The name Cerete comes from cerro, a kind of pine wood vegetation similar to durmast and once found in abundance in the area. The village is in the middle of the Val Borlezza, which in turn is centred between the Seriana, Scalve, Camonica and Cavallina valleys. It borders the municipalities of Bossico, Sovere, Gandino, Rovetta and Songavazzo and its territory covers 1,394 ha, 3% of which is on the flat and 97% on the mountain slopes. The altitude ranges from 407 metres (where it meets Valle dei Matti-Borlezza), to 1,419 metres (Lusù Peak). Two streams cross the area, one of which is the Borlezza, its source being at Col Vareno which is part of the the municipalities of Castione della Presolana and Angolo Terme respectively, and flows into Lake d’Iseo. Then there is the Cula tributary which divides into two arms (Glerola and Trinale) from the Vago di Pernusino and they join together again on the plain to continue on its way into the Borlezza, together with drainage from the Fossato. Cerete’s current population is about 1,360, but in the summer that is much increased by the growing number of people who choose to rest in the tranquillity of our mountains and its fresh, clean air. The most precious aspect of Cerete is its living and lush nature. Visitors can enjoy undisturbed walks in the easy yet solitary paths and lanes of the countryside, perhaps towards the Cula or Borlezza; or take to the hills of Alguarino, Pernusino, Falecchio, Cerreto, Cadrini. Or they could penetrate in the shady area of the Selva, Barcolo, Prestaello, Crapa, Pala; find their way to the fields of the Luisa, Fossato or Lentino. Given the sparse location of its ancient area, Cerete is six or seven kilometres from Clusone and 9-12 from Lovere.
But for those who visit Cerete the village has another pleasant surprise: its identity marked by the ancient passage of industrious, nobles and influential people. For instance, one could discover traces of tracts of steep cobbled roads still partially limited by paving stones near the mills that have survived, still obstinately in working order despite the rigours of past centuries.
In 1905, Baradello wrote, “Perhaps no Bergamascan village has as many murals as Cerete Alto. On the walls of the houses, at the roadside it is a real display of ancient paintings”. And it was exactly like that both inside and outside the houses until a few decades ago. Especially in the two parish churches, the Sanctuary della Nativita di Maria in Novezio and the sepulchral chapel of the noble Marinoni family in Cerete Alto – the art is real, representing some of the most significant names of all times and where roots were put down copiously and deeply.