The “Lezi” are flat paths that follow the ancient irrigation channels. They were built to take the precious water from the mountain streams to the cultivations close to the villages at the bottom of the valley. The “Lezi” are now pleasant walks along flat land to do at any time of year.The Val di Non is a gentle mountain suitable for everyone and these routes along the flat land are appreciated both by those who live in the valley all year round and those who come on holiday to walk but without overdoing it.
“Lez” is the word for irrigation channel in the local dialect. There are lots of them in Val di Non because of the particular conformation of the valley. The Val di Non is not V-shaped like the usual narrow Alpine valleys. On the contrary, it is a very wide valley, almost a plateau, but which hides deep gorges and canyons. And it is precisely on the rocky walls of these canyons that our great grandparents dug out the channels by hand for conveying part of the water that falls quickly down the mountain towards the bottom of the canyons to the farms.
There are “lez” channels which are over 200 years old and it seems impossible that they were built by hand, with enormous patience and hard work, digging out the rock overlooking the bottom of the canyons for numerous kilometres.
To date, 9 paths along the “lez” channels have been renovated and restored to safe conditions and the valleys of Val di Non conserve many more. They all have in common the fact that they are flat and at low altitude, just above the villages. Some have become famous, like the path in the rock leading from the Sanctuary of San Romedio. Others are less well known among tourists in Val di Non but in the hearts of those who live in the valley all year round and go for relaxing walks to get a bit of exercise and breathe in the fresh air without overdoing it.
Every path along the “lez” channels is therefore an ideal walk in spring and autumn too as they are all at low altitude. But every “lez” also has its own special features and now we’ll introduce them to you one by one.