There are places that once were teeming with people and full of activities, trades and commerce, and now seem far away from civilization, surrounded by a supernatural silence we are no more used.
Yet they’re behind us, a few kilometers of road in the woods of Rezzo, or by Molini di Triora, always in the direction of the Passo Teglia. Here we take the path that reaches the Sotta di San Lorenzo and then the Passo della Mezzaluna (if we would continue, the Monte Saccarello isn’t so distant).
This was one of the crossroads of the Via Marenca, great highway of the past which runs on the ridges and links the coast to Limone Piemonte. Today we meet some Italian tourists, and the beloved British, German, French and Dutch, who know our valleys better than us.
The Sotta di San Lorenzo is a tectonic depression… it’s like an unexpected valley in miniature.
There are many features of a past human presence here. We can find the ruins of some vastere (stone shelters for animals) and of the ancient church of St. Lawrence (San Lorenzo), which was the meeting place for shepherds and travelers, in particular during the cattle fair (August 10).
You can also have a look to the monolith (maybe a menhir?), that someone wants to date to the copper age. You’ll find it on the superior edge of the depression, where you can admire the Argentina valley.
Going through the last woods and continuing to the Passo della Mezzaluna, we’ll find in an almost alien landscape. It’s a crescent-shaped pass (that’s the origin of the Italian name) which is recognizable from far away wherever you are. It’s full of rocks and pastures and you can see the towns and villages of the adjacent valleys from here.
Excluding tourists, the only movement consists of sheep-farming which survives with many difficulties. Apart from that, human signs are resting but alive at the same time, and they hold together in an indissoluble bond with nature. Even the flocks’ bells enhance this enveloping silence.
We’re far from the anthropic world as we know it, but it’s like feeling at home in this huge isolation, ’cause we’re protected by the beautiful mountains named Monte Arbarea, Monte Monega, Cima Donzella and Carmo dei Brocchi.
After all, we all Ligurian come from those mountains.
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