Living in Roviano is wonderful. Perched here up on the mountain side you get an amazing view of the valley, being able to see for miles in many directions. It also piques your curiosity as to what the places are that you can see around you and, more importantly, how do I get there? A week or so ago, we started looking across the valley at the village of Anticoli Corrado and wondering how long it would take to mosey on over and check it out. A few days ago, feeling intrepid and with a favourable weather forecast, Rachel, Penny, Rowan, Pippa, along with myself, decided to give it a go. As it turns out, it is only about seven kilometers away, so at a decent pace, it takes about an hour to walk. There is, however, a catch.
When you look out at Anticoli Corrado from Roviano, it sits about level, or just slightly higher on the opposite slope on the far side of the valley. It doesn’t look far, but getting there is an exercise in both physical and mental stamina. It is a walk that is reminiscent of the oldtimers claim of walking to school and home again, uphill in both directions. In our case, this was literally true. To get from Roviano to Anticoli Corrado and back again you have to endure the uphill trek in both directions. To be fair, we made decent time getting downhill from Roviano via a rough walking track and crossing the valley floor was a nice steady hike. You really start to appreciate the challenge ahead when you begin the ascent toward the village of Anticoli Corrado itself.
The mountains around here aren’t particularly massive by Canadian standards, but they are steep. Let me repeat that, they are steep. How steep? Well to get up to Anticoli Corrado, the road has to wind its way in serpentine fashion back and forth up the mountain side, so you alternate between walking towards and then away from the village a number of times. At times it feels like chasing a rainbow, compounded by the fact that the angle of ascent never really gets easier. Plus, the looks of incredulity on the faces of the drivers passing by really makes you start to question your sanity. Once you make it to the top, however, it really feels like it is worth the effort. Although the village is small, it is picturesque and the opportunity to grab a coffee, lunch or a cold beer is most welcomed. Then, you have to walk home. The best I can say about that is it is about another 10 000 steps and the climb up to Roviano is accomplished on sheer will power after your legs decide they have gone far enough, thank you very much. The crazy thing is, we are already talking about doing it again.