Colognora of Pescaglia: the village with 70 inhabitants

Since I live in Florence, I like to move in circorstante territory and discover little known places and towns. Thanks to my friend Andrea, who lives in Lucca (city in which he has been my guide and that soon I’ll tell you in the blog), I found the Devil’s Bridge (if you have not read the post here’s the link) and the small village Colognora of Pescaglia, which I will present to you today.

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Colognora of Pescaglia (in the province of Lucca) is located more than 600 meters high, dominating the Val di Roggio, and is a network of narrow streets that rise and fall between the stone houses typical of the old peasant and mountain culture of the Lucca area. In this village live 70 people. If we think of a big city like New York, which has 8 million of habitants, you understand the enormous difference that is reflected on people and their lifestyles. In Colognora of Pescaglia residents base their relations on solid values such as trust, tradition, habits and respect, a style that fully reflects the sense of solidity transmitted from the houses founded upon the rock.

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Here the visitor’s attention won’t focus on trendy or big buildings, but on small houses with arches and porticos that make this village a little gem. I think that’s why Colognora of Pescaglia was chosen by Spike Lee as a set for his movie.

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In fact in 2007, Spike Lee has used precisely this small village as the site for the filming of the movie “Miracle At St. Anna” released in 2008 (The film is inspired by the massacre of Sant’Anna di Stazzema, an episode of the Second War World in Italy. An interesting film that I recommend you to watch).

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Colognora of Pescaglia hosts the National Museum of the chestnut, which was born in 1985 on the initiative of the local village committee who wanted to collect in a museum open to all, the most diverse tools that had belonged to the peasant culture. The chestnut is a central element in the history of this village, in fact for centuries the base of the rural culture of the place and its economy was the chestnut tree. This represented an inexhaustible source of food and timber which was used to construct floors, roofs, huts, tools, furniture and furnishings. At the entering of the village on the right you can see a huge trunk, that’s a piece of the chestnut museum and is a chestnut trunk that is 500 years old and has a circumference of 5.60 meters wide.

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Another thing that demonstrates how much Colognora of Pescaglia is rooted in time, is the plaque near at the fountain that reports two articles of the Statute of Colognora of 1482 still valid today. The reading of the articles makes you smile because they are not written in Italian modern but according to the language of time and prohibit the washing of clothes in the fountain.

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At the center of the village dominates by the bell tower of the church of St. Catherine and St. Michael. It was built as a public oratory in 1457, after the inhabitants of Castel Roggio, for the landslide that had rendered uninhabitable their village, had joined whit those of Colognora.

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After the walk through the small streets of Colognora di Pescaglia, on the road to Lucca, I saw a beautiful church visible from the street, so I stopped. This is the church of Santa Maria Assunta in Diecimo (“Diecimo” comes from the fact that it was ten miles from Lucca). The facade of the Church is not exceptional, to capture your attention it will be undoubtedly the bell tower that flanks the church. Unfortunately I could not go inside because the church was closed and a I’m sorry because inside there are a number of very important historical elements.

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On this day then I continued with the visit of Lucca together with my friend Andrea who told me a bit of interesting stories about the city and as soon as I finish to fix the photos I will tell you my tour of Lucca.

Good light to everyone.

Carlo

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