Close to Paradise in the Hamlet of Bagarello
The chickens are roaming around in the garden below the terrace of the Italian agriturismo where I am sitting. They must be very happy, if such a concept exists in the chicken mind, doing what they are supposed to do, in peace, not worrying about what might happen in the near future. That said, they might end up as one of Leda’s dishes. Not the worst end for a chicken, to be turned into one of the best meals possible.
Sitting on the terrace in the sun of spring, with a view of the freshly green vineyards on the smooth hills of the Oltrepò Pavese, I feel like those chickens. Nothing worries me, I could sit here for ages, doing nothing, meditating. Well ok, perhaps the wine did help me to get into this state…
The little hamlet of Bagarello has been here for centuries, almost a millennium in fact. The first recorded evidence of a settlement called Bagarellum dates back to 1158… The hamlet has always remained small with a population ranging from about 30 to 80 inhabitants, with the same families here throughout the ages.
The agriturismo where I have chosen to lunch today and on whose terrace I am meditating is owned by the Faravelli family, whose name is the earliest family name in Bagarellum on record. One thousand years of history, and time literally seems to have come to a standstill, at the end of this small rural road. Walking the one single street of the hamlet you see the few houses with traditional flowers in front, some elderly people cleaning their steps, lazy dogs sleeping and cats enjoying a sunbath. Nothing ever seems to happen. The silence is overwhelming.
I am close to paradise.