History of the group
The ‘casa Arcobaleno’ (Rainbow house) was established in 1991 as a Naturefriend House of the Saviore dell’Adamello local group. Thanks to the Saviore friends we started our adventure getting in touch with the other Italian local groups and some similar foreign groups.
In 1993 the Lozio G.I.A.N. local group was officially established and its first president was naturefriend Ugo Ballarini, who has recently tragically passed away. For the first ten years casa Arcobaleno had its headquarters in the village of Laveno, in a building owned by the municipality that was refurbished and brought back to life by our volunteers. In 2002 casa Arcobaleno was moved in the village of Villa, the most populous in the Lozio municipality, in a building that used to be a guesthouse and a restaurant. Once again, the members committed to make the new house welcoming and cosy – this is where our headquarters are currently located. Casa Arcobaleno focuses primarily on nature protection: we commit to reaching our goals by promoting sustainable, soft tourism that treasures natural resources and simplicity as well as physical activity through walking, mountain bike and horse excursions while keeping local traditions alive, above all local cuisine.
Activities carried out
Here are some of the activities promoted by the G.I.A.N. Lozio group:
- Excursions/trekking in the villages or on the mountains: in Lozio one can find all kinds of trails: on foot, by bike, on skis, short, medium or difficult, suitable for families with small children and for all trekkers. Trail signs are constantly being improved and it is now possible to follow several trails fully signposted or use the detailed map we can provide you with.
- Theme days, such as ‘Small, big Italy’ and ‘International volunteering camps’ together with Legambiente and ‘About the good and the beautiful’ in collaboration with the Municipality and the Mountain Community.
- Every year we arrange multiple-day visits to other Naturefriends houses in Italy and abroad, in order to get to know different environments, learn new thing, get inspiration and spend a nice time together.
- Cultural exchanges between peoples in music: we hosted for several years the Dutch orchestra ‘Adamello Ensemble’ who played in several towns of the Camonica Valley and elsewhere. Recently we had here the ‘Alleluya Band’ coming from some missions in Malawi, Africa – they have also toured several towns in the Brescia and Bergamo provinces.
- Initiatives to maintain and revitalize some popular traditions, such as the meetings named ‘Let’s spin and dye wool’, ‘Let’s pick and cook wild herbs’, ‘Let’s learn how to work with felt’.
- On the second Sunday of October every year we traditionally organize the ‘Bicicastagno’, i.e. a bike ride all together to the adjacent town of Ossimo and back, lunch at Casa Arcobaleno and, in the afternoon, a tasting of the traditional roasted chestnuts called ‘mondole’.
- Guided tour of the ethnographic museum ‘Gente di Lozio’ (‘People of Lozio’) in collaboration with the Pro Loco Valle di Lozio association.
- Excursions: Excursions are the typical activity of visitors of the Lozio valley, therefore we are used to organize some highly appreciated treks. Some past treks were ‘theme’ treks (walking on the spots mentioned in Luf songs, picking up herbs, etc.) other aimed at enjoying Lozio’s nature in all its purity and simplicity.
- Photography: Ten years ago we organized a photo contest called ‘A postcard for Lozio’ which was very successful. This became an exhibition now to be seen at the ‘Gente di Lozio’ museum for all summer. The winning picture is still proudly in Casa Arcobaleno.
- Activities with herbs: Since quite a few years now we’ve been organizing a two-day activity in spring, dedicated to picking, processing, cooking and tasting wild herbs typical of the Lozio valley. Participants are growing in number every year and at every stage so that now this activity has become a must.
- Activities with schools: For some years we joined the Legambiente campaign ‘The municipality adopts a school’ and we welcomed to Casa Arcobaleno many classes from towns in the Camonica Valley and even in the Milano province. Beside illustrating the classes our local attractions we organized group activities such as the preparation of ‘casoncelli’, a kind of ravioli typical of Lozio, under the supervision of some experienced grandma’s.
- Social activities: Casa Arcobaleno is very sensitive to contemporary social issues. For example, a very strong solidarity relationship was established with some missions in Malawi after welcoming the Alleluya Band. On more than one occasion we raised funds for association dealing with delicate issues, such as the social cooperative Arcobaleno in Breno and Telefono Azzurro (a non-profit association for child protection).
- The Italian Young Naturefriends (GIANGIO’): On some occasion we sent young members of our group to international meetings of the Young Naturefriends. Unfortunately there are fewer and fewer young members in our group therefore we don’t have any belonging to Giangiò, too.
How to contact us:
Secretariat address: Via Adua 5 – Villa – 25040 Lozio – Brescia, Italy
Casa Arcobaleno address: Via Adua 5 – Villa – 25040 Lozio – Brescia, Italy
Contacts: Claudio 348/4518591 – Delia 338/2202454 – Nives (for English speakers) 328/2748657