Sculpted by Giosuè Meli in the 19th century, the mountain Giant is a mysterious sculpture in the verdant setting of Val Cavallina. The silent custodian of unspoilt nature.
According to popular tradition, the gigantic man emerging from the rock is a Giant holding up the mountain, while others say that the work depicts a deposition of Christ. All the people who see this colossal sculpture have their own version, but there is no definitive answer.
The inspiration of the artist, Giosuè Meli, is unclear: all that we know is that in 1841, along the steps of Via Costa in Luzzana, the artist sculpted this gigantic human figure when he was still a young student at the Accademia Carrara (fine arts academy) to prove to himself that he was capable of sculpting in Michelangelo’s style of anti-classical gigantism, and in Giambologna’s “bella maniera” (“fine technique”, Renaissance style). Meli would later end up in Neoclassical Rome, where he won fame and fortune.
His sculpture can be seen along the river Bragazzo, before it joins river Cherio, along a steep slope that dominates the Valle dell’Acqua valley, where there are some lakes that form lovely waterfalls of crystal-clear water.
A network of walkways and tracks runs along the river, offering many viewpoints from which to admire the unspoilt natural surroundings. The platform opposite the Giant provides a spectacular view both of the sculpture and its setting.
Nearby, Luzzana, with its ancient Medieval centre, is the location for many sculptures by the artist, most of which are preserved within the Castle walls. Perhaps the masterpieces by Meli may provide clues relating to that giant figure in the rock, who has been watching over the entire valley for almost two centuries.
This site is promoted by the cultural association “Il Gigante” (giant) based in Luzzana.