Tiziano Terzani's trail in OrsignaBig Names
Tiziano Terzani's trail in Orsigna
There is a small village on the Pistoia mountains, Orsigna, which had the honour of becoming Tiziano Terzani’s 'retreat'. The designation of him as journalist and writer is rather restricting, in fact Terzani himself preferred to be seen as a 'traveller' in search for answers. After visiting Vietnam, Cambodia, the Soviet Union, China and the Himalayas, Terzani decided to spend his final years, precisely the last days of his life, when his cancer was rife, in the peace of Orsigna.
Orsigna is a 45 minute drive from Pistoia and can be reached via the Modenese 66 State Road: once in Pontepetri, head for Pracchia and from there follow the signs to Orsigna. After you have arrived here, to take Tiziano Terzani’s path to the so-called tree with eyes, you have two choices: by foot from Orsigna following the no. 5 CAI path (it takes about an hour and a half), or drive to the tiny village of Case Cucciani. The proper path, entitled to Terzani in 2005 a year after his death, starts from this point, as signalled by the path board.
Crossing a shady beech forest you will get to the clearing in in ten minutes: it is like a terrace overlooking a green valley. In its centre there stands a large cherry tree. You will be immediately captured by the intimate atmosphere of the place where silence and reflection will come to you magically and spontaneously. You will simply feel like sitting cross-legged and let your thoughts flow. You will notice the glass eyes attached to the trunk: Terzani himself placed them there to explain in a simple and direct way to his grandson Novalis that trees have a soul too, therefore, they should be treated with love and respect. Besides the eyes, messages, objects and memories of those who visited it hang from the tree. Around, there are always numerous piles of stones stacked on top of each other according to the zen practice. An experience not to be missed if you read Tiziano Terzani’s books, and if you have never read them, after visiting this magical glade, you will definitely want to.
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