Torre de’ Busi

Torre de ’Busi, Its Roman origin has not yet been witnessed, although it is assumed that in the vicinity of the inhabited area the Roman military road that connected Bergamo with Como had to pass. Certain evidence of the existence of the village in the Lombard period is given by the frescoes on the walls of the church of S. Michele.

Territorially it is the largest municipality in San Martino Valley. The inhabited settlement divided into several scattered locations occupies a small part of it, the rest is made up of wooded and mountainous areas that have remained unchanged because, above all the latter, they are hardly usable for housing purposes.
In the XIV century it was famous for its milling activity, facilitated by the two streams Sonna and Bratta and the area saw an active textile production flourish, above all concerning silk.
The complex of San Michele, which stands isolated on a wooded promontory overlooking the rock, which is still accessible only on foot by two mule tracks, is worth seeing for its historical and artistic importance. The entire complex, today predominantly religious, originates from a defensive structure that exploited its natural strategic position. It includes the oratory of Santo Stefano, probably the chapel of the medieval lower noble fortress, with good-quality frescoes dating back to the XV-XVI centuries; the church of San Michele built in the fifteenth century, then enlarged and modified to reach a late Baroque appearance; the parsonage.
Another important building from the historical-artistic point of view is the small church of San Defendente, which is located inside the historic center of Favirano. The late Gothic layout of this small church dates back to the fifteenth century: externally it has a structure in exposed stone with a Renaissance rosette in terracotta, inside there is, in the apsidal area, a fresco cycle dated 1510 and in the nave other devotional frescoes of similar period.
On the hills behind San Michele are the localities of Casarola and Ca ’Martinone, which stand out for their beautifully constructed rural buildings, integrated with the natural environment of man-made terracing once entirely cultivated with vineyards. At the entrance to Casarola is the Fracassetti castle, the oldest part of which can be attributed to the ‘400, later adapted at the end of the 600s, today it appears as a fortified villa with a tower. The castle is considered by many to be the home of the unnamed man, the famous Manzoni character.
Interesting are also the other historical centers scattered in the municipal territory, in particular Ca ’Zanelli, a village dating back to the 11th century.
Mountain municipality, of ancient origin but of medieval layout, whose economy is fairly developed in all sectors. The municipality is going through a phase of building expansion. The territory is characterized by an irregular geometric profile with obvious altimetric variations ranging from a minimum altitude of 286 meters to a maximum of 1,418 meters.
From the scenic and panoramic point of view, Valcava, the highest inhabited area of ​​the whole valley, stands out over the entire San Martino Valley, from which on one side there is a wide view to the Po Valley, on the other to the Imagna Valley. Valcava is also interesting because it preserves an old historic core and the remains of a cable car, which was the first built in Lombardy and the second in Italy.
The town, although not considered a real tourist destination, is part of the tourist circuits due to the fact that it has a winter and summer tourist resort in the Valcava area; a great place for a quick escape from the daily routine, serenity, solitude and peace. Especially in autumn, where the climate, the low clouds and the rain enhance its qualities.
Today it is a destination for cyclists who climb from the nearby Calolziocorte on steep slopes to reach Valcava and Pertus and then descend from Boccio to Carenno and finally complete the ring until Calolziocorte.
Between April-May Valcava turns white, the flowering of daffodils that with their scent assails your nostrils and mingles with the scent of hay and taleggio from the huts.
The Chapels Of Via Crucis deserve a mention, as they fit into that strange and superb landscape which is the place on which the complex of S. Michele is built, placed there as a guard and defense of the valley.
The church of S. Michele and the Oratory of S. Stefano have fragmentary information, which traces their origins back to the Longobard period, a period in which the cult was linked to a strong mysticism that expressed itself in the choice of particularly “strategic places” ”And suggestive both from the military and religious point of view. On the contrary, the Chapels of Via Crucis are mentioned in some documents kept in the Parish archive.
Their date of birth can be established as far back as 1759 when it was considered necessary for the spiritual good of the Parish to have the possibility of being able to exercise the pious practice of the Via Crucis. At the beginning of the 1900s, it was thought more useful to represent the Passion of the Lord with paintings hanging inside the Church of St. Michael and the old Chapels were gradually abandoned.
At this point the memory of the “old” makes up for the lack of other documents and the memory of those penitential celebrations that took place on Good Friday is carried by carrying on his shoulder that large statue of the crucified Jesus that is now found under the altar of the small church of Casarola.
Someone, however, decided to try to remedy this state of abandonment in which it was a significant piece of the country’s history. First some women mobilized to save the Chapel of the fourteenth station. Then the availability and constancy of a group of volunteers and the local Alpini group made it possible to obtain the total recovery of the Cappellette.

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