In the middle of our week at Piero, the very kind Nicoletta takes us with her to Luino to shop for food. En route we stop in Curiglia for her to go to the Post Office; I see yet another shrine to the Madonna, this time above the public water source.
I also see one of the many trattori, the small 4WD narrow mini tractors and trailers, perfect for the narrow tracks; Nicoletta has one… less new and shiny, that can negotiate the track almost up to Piero from the car parking area. She still has to lug provisions up the last steep part into the village.
It is Wednesday, and Luino has hosted a market every Wednesday since 1541! It is huge, with fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers, cheeses and meats, as well as endless stalls selling clothes, handbags and shoes.
Although this lady does not look happy, her giant wheels and slabs of Parmesan cheese do make me smile! As does the very idea of a market that has been consistently held here for almost 500 years.
Next day, we decide to walk up to the village of Lozzo, above Piero. We pass Piero’s little walled cemetery, its flowers safe from the goats.
Above it are the community gardens, entered via another of Ambrogio’s special gates. The criss-cross section at the bottom is of old bush saw blades.
It is a steep walk through steep green forests, but easier in some stretches as not via steps, as to Monteviasco.
But there are many scree sections, where I need my stick and we must step carefully on the loose stones. No doubt it is also why there are several shrines on the way, as heavenly intercession could be handy…
But Lozzo is disappointingly lifeless. It has the usual overly elaborate church, whose bells ring as we arrive, and it has a memorial, seemingly to captured soldiers, but hardly any houses seem inhabited.
The decorative metal heads to hold back shutters are my main takeaway from a quite depressing village.