Mezzano Romantica

Among the ‘Borghi più Belli d’Italia’ (the most beautiful villages in Italy), very close to Fiera di Primiero and San Martino di Castrozza, Mezzano claims its proud identity and celebrates the countryside with themed itineraries dedicated to water, gardens, rural architecture, carvings, frescoes, and woodpiles, which become art here. An example of an Italy that does not give up and represents values that are lost elsewhere.

Mezzano has always been a crossroads toward more renowned places, but for those who have the desire - and the intuition - to dwell in the village, Mezzano brings on stage its own show, an enchanting one with its disarming simplicity, joining the ranks of the ‘Borghi più Belli d’Italia’ (the most beautiful villages in Italy) thanks to a touching setting in the Dolomites.
Today the village is a kind of reservoir of alpine life, an inexhaustible mine of ideas that show in every hidden corner, along the narrow streets, in the small squares, in the shadow of the balconies in a vibrant museum under the sky. To be explored with different themed itineraries, inviting you to experience again the ‘scattered signs of the countryside’: water, gardens, architecture, wall paintings, ancient inscriptions, and artistic woodpiles.

For some time now, a discrete and enchanting new art form exploded, unique in its simplicity. So simple that no one had thought of it before. The village, in fact, is hosting many wonderful and monumental artistic woodpiles. Along the narrow streets, on the balconies, in the squares and the courtyards, the traditional stockpile of logs for the winter gets all pretty for Cataste e Canzei (the local terms for the woodpiles), a particular initiative that each year attracts famous artists to create their large installations. So, here is the accordion that looks like a star, the hourglass between the sun and the moon to mark the passage of time, the great wall that reminds us of the flood that hit the village in 1966, the men intent on cutting the tree, and the unstable woodpile which yields in a choreographic collapse. A total of 25 artistic woodpiles already scattered throughout the village, and there are plans for new ones to be added year after year.

In Mezzano, everything comes from nature and to nature it leads. Just like the many marked trails that, by foot or mountain bike from the village, make you discover a still intact and poignant environment. Mezzano is in the natural reserve of the Parco di Paneveggio Pale di San Martino and adjoins the one of the Belluno Dolomites.

The wood stockpile for the winter becomes art

Mezzano, jewel among the ‘Borghi più Belli d’Italia(the most beautiful villages in Italy), in a strong connection with wood and other elements of mountain nature, is hosting many wonderful artistic woodpiles.
In the summer of 2016 we inaugurated four more of them.

The traditional stockpile of logs for the winter gets all pretty and takes unexpected shapes along the narrow streets, at the feet of the ancient facades and before the typical balconies, in the small squares, the courtyards, under the stairs, in the hallways and on the very balconies: it gives back stories long past, delivers dreams, reinterprets historical events, tells us of the householders.

Every corner holds a surprise: the face in tears, the shuttle of the loom (a refined weaving mill of ancient weaves hides in the village), the large cob above the chicken coop, the wooden sticks landscape that looks like marquetry, the representation of a folk song, giant flowers, small windows between the logs from which lace and cascades of geraniums hang, in other words, a village to explore!


IN PRINCIPIO (L’Albero) (In the beginning, the tree) by Roberto Svaizer

Easy to understand in its poignant simplicity: three men are intent on sawing a tree. Subtle is the message, entrusted to the shape of the automata attributed to the lumberjacks: human arms can be replaced by saws and mechanical means, but the man will continue to cut down trees. A rural rite that is not extinguished. The author, born in 1971 and a native of Mezzano, works in a factory of chandeliers in Belluno, where he learned the iron processing techniques that served him to show his appreciated talent as a sculptor.

INSTALLAZIONE IN-STABILE (Un-stable installation) by Umberto Sancarlo

Also called ‘the woodpile that falls’, this artwork is a concentrate of allusions: installation because it is placed above a donkey stall, and un-stable because it is placed on a relic, but it is also precarious (it is an Italian play on words). The cascade of logs, which gives the woodpile strength and movement, almost seems to be a warning to humans, which can intervene in nature, but are still their subjects. Sancarlo, painter, graphic artist, and sculptor who lives in Trento, collaborates, among other things, with the MART in Rovereto.

L’ALUVION (The flood) by Marco Baj

A versatile artist who came up in Trentino from the hot lands of Puglia to leave his mark in Mezzano. The largest of the installations of ‘Cataste e Canzei’ stands in the village since 2012 on a wide wall made safe, built after the tragic flood of 1966.
Masking the bare functionality, it is made a great picture under the sky that reminds all men of the price you pay when you violate the mountain. Made of red larch wood, white marble, vieste tuff, and iron, it covers 80 square meters.

EL MANTIL (The mantle) by Marta Bettega

The artist lives in Mezzano. Art and restoration expert, she has to her credit numerous exhibitions, prizes, and awards. ‘El Mantil’, she explains ‘is a linen cloth spun by the women of our past.’ In her artwork, she wanted to make, with wood, a tablecloth that represents the manual yet meditative labour of the weavers. A canvas that weaves into its fabric the fatigue, dreams, and claims of women.

LA FISARMONICA (The accordion) by Max Gaudenzi

The local artist manages with his wife a permanent exhibition of his artworks in Fiera di Primiero. For Mezzano he created a large, open accordion that looks like a star. A majestic work that needs no interpretations: a diatonic accordion which suggests the harmony of the melodic notes and the pieces of wood that seem to be born to be next to each other like the notes on a score.

ROTONDA e NON ROTONDA (Round and not round) by Roberto Bertazzon

A native of the Veneto hills, the author is a painter, sculptor, and conceptual designer. Engaged in raising awareness for the environment, in 2011 he made two sculptures for Mezzano: Rotonda e Non Rotonda.

LA FUNZIONE DEL BALCONE (The function of the balcony) by Alberto Cosner

A rather important name for a direct artwork that stands out for its striking simplicity: a huge cob with full and golden seeds, unreachable up high on the balcony, that seems to make fun of the eager and surprised chickens of the chicken coop right underneath it. Actually, the artwork, through the representation of the corn, wants to remind us of the old function of the balcony, where the cobs were hung up to dry in the sun. The artist is from Primiero, archaeological restorer and designer.

NAVESÈLA by Lucia di Arteler – Lucia Trotter e Zita Zeni

A large wooden loom shuttle set in the woodpile from which the threads of the weave branch off. A sort of wonderful and unusual sign for a workshop that instead stays discreet and reserved in a small house in front of it. Almost in secret, damask cloths of Primiero tradition and of a time that is no more rise from the threads of an ancient loom, saved by the magical weaves by Lucia Trotter and Zita Zeni.

CERCO UN CENTRO DI GRAVITÁ PERMANENTE (I look for a permanent centre of gravity) by Gianluigi Zeni

Another artist from Mezzano. Sculptor of the artisan laboratory of wood sculptures of the village, he has created a balancing woodpile: the large, electric-blue arrow points at the bottom vertical log, which alone holds all the sculpture, the result of an incredible game of joints and levers.

FREE WATER by Jimi Trotter

This local artist relies on the copious blue tear on a pained face to protest against water privatization. We pay for the common good (unjustly), and the only free water that will remain will be the one from our tears.

LA NOTTE IN SOGNO (The night in a dream) by Erica Schweizer

Following her family’s footsteps (the parents are architects, the uncle a great painter), Erica Schweizer is one of the few female signatures of ‘Cataste e Canzei’. In her artwork, she makes use of the traditional custom of creating niches in the woodpile to put flower pots in. However, she entrusts to the spaces her personal interpretation of a folk love song known in these places. So, between the logs, other than words, drawings, and quotes, an exquisite ‘doll's house’ comes to life.

BIO-MASSA (Bio-mass) by Giuliano Orsingher

As expected of a good artist from Trentino, Orsingher wants to evoke, with his artwork, the healthy sentiment of the mountain people that obey the rhythm of nature and wisely accumulate wood during autumn for the winter, with hardworking and perpetual gestures that respect the environment and enshrine its ancient connection with mankind. A woodpile which is monument to the woodpile itself, which is in fact just accumulated logs of the great trunk on which it towers. Incorporated in the artwork so much that you do not see it, but you sense it in its empty shape, is the axe.

MONTAGNA IN-CANTO (Mountain in song) by Associazione La Stua

A group of friends united by the passion for sculpture who like to practice and teach the art. To them, we owe the transformation of a sad, concrete electrical substation into a cheerful narrative masterpiece in wood. Small and tiny twigs, patiently stuck together to gift us with a masterful inlay which tells us about the poetry of the mountain. A play of images and words that allude to the seduction for the eyes and ears, in a fellowship between landscape and music. Thus dance the notes of the score on a background of majestic peaks, bell towers, ancient trees, flowering meadows, and proud deers.

TEMP CHE PASA… TRADIZION CHE RESTA (Time that goes… tradition that remains) by Giuliano Rattin

Another contribution by a young one, enclosing the meaning of life in a woodpile. The hourglass, closed in an embrace (or forced to work unceasingly?) between the sun and the moon, reminds us that everything begins and ends, but tradition never dies.

OPPOSTI (Opposites) by Giuliano Orsingher

Almost a provocation by the author who is already present in Mezzano with BIO-MASSA. A plastic procedure in favour of a non-representative, absent, and silent language that can be traced in the void between wood and stone. A clear choice, to leave to everyone the effort of making a personal reflection, because the void is an interpretable space that includes in itself its opposites too.

IL BOSCO VECCHIO (The old forest) by Albino Rossi

The soul of Trentino is identified in the mountain, the fields, and the forest. The author's attention focuses precisely on the latter, finding himself in perfect harmony with the spirit of Cataste & Canzei. His sensitivity and imagination created an idealized yet real forest. There is much to see in this artwork: the trees as columns of the sky, the branches that by intertwining symbolize human relationships. Everything summarized in the silhouette of a backlit forest, dormant in the winter while it waits to bloom again.

SANTONE by Fabrizio Milani

The ‘santoni’ of the Lombard artist (from Varese) are representations similar to the depictions of the primitive man who, beginning to wonder about life, finds answers in a magical portrayal of himself. A sacred figure, in other words, but without religion. A sort of divinity that does not correspond to any belief, if not to the inner and hidden one of man. A powerful installation, primitive yet refined, which unites the poverty of wood with the preciousness of gold.


With this artwork the young artist from Puglia wants to represent the true wealth and resource of this land: the logs that flow like a waterfall from the cornucopia are evidence that wood is the most versatile and natural resource that has always accompanied mankind.

PENSIERI VAGANTI (Wandering thoughts)

An artwork that escapes with determination the static nature that the collective imagination inevitably associates with the concept of a woodpile. An artwork that gives back movement to wood, dynamism just like the thoughts that run, transform, and explode in our hectic modern life. In this way, the crudely split logs preserve the beauty of naturalness and, composed in a uncomposed shape, an almost ‘explosive’ shape, symbolize the freedom of thought.

L'INCANTO DI LENA (The enchantment of Lena)

An artwork inspired by romanticism for a romantic country. And what more romantic character than a mermaid, mythological figure full of charm and mystery? A floating mermaid who enchants who sees her. Almost like the village of Mezzano...

LE SFERE DELL'IMMAGINARIO (The spheres of imagination)

A challenge, a voice outside of the choir, a rebellion: the traditional woodpile has square and rigid shapes? Then the author breaks the ranks and adopts an unusual shape for her installation: the sphere. Three spheres that revolutionize the shapes but also the meanings: the void within them wants to leave room for imagination and mystery.

IDENTITÁ (Identity) by Renzo Zugliani

‘In order to go beyond’ is the subtitle. Belonging to your land does not exclude you from accepting and sharing the problems of your time.

L'OCCHIO (The eye)

The eye observes the passage of time and people along the narrow streets of the town centre. Third year of arts high school G.Soraperra di Pozza di Fassa, design course.

LA CATASTA CONTORTA (The twisted woodpile)

It twists on itself, in an orderly contortionthat explodes up high.

Third year of arts high school G.Soraperra di Pozza di Fassa, design course

CATENA (Chain)

The chain is synonymous with closure. Each ring can be enriched by whatever you want but it always remains closed. The last ring, the broken ring, is freedom.

Fourth year of arts high school G.Soraperra di Pozza di Fassa, design course