Leaving Loreto behind, passing Poggiu Ventusu (Windy Hill) you can look up and see a small group of houses irregularly placed among chestnut and oak trees. Its hub, Bregalla, with its white church gives name to the entire area. Here in the past herds of sheep and goats once “bleated”; these lands were given away for sharecropping by the Triorese families and were rich in wheat and vineyards. Years ago a devastating fire brought back to life dry stone walled terraces, shelters, nooks and crannies, even some old rusty utensils and highlighted the huge amount of human effort our ancestors had put into living and farming here. In a short space of time the fire had revealed what weeds, brambles and shrubs had hidden for decades.
The inhabited areas that arose around Bregalla have varied and rather curious names such as: Case Franchetti, maybe as a souvenir of an acquired independence or freedom, Case Speriti, a name which recalls exorcism of evil spirits, Case della Gumba, Case del Bertoldo, Case Morlano and higher up, Case Castagna. Up here among these isolated country houses two brothers lived until not long ago, they were the last representatives of an ancient pastoral tradition that found its natural habitat in this area.
Today people do not farm in Bregalla any longer except for some vegetable gardens and fields planted with potatoes and fruit trees. Hiking along the ancient and rather flat mule path that comes from Creppo is pleasant and relaxing, you can pop in to Poggio Grosso to look for Porcini mushrooms or go down the river gorge, in the hope of catching some brown and salmon trout from the river. Days go by happily among these old stone houses, here you can find a still functioning wash house and a real ancient chestnut tree surrounded by piles of wood pieces stacked to perfection. One must not forget that during hunting season one can go wild boar hunting. Wild boars are rather numerous around here therefore after a day’s hunt it is possible to return home with your sought-after prey and another story to tell.
If you happen to visit during the Christmas holidays, you will see thousands of small lights making up a giant nativity scene which grows more detailed every year. It is our own original way to give people our best wishes for the festive season, far from the chaos and the neon lights of the big cityscapes.