The Forgotten Mountains of Pistoia – Riola

We have now just relished a minimum of personal freedom, for a few days we can move around the region without self-certification, go to visit friends, go out for lunch or dinner. Little things that we missed a lot in this lockdown period. Unfortunately the small businesses, the bars, the restaurants, are the ones that have suffered the most. Summer is just around the corner, the money that each of us has in our pockets is few, the holidays this year seem like an unattaitable dream, since we have been stopped more than two months. But the heat will come and with the heat the desire to move, to go to the sea or to the mountains in search of a bit of chill from the heat.

So let us try to help as much as possible the small activities of our region, perhaps of our province, since we have beautiful places in the mountains. We look for small restaurants, taverns, groceries, scattered in the mountain villages, where we can find at low prices delicious dishes that we certainly do not eat every day, such as wild boar noodles or stewed deer. And maybe buy the local cheese, the sausages and the cured meats, the chestnut flour. And at the same time take our grandparents or children for nice walks in the woods, perhaps having a nice picnic on the bank of a stream.

I remember how years back on the Pistoia road โ€“ Riola, after the Cascina and before the Monachino on the shore of the Limentra, there were many families eating on the creek, children playing, elderly people with their lounge chairs making pennichelle under the trees with the gurgling of the stream that induced to take a nap. There were so many people, so many that if you didnโ€™t arrive early you didnโ€™t have a place and you had to move further down, towards the Monachino, where there are still cozy places. I remember there was a place between the Aquerino and the Monachino where, I donโ€™t know who, he had put tables with wooden benches and grills on stones to barbecue. Now there is nothing more unfortunately.

Our territories, in all these years have almost been forgotten by most. What little there is is done by locals who try with their nails and teeth to cling to a territory that even to them offers almost nothing. And itโ€™s really a shame, our mountains are beautiful, the woods, the streams, the small streams, the flora, the fauna, itโ€™s a whole world to discover just a few minutes from the city. Rediscover the snack with fresh bread and good wine in front of the small bars and taverns where to stop after a nice walk in the woods. A nice dinner or lunch with family and friends. Then just have a chat or a card game.

Rediscovering the pleasure of being together, exchanging opinions, memories and perhaps listening to grandparents tell of past times that to todayโ€™s generations seem medieval or down there. Teach our children respect for nature, the woods and its inhabitants. Get used to at least sundays and until the good season lasts, to a healthier, less expensive and more rewarding life. There will be time to return to travel abroad, but in the meantime we can enjoy everything that we have around, and that really is not cheap.

Feel free to share your experiences in the comments, we will also be happy to see some advice on some fascinating and wild place or route but also some places to refresh and rest.

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