The Lords of Faito Mountain

Faito's lords are hidden among the fronds of the younger vassals. We need to look for them in the thick woods to discover their majesty, to imagine their past.

And to understand that those fissures in the bark saw the ashes scattered in Vesuvius' eruption of 1631, that the most robust branches perhaps felt the earth tremble in the earthquake of 1688. They are still there, and there they will remain a long time, the beech trees of the mountain.

The word "centenarians" is insufficient, because understanding the passage of time, the course of the centuries, is beyond human experience. But looking upwards, with the gaze busy searching through the leaves, the senses perceive the need for a tribute to nature.

The beech forest is a cathedral. A world full of vertical trunks and horizontal branches, with the light vibrating through the fronds, forming an interplay of crossing and changing rays. The silence is broken only occasionally by a branch coming off. The undergrowth of the fallen foliage is uniform, of a soft thickness that cushions one's steps, giving rise to contemplation and respect.

Next to the beech trees, the ditches of the ice house can be made out, recounting the noble ingenuity of the past, when man's needs found an answer in nature, without electricity, without energy except that of the seasons themselves. The branches of the beech trees, which once protected the ice reserves from the sun, allowing men to dedicate themselves to the ice trade downstream, today absorb the light and noise, giving a sense of strangeness, of distance from the chaos, of peace rediscovered .

The birds can be heard, but far away, above the leafy canopy, as in the equatorial forests. And the furrows dug in search of roots betray the presence of wild boars. The animals are hidden, willing to leave the terrain open to man, waiting only for the cover of darkness. And even for travellers there is an almost solid sense of warmth, so much so that when you return you look back, exposed to light and wind, missing the protection of the lords.

Serena Grassia - Trekking

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