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For a good many years now, I have become one of those weekend tourists who return as much as possible to the same place. The place for me is Praly, and  over the years I fell in love with it.   It is a little village which is easily accessible from the town in which I live. This  surely then, makes it an ideal staring point for  Sunday trekking expeditions.
However, for me it is much more than that. Knowing a place since childhood means that over the years, I have met many  people some of whom are no longer to be found there. Even in an alpine village time does not stand still, things change and familiar objects disappear from time to time. This gives rise to mixed emotions of enthusiasm and disappointment together with, joy and concern…
All of those emotions can draw a person to become deeply part of a small universe which is a wonder to behold.
My friends and colleagues frequently joke with me about my “Praly fanaticism”.  Well… may be it is!  Of course I do enjoy visiting other places and can admire the beauty of the landscapes that other places have to offer but it is only by returning to a place and forming a relationship that in the end you truly feel part of it.

Over the centuries a large number of books have been written about this area.  This is largely due to two reasons: Praly lies in the protestant Waldenses valleys of Piemont and it is home to a number of mines primarily engaged in  the extraction of talc.
These two features, clearly not related,  have given rise to the production of an abnormal quantity of literature when compared to similar areas elsewhere.
Centuries of religious persecution created a deep interest in the area especially from the protestant  countries. This is still evident from the large availability of books in English, German, French and other languages which is in addition to the local literature.
The large number of mines has attracted a good deal of industrial interests also. Over the XX century the economic relevance of the mining activity has greatly diminished but this has coincided with a new interest for industrial archaeology. As a consequence, a large number  of technical documents are now available up to the XX and this has enabled various industrial archaeology studies to be published towards the latter part .
Over the years I studied both old and new documents, I have listened to people’s testimony who were discussing the history and those affected by it.  On some occasions,  I have participated as a volunteer for initiatives oriented to promote the area to tourists.
This promotes a  special frame of mind within me.  When I walk around, even if I am alone, I am in good company! Each quiet corner has something to whisper, everything around has a reason and  has nothing to do with chance.  I live in a world that is having a conversation with me and I feel most deeply about it.

This site is a collection of my pictures and knowledge that I have assembled over time. As I pursue  subjects of any kind  there is always the  risk of errors, but I hope they can be forgiven for an amateur! However, I will be very happy and  grateful to receive corrections this will help me to make it a more robust history.
My maniac syndrome is not so bad for me to focus on Praly village exclusively. Contents will also include articles about the surrounding area.
The material I include: pictures, texts, video, audio and others are produced by myself unless otherwise specified.

To contact me: [email protected]

Thank you everybody!

Massimo Martelli

Additional details about the documents.
I am the author of everything I publish including texts, pictures, movies, audio or any other document unless otherwise specified. Concerning the material which is not mine, I have the authorisation to use it by the owner and/or I use it according to the law. Any mistake is made by accident and in case somebody notices any, please inform me at my mail in order to take the necessary actions.

Thank you!

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