The Imperina Valley mining village is situated in the Rivamonte Agordino Municipality, amongst Belluno’s Dolomites.
The site was active in the extraction and manufacturing of copper from the XV sec. to the second half of the 1800s.
It is one of the most meaningful compounds of industrial archaeology in the whole area of the Dolomites. That said in light of the architectural quality of the main factories making up the site (the smelter, the stables building, the building now become the location of the visitor centre , the ruins of the coal warehouse, the hostel, the minor buildings, the mining tunnels), of the site’s urban planning articulation, of the exceptional connection to the context of the powerful nature of the Dolomites. We are inside the Parco Naturale Dolomiti Bellunesi.
The compound constitutes a tremendous potential resource. It is, however, at the moment, almost completely underdeveloped, unused.
The effort of enhancement of the site, started in the 70s, (Raffaello Vergani was among the first people to write about it) hasn’t lead, as of now, to its actual relaunch, despite the interest of various individuals, authorities, decision makers, actors, whom have never been able to find a functional agreement to a common strategy.
There never was adequate cultural design, or a relaunch plan, to accompany the important interventions of restoration that have concerned the site (over 6 million Euros, spent between 1997 and 2002: active in this phase the Regione del Veneto* and many other local authorities).
To this day, there isn’t a clear and shared strategy for the utilization of this asset. In short, we don’t know what to do with it.
This situation is, evidently, negative. It doesn’t make sense to spend some millions of Euros (coming soon two more millions from the Fondo Brancher**) on the renovation of a site of such importance, without considering the preparation of adequate resources for a relaunching project of the site itself, without having a clear idea of the function that it could carry out, or the activities that it could host.
The extemporary usage of some of the compound’s buildings, without any strategic plan, isn’t what this site needs.
It isn’t possible to think that a relaunch of the site could be made without substantiating a tangible policy in that regard.
Restoring the buildings is, ultimately, completely useless, if the ability to start and support a real re-starting of the site doesn’t follow suit, if this kind of will is absent.
The reasoning that asserts the belief that, if it is true that much money was spent on this site over the years, achieving meagre results, the site is therefore unproductive, or sterile in and of itself, is equally short-sighted. Sterile has been the mentality that couldn’t conceive a relaunch plan for an asset whose extremely high potential lies, to this day, perfectly intact, and ready to be used.
Imperina Valley isn’t a swallow hole of resources, an hopeless place.
The absence of results is the outcome of the lack of an integrated planning in the project of reutilization, not a sad destiny.
An idea is needed, and a subject is needed as well, one that has the strength to create a strong and shared web around a sensible ideational deliberateness, a functional project.
What should be done, then? Starting a reaction, sparking a process of focusing first, and of direct action later, together with those subjects that have relevance, and can
have a function, in the economy of a project on this resource. Taking this site, and taking it away, finally, from the inertia, leaving home those who don’t understand its potential (the lazy, the short-sighted, the weary).
Dolomiti Contemporanee is interested in this exceptional site, and has started procedure of analysis and planning on it.
*Region of Veneto
June 20, 2017
March 19, 2017