The Valcamonica Petroglyphs

Day hikes around here are one thing, planning something else in another part of the Alps is another. Aside from the general problem that I often don’t have the time, when I do have time the weather (always changeable in the mountains) is often, as the Irish say, shite.


But when summer comes and the high snows melt, I am going to have to get myself to Valcamonica, in Lombardy, northern Italy, to see some of the hundreds of thousands of petroglyphs scattered throughout the valley.


The rock art spans a period over 8,000 years from the Palaeolithic Era, dropping off significantly during Roman times and returning somewhat with the early Christian Middle Ages. The whole thing has been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site.


If you would like to spend a week in the Italian Alps this summer learning how to make rock tracings and volunteering your time to the park, they are accepting applications. Minimum age 16 (most of the volunteers in the photos don’t look much beyond college age), cost (includes lodging, food and materials) is € 450 / $ 588 (check for the current euro/dollar rate.)

Second and third images from this site, (g; click other languages available at top of page)

This entry was posted in archaeology, art, culture, history, Italy, Mountains, nature, travel. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Valcamonica Petroglyphs

  1. Very cool. We’ve seen a lot of petroglyphs and pictographs and geoglyphs (of the modern variety) from Colorado down through Arizona, but they’re of a different technique. I’m linking to a page of Arizona petroglyphs:

  2. Marcellina says:

    Thanks, DB! I’ve been to the Petrified Forest and woke up once in Sedona (not as wild as that sounds), but never saw the petroglyphs.

  3. There’s supposed to be a rather large group of them just southeast of Sedona a little ways, but we were never up that direction with time to stop, or at the right time to see them. In the Petrified Forest, there’s a couple of places – one at the ruins of the village and one on a spur road. That last one is called Newspaper Rock and you have to look through a telescope or binoculars.

  4. weltbeobachterin says:

    beautiful, I am looking forward to your pictures – happy new year my dear

  5. paschberg says:

    So you will be volunteering in Valcamonica? Some of the photos on Valcamonica homepage looked likes scenes from 😉
    However the inscriptions are better to “read” than the bavarian/tyrolean site at the Schneidjoch

  6. Marcellina says:

    No, not volunteering, but I would like to go there for a few days’ hiking or mountainbiking… and yes, the Schneidjoch is high on my “to-do-list”, hopefully this spring! (AND the “Geschriebenen Stein” : these two places I wanted to visit last summer and did not.)

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