When Hemingway crossed 'Valle degli dei'

by Sandro Sbarbaro (versione italiana: Quando Hemingway attravers˛ la 'Valle degli dei')
English translation by Maura Rocco

Val d'Aveto is an enchanted place where legends often mingle with history.
Val d'Aveto fascinated ancient Ligurian tribes that lived here and they erected their first worship places on the mountain ranges that encircle it.
The valley configuration winds along the course of the river after which it is named (Aitu, as valley-dwellers call Aveto) and it thrills the tourists in a growing way: the peculiar beauty of these landscapes often makes them come back again and again.
After the source of Acquapendente, Aveto is still a small brook. It flows down to Casa Brugiata (the old boundary between Podesteria di Roccatagliata and Neirone, and between Capitaneato di Rapallo and Marchesato di Santo Stefano d'Aveto) and then it meets its first important tributary in Fossato dei Colleretti (formerly known as Argofoglio).

 La Valle degli dei

Valley-dwellers who live past Sbarbari call it "fussÓu", which stands for the Italian "fossato", because it is not a river yet. In Parazzuolo it begins to swell thanks to another tributary, Fossato di Vizerga which flows down from Ventarola.
Then the river Aveto runs across Piana di Cabanne and gets bigger thanks to another tributary, called Bozale. Aveto is now almost a river and begins its course towards Gole del Masapello, a landscape of matchless beauty that often distracts the tourists driving towards the main road leading to Rezzoaglio.
Past Rezzoaglio, Aveto winds peacefully down the valley for some miles, almost disturbed by the vehemence of some of its tributaries, and then it begins its course once again, forming meanders among lakes and waterfalls in the vegetation. Then, past Boschi, it flows across gorges rich in vegetation and through sheer cliffs.
This landscape ravishes the tourists and "Valle degli dei" has also enchanted some famous people.

In 1945 Ernest Hemingway, at that time a war correspondent, was following a motorized column arriving from Chiavari across Passo della Forcella towards Piacenza when he first saw Val d'Aveto.

 La Valle degli dei

When he reached Marsaglia, after a difficult route across the valley floor going down from Rezzoaglio past Boschi, Hemingway wrote down in his journal: " I've just crossed the most beautiful valley in the world ".
Partisans had blown up every bridge along the road going to Bobbio, and Hemingway had to go backwards taking again the route he had come from, and that gave him the chance to admire once again the valley that had enchanted him so much.
Legend says that he sat on "Balena del Masapello" and heaven knows what he dreamt about there, the same place where a millennium before the monks of Villa Cella started grand works to allow Aveto to flow across Gole del Masapello.

 


 

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Pagina pubblicata il 22 gennaio 2005, letta 6446 volte dal 23 gennaio 2006
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