Animal Farm

Longoio has rather more animals than humans living within its boundaries. Is it a case of four legs good, two legs bad? As for the two legs, quite apart from humans, there are geese, ducks and hens to be considered. The geese have been nicely described and photographed in Debra Kolkka’s post at .

After our shopping spree in Fornaci and Gallicano we returned to our village of Longoio and decided to go for a little walk-around. The pigs are kept a short distance away from the village as they are not exactly perfumed. It’s sad that these highly intelligent animals should finish up as salamis, sausages and bacon. Orwell’s “Animal Farm” must be forbidden literature for them…

In the village there is an abattoir and a special executioner is brought in when the slaughters take place. I have only managed to see the after-effects in terms of legs of ham – I don’t think I could take the main event at all!

In Mahler’s sixth and seventh symphonies there is a part for cow-bells. For the great Austrian composer this sound evoked feelings of peace and nostalgia besides being a symbol of total loneliness. I don’t have to listen to his music to recapture that feeling here. The tinkling of Longoio’s sheep is haunting and it is one of the sounds I feel I would most miss away from this pastoral idyll.

Longoio village is unpretentious and largely un-prettified: no Cotswold cream-tea cottages here. At the same time it is full of picturesque corners and I love the several arches that fly over the little cobbled alleys.

The Madonnas act like the ancient Roman Lares, protecting the village environment and they are all well-maintained.

Unfortunately, since last year, the comune has shut off the water to the public fountains which were once the only sources in the village.  This is a great pity and quite unnecessary, especially regards the tremendous amount of rainfall we’ve had this year. The fountain in front of our house was especially useful to us and we do miss it.

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As we were turning the corner to return to our place a worrying sight greeted us.

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A section of the remaining portion of the walls once part of Longoio’s largest house and since fallen down and demolished several years ago had collapsed. A combination of heavy annual rainfall, seismic shocks in the first half of this year and complete neglect had caused the heavy stones to tumble down onto our path. Goodness knows what would have happened to us if we had been walking there at the time it happened!

I set up a facebook page on Longoio at

And a web-page at

You may like to look at them if you want to know more about Longoio and its twin.-star Mobbiano.

I can’t believe that I am well into my ninth year living in Longoio. I think that now if transplanted elsewhere I would have severe withdrawal symptoms. Wonder why…


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