One of the most characteristic aspects of Forra del Cellina Nature
Reserve and, more in general, of the stretch of valley between Barcis
and Montereale Valcellina is without a doubt "the old road".
Its charming plan crosses the whole Reserve and gives the opportunity to observe the spectacular results of the erosion carried out by the stream, which has slowly shaped the landscape by digging the narrow ravine between Mt. Fara and Pala d'Altei.
The history of "the old road of Valcellina" and the development of the nearby mountain areas are strictly linked to the big infrastructures created to exploit the water of the stream Cellina: these facilities have had a direct or indirect impact also on the social and economic life of all the Municipalities of the valley.
Further information (Italian text)
Andreis (Italian text)
At the exit of the gallery, there is one of the "living museums" of the mountain civilization. A town laying on a green terrace, protected by the "cuirassiers" Raut, Resettum, Fara. Stone walls, dark wood platforms, and outdoor ladders are the unmistakable features of the characteristic house of Andreis.
Barcis (Italian text)
The town gathers along a consistent terrace urban weave facing the lake. Along the shores there is a trail, at the shadow of the fir trees, ideal for picnics.
Montereale Valcellina (Italian text)
It is the gateway to Valcellina: here the plain of Pordenone area ends and Forra del Cellina Nature Reserve begins.
These plants have been built in different moments since the beginning
of the 20th century with the building of the "old dam", the inlet rill,
and the power plant of Malnisio.
The dam had to divert a part of the waters of the stream Cellina towards an inlet rill (of about 7 km) built along the ravine to supply the power plants of Malnisio (1905). Downstream, the waters were then diverted to the power plants of Giais (1908) and then to Partidor (1919) to be returned to the stream Cellina near the town of San Leonardo.
The above-mentioned plants have been the first "industrial" plants in Italy and they were in use until 1988. The hydroelectric energy produced in the power plants of Malnisio was transferred, through high-voltage lines, to the towns of Venice, Treviso, and Udine.
Within the development plan of already existing plants, in the early 1950s SADE (Società Adriatica di Elettricità) built the dam of Ponte Antoi, so that the artificial lake of Barcis could supply the power plants built near the "old dam" (1954). From the reservoir of Barcis the waters are still conveyed through a pressure gallery with a diameter of 3.9 m and a length of about 2 km, dug in the rock of the mountain separating the course of the stream Cellina from Sella del Dint. The channel crosses Molassa ravine with a concrete bridge-pipe to reach the piezometric well from which the two pressure pipes supplying the Kaplan turbine groups-vertical alternating current generator leave.