The Village of Avano is considered the primitive centre, the heart of Pezzaze, and the only nucleus of primitive dwellings existing at the time of Roman rule. However, it was part of the pagus boennensis, i.e. the Roman pagus of Bovegno and the substitute Christian parish church.
The history of this place is linked to Don Giovanni Battista Viotti. Viotti was born in Stravignino on 14 November 1849. Ordained a priest in 1872, he began his ministry in Avano, remaining there for a decade until early 1882, when he was first appointed spiritual bursar in Lavone and then parish priest of the same hamlet.
As soon as he settled in Avano, encouraged by the parish priest of Pezzaze Don Stefano Bruni and by Monsignor Capretti, he founded a private preparatory high school; the school then gave the diocese the most significant number of priestly vocations.
Students from all the parishes in the vicariate, and also from other parishes, came to what was called in the upper valley the Little University of Avano. They spent the day under the watchful eye of the Teacher, who demanded the utmost discipline. The boys who lived further away also received room and board and returned to their homes on Sunday.
The more adventurous can walk along the Sentiero dei Carbonai (Charcoal Burners’ Path) in Pezzaze to get as close as possible to the waterfall!