Industrial archaeology and nature walks
Walk or ride on the paths through the Valley of Paper Mills in Toscolano Maderno. Papermaking is a tradition here with roots in the Middle Ages thanks to the presence of the Toscolano stream.
The Valle delle Cartiere Foundation is also located here, which tells the history of this place through a museum tour in the spaces of the former Maina Inferiore Mill, from its origins to the 20th century. The last paper mill operating in this valley closed its doors in 1962.
The 16th-century rooms of the paper mill illustrate papermaking techniques through the centuries, originally using linen, cotton and hemp. There’s also a section dedicated to the first volumes printed in Toscolano in the 16th century.
Its heyday came between the 15th and 16th centuries when Valle delle Cartiere became the main paper production centre of the Venetian Republic. Today it is an industrial archaeology site surrounded by nature that has reclaimed the space and offers beautiful walks, such as that on the Covoli gorge footbridge. Along the way, you can enjoy several detours to visit the ruins of the paper mills or descend to the creek bed.