Many, many years ago, at sunset on a sad, foggy, winter day, a poor and tired man passed through Bagnone. Being nearly night time, he knocked on the door of the Castle of the Noceti Counts to ask for shelter and a bit of food. Downstream, the dark rumble of a furious torrent, its muddy waters swelling from the recent barrage of rain, blended with the howling wind. A sad and treacherous night for the poor wayfarer, a night when even nature seems to anxiously wait for the sky to placate so life and animals can find quiet and rest once again. The Castle door opens and the Master of the house allows the pilgrim to take refuge for the evening. The following morning, the pilgrim was no longer there, but on a table in the cold bedroom sat a small wooden Cross….
It was immediately interpreted as a heavenly sign and the cross was put on display for all to wonder at; it became an object of veneration and later was conserved in the Castle’s Chapel. Over time, special powers were attributed to it, tied to inexplicable phenomena that went against the laws of nature, gaining recognition as a direct emanation of divine will and for which the Bagonesi adore it. This object is displayed on the altar every May 3rd, still very much admired as it was in its beginnings.
Lords who invented depraved games and young virgin slaves of these heartless masters. Maidens sentenced to a cruel ending in which the only possibility for liberation is to endlessly proclaim the vileness of the nobles that sacrificed them. The masters of the place fancied cruel pastimes, and they loved to liven up their nights with orgies that sometimes ended with the sacrifice of the chosen maidens. Those “pure” souls, who never knew another way to meet a man, still roam the castles and places – so legend says – where the victims died of inconceivable violence. Troubled ghosts continue to moan, wandering through the ruins of the Treschietto Castle, where Giovan Gasparo’s greatest pleasure was to steal the virginity of local young maidens on endless nights, overtaken by his coercion.
They say that in Iera, a Marquis from the Malaspina family forced the most beautiful maidens in his marquisate to dance nude until sunrise and executing any parents who wanted to save them, throwing their bodies into a ditch full of skeletons. Legend says that once in a while, on cold winter nights, you can still hear the victims’ moans and cries of horror coming from the San Biagio Chapel.