Friday, 16 October 2009

Friday walk in company

A rare treat for me today. Alla joined me on my Friday morning walk up to the castle and back.
And even though temperautres had dropped to nearly freezing over night we were not put off and pounded up the road, taking advantage of all the shortcuts. Got to the top (44ometres, 4 kns) in no time at all only to find that my favouirte bar hadn't yet opened.

So we took our life in our hands and had coffee at the trattoria. A restaurant which continues to get rave reviews but I can't understand why. Dank, dusty and smelly. But working on the theory that the scalding of the milk in the cappuchino would get rid of all known germs we tried their coffee and it wasn't bad.
Walking down took much longer as twowomen together we had to set the world to rights and covered everything from making bread, through muisc to , I admit, the locals!
There are four curves each way.
The ones looking north west look over the village and, on a fine day, glimpses of the Alps, Switzerland, France Uk and mum!!!.
The ones looking south and east offer splendid views of the castles. Rossena in forground, Canossa to the rear. With the Apennines to the back

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Out with the old/historic and in with the new

This Sunday we decided to patrol the river valley. We set off along what is shown as a Roman road on the map. The road ran alongside the river from Northern Italy to Pistoia south of the Apennines.
And at this point from 2 BC to 3AD there was an important town called Luceria. Old photos show that some of the forum was still standing in the early 20th century. This is the site of the modern digs, complete with sign warning vandals to keep out. I think the warning came too late.
Yet the Romans knew a thing or two about road building, in fact the new ring road picks up the old route and developes it out of all proportion. Ringroads should take traffic around a town but they've only planned the first part of ours, the part bringing it into the area, convieniently finishing in the newly planned agro-industrial area

Being divided by a scarp from the rest of the viallge, not everyone is aware of how this once 'protected area ' is being taken over.

This ditch is actually all that remains of the Canale Ducale built in mid 15th century to take water from the river out into the plain. There are still a few working watermills along its length, including one in our village for grinding animal feed. In another area it crosses the built up area on a medieval viaduct. In the summer it is full of rushing water.
After promises to build a bridal path our council took the easy way out and are systematically replacing it with pipes.
And last but definitively not least, the 'piece de resistance', the local sawmills located right in the center of the village.
And with this I think I've discouraged any wouldbe visitors planning to pop over to sunny Italy.
Next week I' taking to the hills again....

Monday, 5 October 2009

Coata del Sabbione/Tassobbio

If anyone ever vists me in these parts I shall take them to Sunday lunch in this restaurant on the banks of the Tassobbio.

A restored watermill where guests eat in the courtyard. Live background music (man with accordion) and even resident dog

Naturally we had our sandwiches outside on a convienient bench.
Can't say what I'm knitting. It's for someone reading this blog .
Note the new sticks. A bit dodgy to start with, I kept getting tangled up in them and my thumbs are all blistered.

Yet they came in handy by the time we'd walked along the top of the valley (700m), down, along the stream and back up again, passing the ancient church of Pianzo on the way

And what about that view!