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Our Mountain home – Bobbio Pellice

“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home”

~  Matsuo Basho

Our journey has taken an unexpected temporary detour, from the Italian Riviera to the wild mountains of Piedmont and the village of Bobbio Pellice, yet I am happy. We seem to be finding our rhythm, a closeness that was somehow missing before ~ time to tickle and read out loud, time to relearn each other. Precious time, quality time with many tiny moments of pure happiness. Soon I feel these tiny moments will start to merge and become our lives here in Italia.

bobbio pellice cellar

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Bobbio Pellice - house 2

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The main bedroom is reached by climbing the tiniest staircase ever seen. Steep and worn with one rickety step to avoid, a child’s staircase, not built for me but one I will learn to love. The bed is high, the ancient springs give a solid feel to this crooked house. At last I have my balcony through a doorway and out onto a view of the entire village of Bobbio Pellice. I picture clean crisp bedlinen, lazy afternoons and the breeze gently blowing in from the valley.

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Signature-00134 editand the gang x

interior images via ~ estate agent

30 days of indie – day 5 – kindness

Throughout the month of November, BootsnAll is inviting bloggers from around the world to join them in a daily blogging project – the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project

Day Four:  Kindness

Arriving in a new country  can be a shock, although we planned and my husband spoke fluent Italian things were still difficult to start with. When we bought our house in Piemonte we had no idea that it came with an instant set of Grandparents for our children. They adopted us with a passion, and gently guided us through the intricacies of life in Italy.

Even though my Italian was limited I always felt the love. This kindness meant that our children got plenty of bear hugs, presents on special occasions, and constant kisses and love from Piera and Claudio. I honestly don’t know what we would have done without them to watch over us.

So this post is dedicated to kindness of the Italian people who always made us feel welcome….

Who was it that made a difference in your life and how? I’d love you to share….

Life’s Postcards

My favorites from 30 days of Indie today

  • Run for the Hills
  • 500 Places with Kids
  • An Italophile

Throughout the month of November, BootsnAll is inviting bloggers from around the world to join them in a daily blogging project – the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project –  designed to reflect on how our travel experiences over the last year – or whenever – have shaped us and our view of the world. Bloggers can follow the prompts as strictly or loosely as they like, interpreting them in various ways and responding via text, photos or video posted on their own blogs.

The lost village – Abandoned in the Mountains

I thought tonight I would share with you all a little video from our time at Borga Nari, now you just need to bear in mind the following things

  • Big number one – this is not a professional video
  • I created this to send home to my family
  • if you wish you can forward to around 1:18 (you’ll miss our gorgeous daughter if you do)
  • I’d love it if you’d let me know your thoughts, more video, less video would you like to see inside our world?
  • continue on at your peril…..

So this clip was taken on an Autumn walk with my daughter Carina, we wandered down the trail behind the house to the stream passing the most incredible abandoned Borga which was almost totally hidden in the undergrowth.

Goats and Cornflakes – Living off the land in Italy

So while waiting for our house to sell, I thought I’d share some of our experiences of life at Borga Nari….

Salvatore has decided it would be a good idea to get a goat from our friend Peppe who tells us that the price is very reasonable and we’ll get two litres of milk a day ( he didn’t say who was going to milk the thing!).

When last we visited Peppe we were given a big glass of the stuff still warm from the teat. He says drink up and watched with anticipation till we drank it to the last drop. YUM!!!!!!! Maybe it will taste better cold from the fridge?

He also gave us a cheese made from the milk the day before, so Carina and I are now thinking up names for the goat’s arrival.

My dear husband has also been motivated by the possibility of having to stay another year to put in an Aussie “Orto” to compete with next doors and supply us with huge quantities of pomordoro, melanzata, fagoili, and cucumbers. After digging all day yesterday he has given up today as he can hardly move.

So with all the milk and veggies and meat (try to explain that to Carina) we’ll be right mate!!!

What animal makes Corn Flakes?

Oopps also better get a few chickens and maybe a couple of rabbits as well then we’ll be real Gambascanesi! If I have to wear an apron I’m off.

ciao Lisa

 

life’s postcards

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Italy’s forgotten Fresco

We were delighted when we explored our new home to find a number of frescoes. The most vivid fresco we found on the wall above a tiny balcony was funnily enough disfigured by the electricity company running pipes through the edge of it. There was no way to reach the balcony other than through the building which was locked up. This fresco is dated 1866…

As we got to know the locals and visited other homes in the area we soon found that the frescoes were common place and went almost unnoticed. These were painted by one of the countless  artists who would paint a fresco, usually of religious subjects on the pillars and façades of the houses in exchange for a few coins, sometimes nothing more than hospitality.

A favorite fresco is the painting of  Saint Rocco found  at the tiny church Cappella di San Rocco in Gambasca. The church is  a traditional octagonal shape which has ancient origins. Historians say the church was most likely built following the Great Plague of 1630 which affected Piemonte.


Photo: Isabella Signorille

The Story of Saint Rocco


Born around 1340 A.D in France, Rocco was orphaned at an early age. He was placed in the care of his uncle, the Duke of Montpellier.  From a young age he showed great devotion to God and it was noted that he had a red cross shaped birthmark on the left side of his chest. He gave up his worldly possessions and dressed as a pilgrim and headed to Rome.

During his travels he contracted the plague which is evident from the open sore on his leg. Saint Rocco cured many of this disease through prayer and making the sign of the cross. He was banished from the city and lived in a cave where he was befriended by a dog. The dog would bring him food and one day the lord of the castle followed the dog. He bought Rocco back to his castle where he was cured.

Rocco traveled through the North of Italy for a number of years before returning to his birthplace in France. He was so weak and ill that the people of the town didn’t recognize him and he was put in jail. After five years in jail he was found near death, the cell lit with a blue light coming from his body. When hearing this the Governor  demanded to know his identity, Rocco replied I am your nephew. The only thing that could prove this to be true was the birthmark. The Governor and town people then believed and Rocco was given immortal glory in heaven.

Saint Rocco is known as the protector against the plague and all contagious diseases. The image of Saint Rocco is thought unique as it is most unusual for any Saint to show evidence of handicap or disease.

His body is enclosed in a glass tomb in the church of San Rocco in Venice, Italy.

life’s postcards

Rustic farmhouses – A Blair Witch moment…

There are community farmhouses (rustico borgata) all through the mountains around Gambasca. Ours is called Borga Nari, and we’ve found five others within easy walking distance of our house. We’ve been told by our friend Piera that when Autumn comes they pop up like mushrooms and then we’ll be able to see them all through the valley.

This Borgata was found on a winding walk down into the valley, along the banks of the stream on the thickest blanket of Autum leaves which constantly rustled with unknown creatures. Completely hidden and abandoned many years ago, almost covered over with bracken. People lived here, were born and died here, raised families and I am totally in awe. I long to know their stories, where did they go, who holds the history?

Most have hidden relics a wooden wheelbarrow (including the wheel), a full sized wooden sled that could easily carry Santa, and huge raffia covered wine/oil bottles. We found a tiny cobbled shoe at our house. It’s so hard to imagine people actually living here, some of the doors are only 4 feet high. I could swear I hear the sound of children playing and calling to each other. Each time I visit I have a “Blair Witch” moment of panic, just my mind playing tricks. I am in love with these abandoned remains.

If you also have a love for stories and history I would be fascinated to hear from you.

ciao for now

Lisa

Life’s Postcards