Day 6 – Val Taleggio

Today the town grocer gave me a ride from Sottochiesa up to the village above called Pizzino. Sottochiesa (beneath/under church) got its name from being built below the church in Pizzino, then Sottochiesa got a church of its own. The grocer had told me yesterday to drop by at 9am, and he would take me up to Pizzino when he delivers bread. I had no idea he actually delivers food and other goods to the surrounding towns. People wait for his van to arrive and purchase from the rather meager offerings he has available.

The grocer told me to make sure to see the presepio behind the church, so I made my way to the back fields and found this large scene, about five feet wide, sitting behind glass. This presepio is THE must-see tourist attraction of Pizzino.

This beautiful old rustico made by masterful stone masons is for sale.

I headed up toward an area of Pizzino called Corna. It is a large rock outcrop into which homes have been built, along with this presepio. Small chapels and other religious monuments can be found throughout these mountains.

To get to the fort atop Corna, I had to climb up many stairs. Fortunately I found the back way, a road that took me almost to the fort.

The fort was built atop the Corna rock during the days when the Guelphs and the Ghibelines fought for dominance. Families took either the side of the Guelphs, who supported the Pope or the Ghibelines, who supported the Holy Roman Emperor. This fort saw many battles between the two sides. Its summit also has the best view and internet access I’ve found yet.

The church in Pizzino held a sagra today, and I decided to give polenta a try.

It was served with some kind of pork sausage. It could very well be the last polenta I have on this trip. I felt like I had to eat it all because this was once a very poor area in which people worked hard and didn’t waste. I didn’t see anyone else leaving something on their plate, so I acted accordingly.

I’ve been collecting photos of plants for my project, which involves printing leaves onto banners. The woods are full of choices. This plant grows nearly everywhere. It’s called Old Man’s Beard and crowds out other plants with its rapacious spread.

I walked down to Sottochiesa from Pizzino on a path that shouldn’t have taken all that long except it was made from uneven stones that caused stumbling and slipping if not careful. I was glad to have my walking sticks. Back in Sottochiesa, I sat down with the women vacationing from Milan who while away the time chatting all day and into the evening under the trees across from Soggiorno Mazzoleni.

In all, it was a good day, and a chance to experience the trails to surrounding areas. I will aim to stay on the roadways. Or maybe just sit around and chat. It is very relaxing.

1 thought on “Day 6 – Val Taleggio”

  1. My kind of day you had! So many interesting backroads to see and even chatting with Milanese ladies! Fun!

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