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Valsassina Valley
Ancient Premana

There is a land, full of streams that flow down from the mountains to form fabulous cascades. A land full of berries, mushrooms, clean air and wild landscapes. You can’t get here by accident by confusing the road. One arrives in this land with a complete awareness of the journey one has made and the destination. In Italian paese means town, in direct translation country. There is one unique paese. It is located in a place that is difficult to access. The last stop of civilization, where space-time bends introducing visitors to another dimension. The land, located at an altitude of a thousand meters above sea level, less than twenty kilometers from Lake Como, looks as if someone had carefully laid it out on the slopes of the Alps. Ancient Premana. It owes its name to the Celts.

They came here two and a half thousand years ago (perhaps even earlier). They found a population already organized in the area. They slowly merged, replacing the oldest peoples. Then, at the end of the second century BC, Rome entered the area. He introduced new orders but failed to disrupt the rhythm of life of the local people, their customs and traditions. The presence of siderite veins in the high mountains allowed the steel industry to blossom. It developed over the centuries thanks to the richness of the forests and the abundance of water. Forges, huge bellows of metallurgical furnaces were scattered throughout the eastern territory of the land. The region was under the rule of the Venetian dojas of the Repubblica di Venezia and under Spanish rule. All this is remembered by rocks and trees. This memory floats in the air. You breathe it in and are almost instantly swallowed up, like hills shrouded in mist.

When the road on which cars can enter ends, the adventure begins. You must continue on foot. The town may seem ordinary, even too industrial.  As you enter, you pass public laundries, houses built to take advantage of every bit of unlevel ground. Garages on rooftops, gardens on terraces, workshops on first floors. Everywhere you smell the peculiar odor of heated machine oil. The inhabitants of this mountain have tamed it to produce precision cutting products for the world. Countless generations of locals were born and grew up passing down the secrets of the craft from father to son, cherishing the precious heritage of enjoying exceptional skills. What is old has never left here. Premana is the scissors capital of the world but its people still live their daily lives, drawing on the resources of nature and hard work, on slow and natural rhythms, on the love of the land, on experiences passed down through generations. The atmosphere of the past is enchanted in every stone. This is the unique charm of the ancient. Be prepared for countless stairs, you will probably get lost in the maze of narrow streets. The keen eyes of cats will watch your every step. The place will seem deserted to you, sometimes even dark.  Out of the corner of your eye you will see an old woman carrying a wicker basket on her back. Between the stone houses you will find a shadow. You will also catch a glimpse of a landscape of mountainous massifs. This monumental view will make you stand amazed for a moment, then you will hear the sound of a river. This is a sign that you have found yourself in the center. In a place where time doesn’t exist, or is at least irrelevant. Have you made it all the way here? Enjoy the silence.

The region is so attractive that you should set aside a couple of weeks to explore just the immediate area. Exploring it with locals, will be an unforgettable adventure and a source of much inspiration

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