Fucina Marinelli «Vulcan’s Smithy»
Customs and traditions
The Marinelli smithy is a rare example of a hydraulic forge in the Alps that is still functioning. The existence of the forge is witnessed by a few written documents dating back to 1880, when it was bought by the Marinelli family, but it was built al least two centuries earlier. The forge, along with other forges and mills, was part of the Pondasio pre-industrial estate, that harnessed the Rabbies water, ingeniously applying the stream’s hydraulic power to the forge, as a replacement of human or animal force. The sound effects and the lights in the forge recall Vulcan’s smithy, as vividly depicted by Virgilio: air whistling, flames roaring in the forge, red-hot iron squeaking as it is tempered in the water, the noise of the metal beaten on the anvil, that all together are a kind of deep, majestic symphony. The Marinelli forge hosts a millennium-old heritage of technical know-how and human experience and can be regarded as one of the depositories of the secrets of Cyclops and of the illustrious Rhaetian blacksmiths.
The location and access to the smithy is through a narrow stone stairway and the inside of the smithy does not make it possible for disabled persons to access the site.
On other days it is possible to visit the forge upon reservation.
Guided tour of the village of Pondasio and the Fucina Marinelli every Thursday at 10.00 am.