Friday, 31 May 2013

Altopiano di Asiago. May, Friday 24th

we had the pleasure and the honor to be invited to a blog tour last weekend. the scheduled places and activities were so right for us, and so in line with the topics i love to write about, that i'm looking forward to tell you everything!
but, first thing first, the journey started with a sad note (the only one!): due to bad weather, we had to go by car and not by lambretta.

the first place we visited is a plateau between Veneto and Trentino Alto Adige, called Altopiano di Asiago. it's inhabited by an ethnic minority of germanic origin, known as Cimbri. the ancient cimbri language is still spoken in some families, and still survives in place names.
another peculiarity that impressed me is that just the 10% of the Altopiano's land property is private. the remaining 90% isn't state-owned public property, either. it's collective property, administered by the inhabitants. i don't think anything similar exists in the rest of Europe. 



it was the 24th of May, what a coincidence. in that same day, back in 1915, Italy entered the first world war, on the Allies side against th Austria-Hungary. the Altopiano was one of the unlucky places that were a battlefield from the first to the last day of those three years.
the war has left forts and trenches, and furrows of grief and loss as deep as the second ones. 

if it is possible that something good comes out of a war, many of the routes that served as links in those three years, nowadays are scenic and beautiful paths for trekking and outdoors. 

the evening was enchanted with silence and colors: the white, the yellow, the so many greens, the shining drops. we saw the shilouette of a roe deer, peeking on us from above, curious. the rain had made the wood magical and glistering. the scent of earth was intense.

there was some snow. snow over the blooming dandelions! this spring is moody and whimsical.
but there is a wise old saying that says:
in March, the snow of the swallow
in April, the snow of the cuckoo
in May, the snow of the quail
so, it seems that the snow in May isn't as weird as i thought. 

the little village below us looked like a clouds factory. then, the forest and surrounding mountains get darker and darker, the last light rised up, the clouds came swallowing the landscape. it was time to go to warm up into the malga. leaving the smell of dump earth, we followed the one of good food, that made us a path itself. 

now, what is a malga? it's an alpine house for the cattle summer mountain pasture. it's usually a great place to buy dairy products, butter, cheese. sometimes, a malga is also a restaurant, like in this case.

we ate at Malga Spill. the local cousine has a scent of milk and wild herbs. the main charachter is the cheese, of course. Asiago cheese is famous, and Mrs.Orfalia, our hostess, makes a heavenly lasagna with Asiago cheese.
i loved this kind of welcome, made of clumsy italian {the most used language here is dialect}, smiles, good food.

   
reading tips
Mario Rigoni Stern - Uomini, boschi e api |*italian only*
{the only english translated work of the author is The Sergeant in the snow}
Luigi Meneghello - I piccoli maestri | translated into english in 1967 as The Outlaws

both these italian writers were from this area. Rigoni Stern was born, worked and lived in the Altopiano, and Meneghello experienced there the partisan war.
Rigoni Stern's son, Gianni, dined with us at the malga, and talked with passion about plants and animals of  Altopiano di Asiago.
Gianni Rigoni Stern is developing an amazing project in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where he had delivered, in the city of  Srebrenica, cows and equipment for agriculture, and he personally taught war widows how to manage a family farm.


 
info
Malga Spill
loc. Stuba Gallio, VI 36032
0424 658231

5 comments:

  1. I love the fourth photo..the landscape was amazing! It seems like the little village was embraced by clouds..

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  2. I absolutely adore the photographs - I am sorry to hear the weather was too bad for the Lambretta, yet those clouds and the snow really looks spectacular in your images!
    My best friend is from Trentino Alto Adige, but not from Asiago, and his family speak German. I love the mountains there! :-)
    Gianni Rigoni Stern's project sounds really wonderful - I hope he's going to succeed!

    Thanks for sharing yet another wonderfully interesting post, dear Silvia!

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