La Via delle Pietre - Atlas Obscura

'La Via delle Pietre'

Albino, Italy

Musings of an artist carved into a rural stonewall. 

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“La Via delle Pietre” (“The Path of Stones”) is located along a country road at the base of Monte Cereto, in the village of Albino. It is around 114 feet (35 meters) long and consists of more than 1,000 carved stones. This is the creation of a local artist named Remo Ponti, who can often be found on-site creating new artwork.

Ponti was a metalworker by training and profession, but his true calling was art. In 2014, he decided to turn a rural stone wall into a work of art, and it took him six years to complete.

The themes of these carved stones are as varied as they can be—animals, faces, everyday objects, geometric patterns, and abstract compositions. As Ponti unravels the symbolism behind each stone, it becomes clear that these stones are the repository of his life experience, emotions, and philosophy. 

A wide face on a stone may represent the executioner who lost his job following the invention of the guillotine, but he rejoices at the occasional chance of wielding his axe again. On another stone is the wing of a butterfly, with a minuscule stylized human figure on the side, representing the artist facing the beauty and complexity of the natural world, and ultimately, the universe. Contemplating the variety of themes on the wall is as gratifying as learning about their hidden meaning. Ponti manufactured all the different chisels and hammers that he used to create his art.

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September 19, 2023

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