Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be?

Looking at old snapshots is, according to many therapists, a great way of putting life into perspective. I particularly enjoy looking through those photographs I took taken at equivalent times in previous years since we arrived here in Longoio.

Weren’t we happier then? Or at least didn’t we look happier? Or are we just a little bit wiser now? Can one be wiser and happier at the same time? I don’t pretend to be a philosopher so have no answer to these questions. At the most maybe, I think a wise person is happy even in bad times and a stupid one is unhappy even in good times. However, one thing is certain: youth, just eight years ago,  was definitely on our side then and we had so many friends which are sadly not with us on our planet anymore!

I’m concentrating on 2006, naturally. We hadn’t been here one year yet and had still no experience of that glorious Tuscan May. Yet look at us. Out on our unfinished terrace of our house:


And on one of the lovely packhorse bridges in Val di Turrite:


And at the little hamlet of San Pellegrinetto:



San Pellegrinetto is a small village located in the Valley of Turrite and now in the combined commune of Vergemoli and Fabbriche di Vallico. At one time it was inhabited by many families and was one of the most populous villages in the area but now only around a dozen people live permanently there.

The church of San Pellegrino dates back to 1734 and from it there are magnificent views of the mountains all around especially the Panie and the Monte Forato. In fact, to get to the upper part of san Pellegrinetto you must passes through the cloister of the church!

Originally San Pellegrinetto was called Alpe di Trassilico. Several of the houses have dates inscribed on them from the fourteen hundreds. The church dates mainly from the early eighteenth century

And here we are again in April 2006 by the fertility fountain on the way down from Vergemoli where childless couples pray for God to bless them with offspring – a custom dating back to at least Etruscan times, (like at the Grotta di Castelvenere, I described in a previous post at


Is true happiness always stronger in retrospect or can it catch up with us and become part of our present experience ? Has the world become a sadder place or are we becoming sadder?

Visiting these wonderful places is the best panacea for any nostalgic thoughts in my opinion, and they are all on our doorsteps. Let’s be here while we can!



3 thoughts on “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be?

  1. Well indeed we were considerably happier then my Babbo was still with us we had not received those horrid silly poems written anonymously by someone who knows us in the area and does not want to confront us directly we still had a lot of our rabbits cats ducks but this is part of the renewal the cycle of life but each time we lose a loved one humans included part of us goes away with them we can only try to keep that memory alive and that is when these photographs come into play to remind us of happier days happier times despite the economic crisis work problems that everyone has also pension problems these situations it is said are sent to try us to teach us lessons but hey we could all do without these problems but i suppose it is all then down to resolving these problems. We had a lot less sophistications ie blogs facebook twitter that take up so much of our time and is such a one sided lonely pursuit despite the aim of communicating with many family friends and acquaintances we had then more time for real time interraction! Well it is also said that looking at photographs helps us stave away the blues again the purpose is to see ourselves in the context of happier days I do enjoy this as as humans we tend to forget the happier moments in our lives and seem to focus more on horrid events! So I think that it can only be a good thing to see ourselves in happier days and to connect with that feeling and try to recreate those feelings of happiness!

  2. Nostalgia is denial – denial of the painful present …the name for this denial is golden age thinking – the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one one’s living in – it’s a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present.
    Woody Allen

  3. Pingback: A Circular Tour from Gallicano | From London to Longoio (and Lucca and Beyond) Part Two

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