Christmas, water, earth and air. Such a strange title to present the Christmas Markets in Zero Branco, not far from Treviso. Let’s try to make a little order (that’s what I usually say, since my starting point is always chaos) and give meaning to these words.
Christmas: this is clear. I am talking about December 15 and 16 markets. Less clear (presumably completely obscure) the three natural elements.
Our story begins at the end of 2016, December to be precise, just over a month from the earthquake affecting Central Italy. Since that December we have been travelling a lot, our last “landing” was Bolognola, in the province of Macerata, a few months ago.
Bolognola is very small, about 150 inhabitants. It is the smallest and highest municipality in the Marche region. Although tiny, Bolognola is divided into three groups: Villa da Capo, Villa di Mezzo, Villa da Piedi. We could call Bolognola a land of water because of the sources of the Fiastrone and the waterfall of the Acquasanta. Water is important for Zero Branco too. Here in the plain (Zero Branco is located in the Po Valley) the small town is bathed by the river Zero, a spring-fed river, and by the Vernise. The presence of water has been very important since the Middle Ages for the construction of mills, some of which remained in operation until the 60s. The first element of commonality, water, has been therefore identified. I almost forgot…. Bolognola is coming to Zero Branco for the Christmas Markets!
At Zero Branco I have found a book “Stories of land and water“. The link with the land/earth for small businesses is very strong, just mention the Radicchio Tardivo that makes clearly understand the union between earth and water. The same link between the inhabitants and their land can be found in Bolognola. A land a bit ‘treacherous”, mother nature and stepmother at the same time, which in October 2016 attested its dominance over the human being. A land that also knows how to give a lot because of its beauty.
Land in which the last element stands out, air or better still wind, a predominant characteristic of Bolognola and above all of Pintura di Bolognola. From the stories of the inhabitants, who are accustomed to gusts that have reached 200km / h, we have learned of the strong wind that blew and of the extreme difficulty of preparing the emergency structures after the earthquake.
All the elements of our story are here now. The Proloco di Bolognola, with their typical products, will be a guest at the Markets of Zero Branco. But this will not be enough to tell the whole story, or rather the stories, of two years spent between Marche and Umbria. And then, let’s go with photos, videos, virtual reality. There will be much to see and hear as well as to taste. We will obviously not be alone but together with other associations of Zero Branco, waiting together for Santa Claus and his helper