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The stuff of chestnuts
that is

Castagnedola name born to latin castagnetum, and the text "chestnut tree land" had finds first mention in a notarial action of the 1337.
The medieval landscape unrolls him, equal to himself, in front of the eyes of the history of the memory, accomplice that of Matilde of Canossa that promoted the introduction of the chestnut tree in the Appennino so that all could draw of it both food and maintenance. And indeed this plant has of the prodigious one. There is not anything that cannot be used: from the fruits that they have been at the base of the feeding of the people of mountain, to the dry peels, the curls and rests of the pruning that as fuel was used, to the fallen leaves that as litter was used for the livestock, to the wood of the branches to make poles of it and that of the trunk as construction material and furniture.
And around these woods, a nonstop green mantle that connected and amalgamated peaks and valleys, the life of the people turned with the slow rhythm of the ancient merry-go-rounds, and the job always untied him every equal year, as every year earth is equal to herself in the eternity return of the seasons: alive gestures still in the memory of the old ones, that talk to that tenderness soaked with nostalgia of the time of it that is passed. Almost that nothing cost work... the end pruning winter, when the castagnetis were often hardened still by the cold, the to tie the dry branches to brushwood and to bring them home on the shoulders or when it was all right with the biroccio; to spring the grafts, in September the to clean well the brushwood from the weeds and from the sterpaglies, then in October the harvest with the great baskets and the sacks... how many times the road was crossed for the metato, and as it swung the barrow thrown by the great oxen, the road that multiplied him for the so many turns, for the so many years, for the turns and the years of fathers and grandparents and great-grandfathers and still back in the time, of that ancient time that he always repeats equal to himself.
And then to rake up the not opend chestnut husk and to crush them to strength to also tear them the last chestnut, and then still to sweep the chestnut cultivation with those strong beautiful sorghum brooms, affectionate and family gestures almost pits the kitchen of house and the dry leaves also those courses to house and the sleeps of the beasts in the stalls perhaps knew about that musky odor of the woods and they saw the scythe of moon that became great more and more up to shine all and to illuminate the tallest leaves.
And then inside the chestnut dryer (called "metato"), to dry to the fire of stump and peels, little by little, for three moons, you look at sight how ill children, you turn because nobody is soft and nobody burns, and then all in the "pila", the great wood mortar in which they were freed by the peel and by the sansa, and then here they are, ready to be brought to the mill, grinded by the big millstones of stone that cold water made to turn and to turn, other moons in the sky, other winters and springs that the place leaves to the warm one in the summer and to the red in the autumn of the eternal wheel of the time.
In these evenings of August Casagnedola returns once to be the chestnut tree land of that time is going out of the treasure of the memory to make ancient the history of that treasure of the poor men that didn't shine of gold but that it was bread and fire, heart of a way of living stamped to the work, to the near horizons, at once slow and articulated by the light of the sun and by the rhythms of the earth.

Simona Zanichelli

 

ZOCCA: HISTORICAL SIGNS

Zocca was not born from a tower, from a fortress or from a noble family of vassals... You wants in fact that the name Zocca derives from a stump (in dialect "zoca") of chestnut tree that marked the place where it was used to hold a market. The Duke Borso of Este confirmed in 1465 the institution of the market on the occasion of the fair of St. Giacomo and Sant'Anna. Instead the town is of Napoleonic origin. It belonged to the Italic Kingdom and it followed the fates of it (1804 -1814). The town was suppressed with the Restoration and Zocca was reduced to center of Political Police station and Giusdicenza. Around the years 1830-1835 the Citizens of Zocca gave a notable contribution to the Risorgimento National. In 1860 the town was finally reconstituted by the Dictator of the Emilia, Luigi Charles Farini, which the construction of the picturesque road is also owed that, passing for Zocca, he adopted to insignia of its town coat of arms "Renascent phoenix", with the witticism "Post fata resurgo", and it set out to become an important center. From the last war the Country almost totally went out destroyed, but already after three years, thanks to the initiative of the citizens, it was completely risen. So was renews the destiny enunciated by the coat of arms of the town. In 1895 the actual temple was built devoted to the Sacred Heart that replaced the old Oratory (demolished in the 1926), entitled to St. Contardo. Zocca became "Parish to itself" in the 1929. The town territory includes seven small villages: Montombraro, Ciano, Montalbano, Missano, Montetortore, Montecorone, Rosola.