A Constitutional

The most pleasant walks here start literally from our doorstep. We took the opportunity yesterday of a “window” in the recent stormy weather to stretch our legs and do a much-needed “constitutional” i.e. a walk taken regularly to maintain or restore good health. Our route took us past our “twin” village of Mobbiano to join a little road past the local cemetery which eventually reaches our nearest store run by a lady called Giovanna. We turned off before, however, and walked past a little chapel dedicated to Saint Joseph. It is used once a year for a local Festa but otherwise remains firmly closed.

Our path joined up with the old mulattieria (mule track) which was once the only route to the village of Montefegatesi before the present road was built after the last war. The big stone paving largely remains and is a testimony of the care and labour used to build these old roads.

We tried in vain to look for mushrooms but instead were amply rewarded with chestnuts which liberally strewed our path and which we selected for home roasting. Before us were the mysteriously misted slopes of the Prato Fiorito mountain.

There is a lovely mill which we crossed on our return leg. Although it is no longer used for its original purpose of grinding chestnut and wheat flour (few mills remain today, sadly) it is bookable for holidays and is even served by a bus stop!

The church of San Rocco was used until the 1970’s when it was abandoned, desecrated and despoiled of its ecclesiastical furnishings. Since then its roof has caved in and the former church has been taken over by trees and creepers – a real pity as it could have been used for other purposes (e.g. bus shelter?) now that Saint Rocco as protector against the plague has been put out of business, supplanted by modern medical science.

We reached the village of San Gemignano with a church whose tower strongly reminds me of perpendicular ones in the English countryside.

We then returned home via a beautiful tree-lined avenue skirted on one side by vines glowing in the late afternoon sun. (Our village of Longoio is on the top left of the last photograph).

There’s no excuse for not taking a constitutional on a daily basis here. It’s as good as attending your local gym and a lot more visually appealing!


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