History

The encounter between the Canopi and the Roncadori marks the history of the Mòcheni Valley

Historians have not pinpointed a precise date for human settlement in the Fersina Valley. However, around 1200, groups of farmers began to colonize this region along the banks of the Fersina stream. Originally from Tyrol and Bavaria, they spoke a Germanic language and were called “roncadori,” derived from the Latin “runcare,” which means to hoe or clear land.

The Roncadori settled mainly on the left side of the valley, founding the villages of Frassilongo/Garait, Fierozzo/Vlarotz, Roveda/Oachleit, Vignola, and Falesina. On the right side, they settled only in the upper part, founding Palù del Fersina/Palai. Before their arrival, the valley and the surrounding mountains were only seasonally exploited by a few families.

Around 1400, farming activities were complemented by mining, attracting miners, called “canòpi,” from Bohemia and Tyrol. The mines of the Fersina Valley, particularly the Erdemolo Mine in Palù del Fersina, became a major source of wealth.

There was no true fusion between the two populations, and tensions often arose, especially over the territory’s resources. For example, the miners indiscriminately deforested to obtain timber, causing landslides. The water was irreparably polluted during mineral processing.

With the decline of mining around 1600, the canòpi returned to their homelands, and the primary activities reverted to agriculture and livestock farming. During the winter, the trade of textiles and goods supported the local economy, with men traveling to regions of Germany.

A distinctive feature of the Fersina Valley was its economic independence, which limited external contacts and helped preserve its customs and traditions.