I want to praise bends in the road. Those found in Val Trebbia, the wildest hinterland behind Genoa. Here there are no trains and the motorway does not pass. There is only road 45 with its curves: hairpin bends, intermittent bends, tight, really tight… too much so, I thought.
Before understanding that from Torriglia to Gorreto, passing through Montebruno and Rovegno, passing the territories of many small communities more mountainous than countryside, those curves make something possible which I often did not notice: to get to know the area whilst driving.
Forced to go steady: a slow trip on four or two wheels, it was an epiphany. Then, with time, appreciating the opportunity to not be the ‘usual’ absent-minded traveller, I realised that behind every curve there was something new and unique. I started to stop the car on the roadside and look out. I realised that behind every turn there is an extension of my imagination and my desire to know more. Each curve is like the Leopardian Infinite. A crazy idea? I don’t know. But diving headfirst into this intricate curving maze I got to know a reality that is made up of real things and things to see.
Unique places, destined to disappear altogether if one speeds past them on a motorway, or if one decides to take a comfortable Pendolino train or travel by plane. I found, behind one curve, the canestrelli of Torriglia: many pastry shops, each with a secret not revealed to make the same daisy-shaped biscuit. The same, yet always different. I discovered behind one curve the stone bridge that led me to the Montebruno Sanctuary, where time stands still and has no intention of starting again (fortunately). Around a bend, a little further, I discovered Fontanigorda with its greenery and its forests.
Around a bend I saw the paths that lead to Antola, the mountain which is also a lush park. I saw, passing a terrible intersection in Torriglia, the path that allows you to reach, with the most absurd and impossible road I’ve ever been down (and therefore beautiful) Pentema: the town of the eternal nativity, which in the winter becomes a real nativity. I also followed the banks of the Trebbia river and in Gorreto I found a perfect place to do something that I never thought possible: fish in a river (there is also a no-kill area for strict animal lovers).
Then I thought of trips to do, of roads that seem drawn by a designer too prone to good wine, around here there are so many. And I decided to come back.