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Lunigiana Roadside Attractions, Part 2

Rogue Carver on the Loose in Italy

Part 23, Lunigiana Roadside Attractions, Part 2

Passo del Cerreto, Lunigiana, Italy

I had my eye on the Passo del Cerreto from the moment I arrived in Lungiana, and having explored the Passo della Cisa, as described in my last post the day arrived to head ‘The Bee 2’, my trusty rented Fiat, in the direction of what would prove to be a quite interesting, entertaining and ultimately quite terrifying experience.

The path I chose to take me up to the pass offered one panoramic view after another as it twisted and turned along a quite tortuous route that ensured that I had the road completely to myself.

Up and up I climbed, until I left the long wide valley of Lunigiana behind me and prepared to tackle the pass that would carry me out of Tuscany and into neighboring Emilia Romagna.

This strange looking tower was the first indication that the rather splendid roadside attraction I’m featuring today was about to present itself, although of course there was nothing to indicate anything of the sort by the sight of such a structure as they dot the landscape in this part of the world… albeit not quite as quixotically shaped as this one.

As it turned out I had stumbled across a rather nice pocket of land that positively demanded further inspection, and so inspect I did.

As this map illustrates I was about to enter a beautiful and positively ambitious conceptual landscape that managed quite cleverly to present a wonderfully diverse selection of plants and animals that brought the traditional landscape alive.

Each section was beautifully and clearly tagged and defined by a series of information boards.

I discovered that it all belonged to the Agrotourism business that owned the tower, but when I attempted to find out more I ran slap bang into the biggest Italian wedding I have ever seen in my life… we’re talking hundreds of guests – and so consequently I know nothing more about the place than these pictures show. But what a lovely experience it was to wander around and explore such a heavenly corner of the world. And, best of all I had the place utterly to myself as the wedding guests were quite naturally busy gorging themselves from the huge tables groaning under the weight of delicious looking food and drink piled upon them.

The whole place had a lovely ramshackled feel to it.

After wandering the lush, healthy and varied herb & vegetable garden I pushed open a gate and entered the farm animal section, and what a treat was in store!

Tell me… just how can we eat these little babies?

…I think that’s a question her mother would like to ask, if she could.

…or these for that matter – though the question could be construed as a little less compelling.

And before you ask… I really have no idea just how that chicken managed to stick its head out of its…. (ass). The other chickens look pretty impressed though – quite the farmyard party trick!

Then came the fun bit…

The mules. The poor things were quite literally swarming with flies – great huge horrible things that ate at their eyes, gouged at their skin and thoroughly tormented them judging by the constant quivering and trembling they were force into performing in a vain attempt to rid themselves of the pesky vermin. Eventually, after much coaxing I managed to lure one of these adorable beasts to come and meet me at the fence.

He was understandably a little hesitant at first…

…but slowly he warmed up to me and got close enough to enable me to pat his head – to the utter amazement of his more timid buddies back in the stable.

Pretty soon we were the best of friends. I swatted the horrible flies from around his eyes and he told me that his name was Fizipaldo.

I don’t think that this was his real name at all.

Sadly, I could only stand there patting and stroking his head for so long before the flies turned their vicious attention to me, and so I was forced to flee. But if I could find room for a donkey in my life I would chose this one and paint a big sign above his plush and fly-free stable door: “Fizipaldo”.

Then, as I began to make my exit I noticed that the retinue of timid mules began to take a keen interest – had they missed their opportunity for a few minutes of fly-free heaven?

Try as I might, I just couldn’t coax them out of their comfort/safety zone.

Poor thing – just too timid for his own good.

Until next time, when we’ll meet this friendly chap… and I’ll recount a tale that scared the bejeebers out of me.



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