If Filix wanted to call you
it’s because of the green where you were born
immersed among cypresses, ferns and olives
which paint a portrait of a time gone by.
In the church of our Saint Maurice
there’s a beautiful, miraculous Crucifix
that in the thick of the Manzoni plague
was carried in a solemn procession.
A cleansing rain fell,
washing away that dark evil.
The town came back to life immediately,
the people all eager to celebrate:
and with a bit of rice, sugar and flour,
they kneaded together sweet fritters.
To this day, the second Sunday of March,
the procession winds through the streets
as the town remembers the miracle that occurred
You walk up the mountain and can then find,
going down and up the slopes again,
a ready-made gym of natural rock.
In every season you’ll notice
the cords that sway slowly
and hang down like long-stemmed liana.
There are those who do it to test themselves,
and those who attempt it for fun;
there are so many, anyway, who want to try it out
and on the historic Avane Cliff
you’ll find the climbers intent on ascending.
Of the five, Vecchiano is the capital
and you’ll find everything you need here:
the bar, the market, even a nice theatre.
The statues of Garibaldi and Mazzini
tell of wars and freedom,
forever reminding all the residents
of high and important ideals.
On the mountain there’s a nice ring route,
marked out by orchids in single file –
you can follow it while admiring panoramic views.
Relics from the Bronze Age,
all collected and protected with care and passion,can be seen in the Castle.
In Nodica, we’re deep in the countryside
and through stretches of cultivated fields
the roads that lead to the plain
will take you onward to the lake and its secrets.
The pale colors and Punta di Casina,
the rushes and the scented sedge plants,
the flat-bottomed rowing boats that hearken back to simpler times
of hunting, fishing and nights around the fire…
and those fallen in wartime
are, too, remembered here in these fields.
There’s Migliarino next that runs along the sea
with expanses of giant sunflowers
a heron, a peregrine falcon and a common kingfisher.
Here the Serchio River takes a big dip in the sea,
forming a pair of beautiful sandy shores.
The dunes, with the protected Kentish plover,
the logs worn down by the waves.
Bottlenose and spinner dolphins make stops here,
Leaving behind a slipstream amid the waves
and a strong sense of peace deep in the heart.