The thing I regret the most – says Giacumin Lanteri, sat on a chestnut tree stump in front of this beautiful home in Triora – is the poverty of my ancestors. Eh, yes there was a lot of poverty up there in Goina…a handful of raw chestnuts in the pocket, one would leave very early for the grazing lands with sheep, goats and cows and would stay til late at night, the only solace being the copious water gushing between the fields..”
This is how we discovered that this small group of houses, one of the richest grazing areas in the municipality immersed in the greenery of centuries-old chestnut trees, in reality hides tales of sacrifice and hard work. The old houses were used for anything: living space, hay barns, livestock shelters. Days would flow in the same old manner and end in front of the “tea”, around a cauldron with some potatoes and a few chestnuts. Wine was almost unknown and if anyone going to Triora was tempted to drink a couple of glasses, they would return home inevitably drunk.
Goina, name that probably derives from “small gorge”, is situated in the middle of two water streams and owes its origin to shepherds coming from Realdo, Verdeggia, Upega, Frabosa and other villages nearby. The numerous Franzelassi family were originally from Verdeggia and they were the children of a huge man called Franzé. All of them bought pieces of land from noble Triorese families such as the Borelli and Bonfanti in the second half of the 1800s then built modest country houses on communal territories, taking advantage of the civic usage that was custom up until the end of the last century. They tackled the land and built narrow terraces and their only sustenance was the livestock, great in numbers. Proceeds from the cheese sales would be mainly used for some clothes and a pair of shoes.
The Goina adventure ended around the year 1950 when almost all the families sold their livestock and belongings in order to find a better life elsewhere. Only two families resist and are still living there: Saldo Antonio and Stella Silvio would never abandon their land.
A committee founded by people of Goina descent and their friends recently built a little church dedicated to the Good Shepherd, they placed a wooden cross on the “rock” and meet up every year in that wonderful green piece of paradise.