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Located to the west of Bormio and between the crest of the Reit and the mountain group of the Foscagno, Valdidentro stretches up to Livigno and to the borders of Switzerland. It is the largest municipality in the Province of Sondrio, with its 24,000 hectares. Completely within the Stelvio National Park, Valdidentro offers a beautiful setting with woodlands, alpine lakes, rivers, and glaciers, plus the most beautiful valleys of Val Lia, Val Viola, and San Giacomo. Valdidentro is composed of several villages, most notable is Isolaccia, the municipal seat.
On the ancient trade routes
Situated in a strategic position between north and south Europe, in the past, before the construction of the Stelvio Pass road in 1825, the Bormio merchants carrying (typically) wine and salt were forced to pass on the royal roads of the Umbrail Pass and Fraele, precisely in Valdidentro. This ancient royal road is still dominated by the two towers of Fraele, originally erected as part a more complex system of fortifications built around 1390, which served to control the entry into the Bormio area.
In addition to trade, thanks to the presence of large pastures, the population was dedicated to other activities, such as the cow and sheep rearing. Also very important was iron smelting, which with the presence of ancient iron mines, was already present in the thirteenth century and lasted until 1875, when the factories in Premadio were abandoned. It is possible to visit the Cornelliani Iron Works, in Premadio and recentrly completed renovated.
The dams of Cancano and S. Giacomo
Valdidentro is also known for the presence of two huge dams, that of Cancano (built between 1953 and 1956) and that of S. Giacomo (whose construction began in 1940 but due to the Second World War, was only completed in 1950), that feeds the hydroelectric power plant at the bottom of the valley in Premadio. An older hydroelectric plant, the Rasin, is no longer in service, but during the summer it is open for guided tours.