Pontremoli Fires (Part II) and Tresana

We’ve had quite a busy week, and unfortunately I’ve had to trudge through it all with ANOTHER darn cold! That’s one of the problems when you move to the other side of the world: all new viruses for your immune system to meet.  Two colds in two months is rare for me, and I hope that’s the last of it for quite some time.  But enough about me….

On Monday night we went to Pontremoli for Part II of the rival bonfires. It was San Geminiano’s turn, and we felt some allegiance as our good friends Alice (Italian Melanie) and Lucia (school principal) belong to that side.  We got there nice and early and walked all over trying to find the best possible vantage point for Chris’s camera.  Of all of the spots available (and they were all available suprisingly until the last minute), Chris wanted to be up on a terrace away from the heat.  He did get some great shots, some of which I’ll share with you here. As always, the best ones will appear only in his book.

The "before" shot, all prepared for the inferno

Moving in for the torching

...and up she goes!! (run boys!)

In a blaze of glory

Weird fire shapes! (bet those people on the bridge were toasty warm)

Wide shot to show the crowd (and Pontremoli in the background)

After the fire, we were very kindly invited to Lucia’s house for dinner.  We were joined by Lucia’s mother, her sister and Alice.  Alice’s iPhone was running hot and we were told that the reason was the general consensus amongst her friends that San Geminiano may have lost the competition this year. It seems to be a very mysterious adjudicating procedure, something to do with the way the pyre burns and how high it gets, but in any case the verdict would be in the next day.   We had a lovely dinner of lasagne, chicken, a cheese pie, roasted potatoes and baked apples for desert.  Conversation was a mixture of Italian and English and we all learned some new words.

During the week, Chris and I had a little outing to Tresana.  Can you guess why we went there? That’s right…a castle!  On the way, we stopped off at Lusuolo to see their castle (impressive, but closed) and we walked around their little walled village which was basically a single street.  The weather was so stunning that day! The drive through the mountains was perfect: sunshine, breathtaking scenery, Beatles on the mp3 player…. life is wonderful 🙂  Descending into Tresana, the castle really dominated the valley. It just rises up from the earth and makes everything else around it look out of place.  At present they are doing maintenance work on the outside, so it’s closed to the public, but we walked around for photos.  We met a nice old man too, who told us a little about his life (he’s an ex Navy officer).  We also experienced the narrowest “street” we’ve ever driven through where we had to bend our side mirrors in to avoid scraping.  Still, these days we are not phased by such things!

Lusuolo and it's fortress (well, what remains of it)

I do love defensible housing! (just out of frame were several cats lazing about in the sun, a few of the many cats populating Lusuolo)

Chris on the main street of Lusuolo

One of the many abandoned houses in Lusuolo

The castle at Tresana, striking in it's landscape

Hey, there's a tree growing out of that tower! A leafy neighbourhood?

Put your hands on the wheel! That's a rental!!

Random road-side cottage

One of those cool little "tunnel streets" in Fornoli (on the way home)

Chris and I both found this Mary statue peering through a church window to be VERY creepy!

I’ll leave you with a photograph of our special guest visitor tonight: “Scorpy” the Scorpion, as the kids called him. He decided to say “G’day” on the wall above the front door. Those of you who know Chris and his joy of “playing with the wildlife” will not be suprised when I tell you that he caught it in a bowl first in order to take photos and study it closely.  It ended up in the fireplace, but not before we identified it with the help of Google and ascertained it’s potential for killing us. Apparently it’s not lethal.  Come on Italy, how about some wildlife with BALLS? We miss living in a country where snakes, spiders, sharks and crocodiles are all just itching to violently cut your life short when you least expect it……

Our visitor. Not lethal, but I still wouldn't want to piss him off!

Ciao xx


About missrini

Global citizen. Travel blogger. Eccentric dreamer.
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One Response to Pontremoli Fires (Part II) and Tresana

  1. Sarah says:

    Absolutely fab photos!

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