Fiavé is one of the last villages in Comano Dolomites before you reach Lake Garda, a small humble place, home to simple and welcoming people.
The village has an original name. It is thought to derive from the Italian word for beans, or ‘fave’. These days, where beans were once grown, other crops are cultivated in the fields.
In Fiavé you get an authentic taste of rural life. Farmers take care of the environment. Agriculture and dairy farming are still the chief source of income for many families.
Even though the village’s history is rooted in the marshy peat bog where the remains of the 5,000 year-old pile dwellings still stand proudly, it retains an agricultural heart, shaped by a humble and modest history.
Its simplicity is what makes the village special
The best way to explore its history is by wandering through the streets, which wend their way through the tightly packed ancient rural houses. Explore them on a special trail. 50 stone entrances, emblazoned with coats of arms and inscriptions. Standing as silent historians of these houses. Revealing the origins, class, and stories of the people who lived there. Many feature the two-headed eagle, the Imperial symbol of the Habsburgs, a nod to when this part of Italy was Austrian.
Rural architecture, with its stone walls, wooden frames and traditional ramps, is enriched by the old manor houses in Fiavé. There is Casa Carli, now home to the Museo delle Palafitte, the museum of the ancient pile dwellings. Casa dei Conti d’Arco, the summer home of the Bavarian Counts who travelled up from Arco. Palazzo Levri, home to the three Levri brothers: a priest, a notary and a doctor.
Standing guard over the village, on the road to Lake Garda, you can see plenty of evidence of the villagers’ faith and devotion. The church of Santo Fabiano and Santo Sebastiano was rebuilt in 1885 on top of the of a 16th century church, in a style that combines Gothic and Roman influences. The church of San Rocco, now the cemetery chapel, was dedicated to the patron saint of the plague in 1630 toward off the spread of the disease. The Gothic church of San Zeno, flanked by the ancient bell tower.
They are testament to the faith of Fiavé’s residents, as are the numerous shrines along the roadside and on the front of houses. Sacred displays from a humble and down-to-earth people. Look out for the shrine dedicated to Sant’Apollonia: the 46th parallel passes through it.
Franco Marzatico, fascinated by research
Passions: archaeology and history
Mirta Franzoi, archaeologist
Passions: archaeology and the timeless stories of local people
Davide Fusari, architect
Passions: reading, drawing, writing, walking & dreaming
Marina Rasini, Local Traditions
Passions: agriculture and art.
Stefano Zanoni, UNESCO biosphere reserve officer
Passions: walking, the outdoors, visiting and exploring little-known places hidden away in my valley and elsewhere.