Dossena boasts a respectable mining past that is said to date back to Etruscan times. During the Roman period, Dossena was an important mining centre of the empire. Within the ancient mines, slaves of Rome were condemned Ad Metalla. It is perhaps for this reason that the first church in the Brembana valley was built in this small mountain village.
Generations of inhabitants have worked in the mines of the village, creating an incredible system of tunnels, with only the strength of their arms and pickaxes. Their toil has become our wonder today. But it remains a rare example of dedication and sacrifice. Today Dossena has 930 inhabitants, and is the 190th municipality in the Bergamo area in terms of population, but in the 1920s (at the height of mining activity) there were around 1,200, and almost all of them worked in the mines. The mines continued their activity for centuries, until the final closure in the second half of the last century.