Route: Alta Via del Tabacco (Italy)

Submitted by Federico Venezian on Wed, 11/11/2020 - 03:55am
Vicenza, IT
33.6 km
Vertical Gain
2,430 m

Please respect private property!  Pack it in, pack it out!

To revolutionize the poor economy of the Canal, in the second half of the seventeenth century, an exotic plant arrived: TOBACCO.
For centuries, from the cultivation of tobacco and its smuggling, the people of the Canal have obtained the minimum that at least guaranteed their subsistence.
The memory of the centuries-old cultivation, now practically extinct, remains in the characteristic terraces supported with high dry stone walls, the "masiere", which rise on the slopes of the mountains up to 400-500 meters above the level of the Brenta, in the villages halfway up the coast well oriented to the sun, in the communication routes between the valley floor and the mountain.
On the right orographic side of the Canale del Brenta these communication routes are connected to each other by a series of paths and mule tracks to form, today, a single long path that cuts across the slopes of the Plateau, and connects the various cultivation areas. and the settlements present there: the Alta Via del Tabacco.
From the districts of the valley bottom some steep paths that go up to the plateau, still called the "trodi del tobacco", were certainly also used by the "smugglers", but to define this high road "the smugglers' way" is a historical and cultural error. Perhaps we will lose that forbidden halo that intrigues us so much today, but the Alta Via del Tabacco has many other values ​​to enhance. It is no coincidence that today we speak of "Museo Diffuso Alta Via del Tabacco", precisely in order not to stop at the simple hiking route, because this would be an understatement, and instead include a whole series of synergistically linked interests.
The rediscovery and re-evaluation of the real "tobacco trodi", the most hidden and hidden ones, is a project to come.
The function of this long path, which today we call Alta Via del Tabacco, was vital: it connected all the settlements and terraces at a height, allowing the inhabitants that minimum social life that hard work allowed: courtesy visits, exchanges of household goods and various kinds , ready help in case of need. It was therefore the "Ariadne's thread" of the good neighborhood to connect families and maintain the sense of "community".