The support of a community
A roof stands on beams, but even a community needs support points that give it the strength to rise. The similarity comes easy when we speak of the Scamoi Foundation, because in the valley Leventina Scamoi is the name given to the beams. We are in the village of Osco, in the territory of the municipality of Faido and a group of friends has chosen to become the promoter of a recovery of an old building to turn it into a place of aggregation. There are those who still live in Osco and those who return as soon as they can because they had their parents from the village and linked it to the smell of hay. While running in the surrounding meadows, the indelible memory of childhood summers occurs, while the winters remind him of hockey games near the village square.
In the project of the Scamoi Foundation, you can breathe the passion for familiar places, the affection of memories, but also the desire to look to the future, to keep alive a community that today has just over a hundred inhabitants, but has an extensive network of relationships, of people still tied to the village. These are people who want the “scamoi” of the community to continue to be strong and resistant. The president of the Scamoi Foundation, Ivan Galli, tells us about the project that is taking shape in Osco.
Mr Galli, are you also connected to Osco?
Yes, a lot. I spent part of my childhood there because my mother was originally from the country. In 2017, together with other people who shared their origins in Osco or who still live there, we decided to create set up the Scamoi Foundation. In our statute we aim to keep alive or revitalize the agglomerations, the territory, the monuments, the traditions, the traditional gastronomy, respecting the environment and the landscape, but also the history and local uses of the old town of Osco.
Who are the other members?
There are Silvano Bertolini, vice president, Fabrizio Bernasconi, Fabiola Marzullo, Fabrizio Pedrinis and Valerio Marti in the role of secretary.
What was your first target?
We chose to buy some cottages in the historical centre of the village, near the square. We have seen the possibility of recovering them, restructuring them and transforming them into a point of aggregation to offer to the population, in particular to young people.
What will it become?
On the first floor we will create a room with a capacity of about 25 seats, equipped with a video projector, acoustic systems, TV and computer network. It will be the headquarters of the Foundation, where we will keep the historical documentation, but it will also be a space open to use by the local population. The ground floor will have a fully equipped professional kitchen and a wine bar. We would like it to become a meeting place, where we can organise events, exhibitions, business meetings and all those activities that can make Osco a lively place that attracts interest. We also want to support local activities. On the side of the restored, rustic building, we plan to install a prefabricated wooden structure, a veranda that will replace the current shed and that will see the presence of a hall, services and also a space in which you can sell the products to km0 of the territory.
An opportunity to promote tourism?
Also, Osco is located along the route of the Strada Alta della Valle Leventina from Airolo to Biasca and many hikers pass through it.
Has work already started?
Yes, during 2019 we formed an internal reinforced concrete slab and stabilised the perimeter walls. The roof of the old barn has been redone, leaving the original structure in view with the old “scamoi”, then a ceiling with fir wood, 20 centimetres of insulation and a roof of cement tiles, as redoing it with poplar would have been too costly. At present, almost all the installation of the systems and the floor coverings, doors and windows, etc. have been done.
When do you expect it to be inaugurated?
Our aim is to finish the work in autumn 2022. In order to reduce costs, many of the jobs are being carried out by the members themselves, so the timeframe also depends on the availability of individuals. In addition, we are continuing with fundraising in order to be able to carry out the project in a complete way, both by equipping the kitchen and by building the prefabricated structure.
We are confident that our non-profit mission and the ties we still have with many people from Osco will be able to raise the necessary sum.
The village of Osco
In 2011, the Municipality of Osco joined other centres of the Leventina Valley merging with the Municipality of Faido. However, the strong sense of identity of the inhabitants of the country has not diminished. Once called Hosco, situated on a sunny terrace facing south-east, the village is of ancient origins: the first evidences go back to the Middle Ages, The presence of the church of San Maurizio has been documented since the 12th century and its history is intertwined with that of the “somieri”, the transporters who worked along the Via delle Genti.
The dialect spoken in Osco is Taron and among the traditional gastronomic specialties the cake from Vòsctch (a bread cake) and spampezia.
More information about osco.ch