Despite a rather dismal day, weather-wise, with frequent showers, the Colognora chestnut Festa was well worth attending. We revisited the chestnut museum where staff explained to us many of the items on display and it was pleasant to walk around this incredibly picturesque village already described in my post at https://longoio.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/old-chestnuts/.
Among the new things to see in Colognora since our last visit was the memorial plaque on Alfredo Catalani’s family home where he spent his summer holidays. I found the tablet itself somewhat ferocious but at least now Catalani’s roots have been recognised. The house looked completely empty. Perhaps one day it could be turned into a small museum with a history of the family and the sale of CDs and books on Catalani’s lyrical music.
The church, which is quite large for a village this size, with a nave and two aisles,, has some beautiful features and in 2010 four lovely stained glass windows were installed. They are the work of Giovanni Lorenzetti whose original designs are also placed in the church. The windows represent the four cardinal virtues: justice, fortitude, prudence and temperance.
It was truly a pity that the weather did not allow full justice to the occasion and that more people did not turn up but then meteorological conditions cannot be programmed!
The following night a storm of terrific proportions raged around our valley coming and going continuously – the thunder sounded like an aerial bombardment and shook us to the very bones and the sky was constantly lit up by gigantic flashes. From being awesome this gale became terrifying and we didn’t get much sleep at all! 300 millimetres of rain fell in ten hours; sixteen thousand lightning flashes were recorded in the same space of time! Some villages were cut off by landslides (ours was fortunately still linked with the outside world) and others were flooded out. The waters of the river Serchio at Borgo a Mozzano by the ponte della Maddalena were boiling over!
This meteorological occurrence, called “bombe di Acqua” (water bombs) is a relatively recent phenomenon and is worryingly linked to such matters as global warming and the movement of the African tectonic plate towards Italy.
During much of the tempest we heard a faint meowing echoing in the precipitous downpours. Early in the morning I got up to investigate it, opened my study door and in walked a very small, very frightened and very wet kitten. She soon made herself at home; got the first decent breakfast she must have had for ages and curled up on our sofa.
I sometimes wish we could have the confidence of these creatures!