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Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Ora et labora" (pray and work) is St. Benedict's Rule. But few know this saint whereabouts at the time in which he founded his order. The homeland of this words is located halfway between Tusany and Romagna, in an area that is now a natrual park, and that I visited in the last day of my vacation.

The trip starts right below Forlì, a relatively big town near San Marino, which is connected to Florence through the Tosco-romagnola street. The first interesting place you meet there is Castrocaro (Pricey Castel), guarding the street. Engraved in a scenario of unpaired beauty, you finally reach San Benedetto, (St. Benedict), in the heart of the National Park of the Casentino's Forests. This is very likely the sight St. Benedict did see while writing the rule.

The Church where the order has been founded is incredibly small, but the original paleochristian nucleus is even smaller; there just the space for a small display containing the fingers of the saint. If you have three or four hours to spend in the area, a visit should be paid to the Acquacheta (silent water) falls. It's a place cited in Dante's Divine Commedy for it's beauty. We didn't have so much time, but this is the river silently flowing besides the church.

Finally, you descend down in the upper Chianti region. A stop to eat wild boar based cuisine is absolutely in order. No where in the world you can eat food like this, and nowhere in the world you can taste it while drinking the local Rùfina red wine, which taints the tongue and lasts longly in your mouth and in your throat after you drink it.

My dream vacation ended on a bench of Prato (Lawn) Railway Station, north of Florence, where you wait the trains cherished by warm winds, sighting the last rolling hills of the Appenino mountains.


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