Comune patrocinante: Coli
For this appointment Routes Piacentini we went to Coli, small mountain of the Apennines that sits at the foot of Mount St. Augustine. Accessible along the highway No. 45, past the town of Bobbio, is up to the left, entering in a small valley that highlights once rural nature and tranquility.
Within minutes, a stretch that climbs to a height of 638 meters, after passing twists and turns, a long straight leading into the square of this lovely center.
The appointment is in the hamlet Agnelli, a few miles beyond the center of Coli, where I wait for my guide.
It is Sandro Agnelli, councilor to the municipality and deep knowledge of the territory, which, set in motion their own pick up, I propose to leave immediately.
I describes the route that has thought for this first release, and begins to tell me ... immediately understand the relationship he has with his land, with those places, he who is born there, grew up there, he has them fact family, growing and educating, as has been taught to him, care for the environment, love for nature.
We leave the small cluster of houses, turn right and, away from the hamlet of Agnelli, we go in the direction Cornaro, where old houses are going to be recovered and made habitable by the owners themselves, over time fell in the larger centers, but still linked to those places, those walls, much to commit time and money to be able to return, now by vacationers.
The environment around is very impressive, the valley lost in the green of a nature that privileges chestnut.
The tranquility transmitted from these places is that which brings peace to the soul, the air you breathe is the one that makes the lungs fill in a deep breath, then exhale slowly and unconsciously does open his back, close your eyes.
I continue, in the company of the Agnelli, to Fossoli where, he tells me, there was an old mill.
It is a group of houses inhabited only seasonally.
We get out and we are moving towards some ruins.
Are those of the old mill, you can still see the mill spills on the ground, while the wheel is firmly anchored to the wall that still stands.
The music of the wind that moves the leaves and the singing of the inhabitants of the sky, blend with the sound of silence, for a moment broken by the sound of wood being stacked.
I turned and saw an old man, uninterested in our presence, continues to work, to arrange his things.
I follow him with my eyes for a few moments while retreating behind a small door, inside his house I imagine small, cozy and warm, simple, made especially for him, the only inhabitant of Fossoli.
We leave this tiny village and continue to the next step, along a road that runs along the right Curiasca of San Michele.
Over there, he points Agnelli, pointing to the lowest part of the valley, there were two old houses used in times of war as a refuge for injured partisans, later transformed by filing for timber and chestnuts.
There is nothing, neither remains nor traces, and anyway there you can get there only by foot.
We continue along this small road a little easier, a little no, and we reach the village of Pescina.
Here is headquartered own parish and you are working with a major restoration work on the entire rural village, thanks to the interest of the Mountain Community, supported by the Town Council.
The route then leads to Oak, another tiny hamlet of a few houses, to make a stop to the Coastal area, full of mushrooms and a special quality of potatoes.
The path we are on, tells me Agnelli, was opened only after the war, around the end of the 40s, from the workers armed simply pick and shovel.
Only after the military will come with appropriate means and explosives.
Isolo mind for a few seconds and I guess, or try to do it, the incredible work that these men had been called to perform.
Meanwhile we have come to boats, with the church we saw dominate from the ridge, made of local stone dug right around where there is the religious building.
The same stones were used by Perotti for the construction of the monument to the resistance that stands in the square outside the church of Peli, who later will visit.
Boats, reminds Agnelli, was a place where befitted the people of the neighborhood, a center where young and aggregating for dance parties, girls and boys who could get to know here, dating, taverns and inns that stood here.
Who knows how many stories began here in boats, who knows how many of these families today have found origin in this small village. You return to walk the Curiasca here takes its name from the place, the next stop on the itinerary: Red.
And 'this area rich in orchards, due to its location, protected from the wind and weather.
Here, too, something you are recovering, some homes are being renovated, and are the same originating in those places that settle their old house, put his hand to buildings that would otherwise go to pieces, lost, and with them, even the identity of a community, a country.
It is thanks to these people who have not forgotten their history, which has not lost the affection of their origins, that certain places they return to live and, sometimes, to shine, because they are increasingly rare corners of paradise, where the 'man finds its most natural habitat, where nature is peace, where one can enjoy, cheer the mind ...
Here roam wild boars, and have returned to live deer and fallow deer.
Noto small plots for the cultivation of potatoes and it is clear the particular formation of this earth, very friable, very similar to peat. We overcome Cimarini and head fraction in Coastal, where we stop restorative at the Inn of the Century (tel. 0523.934179), immersed in an environment that allows the slogan printed on the business card (handmade!): "A bath in nature ... ".
Here you can taste typical dishes and you can stay in beautiful accommodations, always says the note. I do not imbalance about the quality of the food service and hospitality, but it certainly is a heavenly place, where you can make excursions sull'Aserei and Coastal, go for mushrooms and chestnuts. With his friend Agnelli we take the road back to visit the parish church of Peli, dedicated to St. Medard, once an old manor.
The square in front is dominated by the statue dedicated to the partisan leader Emilio Canzi.
From here it looks over the valley of Curiasca of San Michele, the castle and the tower in Faraneto Magrini, which are now only a few remains.
We decide to conclude this first visit to the territory of Coli, giving us a toast and the occasion is tempting, in every sense, to visit spouses Opizzi, in locations Averaldi.