dolomiti Vicentine'.
One of the most emblematic examples of rural stone architecture in Lessinia is the Madonna della Lobbia, near Contrada Pagani in Campofontana (Selva di Progno).
It depicts the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus in her arms. According to local legend, this work was an attempt (later abandoned) to create the image for the altar of the Addolorata (Our Lady of Sorrows), erected in the church of Campofontana in 1837. It is thought that a parish priest from the town commissioned a statue of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows from an unknown local sculptor, who identified a block of rock near Malga Lobbia di Sotto and set to work. After realising that the block was flawed, however, he left the work in place, unfinished.
Today, it has become the symbol of Lessinia's Cimbrian architecture.
The museum, owned by the Mountain Community of Lessinia, is managed by the Curatorium Cimbricum Veronense and was established between 1970 and 1972.
The Cimbri, a population of Germanic origin who settled in eastern Lessinia from the end of the 13th century as woodcutters and charcoal burners, reveal traditions and stories from bygone times thanks to numerous artistic and architectural artefacts, their ancient language, and the jobs they once did. Tools and implements are evidence of the work of woodcutters and charcoal burners, and of activities linked to sheep farming, crafting, and much more.
Visiting the museum is like taking a step back in time!