It is Halloween or even better in Italy it is called ”The Dead”. It is the holiday when people are allowed to leave their jobs for a couple of days to go home and honor their dead ones. An old tradition, still living in the soul of many.
I was making my trip to check some new hotels and places in Italy for coming travels with my guests, and had totally forgotten about the celebration that was expected. Except for the fact that nearly everything this time reminded me of dead, witches and phantoms.
Already at my arrival in Sanremo I was surprised by the decadent atmosphere of this place, once in time a center for Europe’s jet set, now more the shadow of itself, due to insufficient care from the local institutions.
From Sanremo I went by car on a nearly 50 kilometers long curvy road up to Triora (780 m) the ”Village of the Witches”, called like this after a very famous trial against witches in the 1600th Century. The incredibly small streets of this village leave no space to light to get in through the walls, and make a visit a scary thing for sure.
Well, at least it was really expected, and it is after all Halloween. And I started to get trigged by the feeling of magic all around. I have something inside calling……
Back to the coast, my next stop was Noli, one of the selfsufficient Repubbliche Marinare in the Middle Age. Now it is a small tourist resort in a magic place on the Riviera. Here there have been human being living since 300 thousands of years, and above Noli there is the Manie Highlands with some of the oldest caves to visit. Again kind of mixture between magic and spooky.
More than this, I went to visit an ancient monastery that today houses Hotel Palazzo Vescovile and its restaurant Vescovado, with one Michelin star. Each room here has been inhabited by a bishop in the past. Their spirits still float around here, I am sure.
At the end my trip took me to my favorite mountains and Champoluc, where I sit and write right now. Well, it is hot and sunny but something is like suspended in the air. And I am growing more and more weird thinking about all the legends of Devils and Wood Spirits in the Aosta Valley.
Trekking this time of the year is special, because you must consider that days are shorter than it uses to be in summertime. No time to waste. Wonder and magic follow me everywhere on the silent trail, starting with the incredible colors of fall on the lark trees, ending with the pink clouds at sunset, over a burned landscape on its way to winter rest.The Dead and the Alive is here and now.