Sunday, 21 September 2014

From Rivalgo to Codissago

The last post has brought much correspondence.  
Initials over the gate in Rivalgo [Courtesy Franco Baldissarutti]

I must thank in particular Giancarlo Soravia in Venas di Cadore, Vittorina in Il Covo dei Zater in Perarolo, Franco Baldissarutti in San Stefano, and Enzo Zanvettor from Ospitale who was visiting Perarolo recently and spoke with Giancarlo on the subject of the initials over the gate at Rivalgo

In the last blog taken from my audio diary of August 1998 I stated that the initials over the gate (the wrought iron gate on the opposite side of the street from the church) were 'CJM'.  I was wrong.

In fact they are 'CSM' and stand for Cristoforo Svaluto Moreolo.  The name 'Svaluto Moreolo' is one of an ancient family of the Cadore region.  I had no idea that a chance observation would throw up so much discussion!  A big 'thank you' to Carlo et al!

Rivalgo looking north [Courtesy Aldo De Bastiani]
In the 19th century the Svaluto Moreolo family owned sawmills in the Piave valley, and had property in Venice.  Cristoforo's initials CSM appear on a well there bearing the date 1887.

I am recently indebted to Aldo De Bastiani for giving me permission me to use his fine photograph of Rivalgo, showing the church and the gate on the right.  

Since the last post blog post Franco Baldissarutti has contacted me again to say that the gateway has now been demolished (the house that stood in the grounds beyond was demolished many years ago).  I would assume that this was to allow the road to be widened,which in turn would be of benefit to the facade of the church which is subject to wear and tear from debris thrown up by through traffic.

My audio diary from that Saturday in August 1998 tells me that it was approaching  5.00 pm and the light was fading fast - the Piave flows through a valley flanked by mountain ranges  on both banks.  

Una (my bicycle) and I had a quick look at Ospitale before pressing on downriver (see the previous post for details of the great rock in the river, Sas Levado, upstream of Ospitale).

The Piave valley between Rivalgo and Ospitale [Tabacco Carte e Piante  Turistiche Sheet 21]

The tiny church at Ospitale
[© Peter Alexander Gray 1998]
My diary records that '...there is a little stream (the Valbona) running down through Ospitale 'in terraces'.  Beautiful hills everywhere...'  I took one hurried photo of a tiny church, then pressed on down the Piave.

The photo (attribution unknown) below shows a better view.  This is part of Ospitale is Sottospitale (Lower Ospitale). 

There exists another larger church further up the hill, but, that evening, time was short  and I needed still to visit Termine before heading finally to Codissago to stay the night with my friends there, Umberto and Barbara.

On old maps the name of the town is shown as 'Hospitale' (the letter 'h' - rarely used - is not aspirated in spoken Italian).   Umberto Olivier told me (the next day) that Ospitale gives its name to the word 'hospital'. The name of the village itself originates from an ancient hospice (the building still survives in Upper Ospitale) intended for pilgrims and wayfarers passing through.

The Piave valley between Ospitale and Codissago
[Tabacco Carte e Piante  Turistiche Sheet 21]

It was time for Una and I to set off downriver again.  What a day!  From Cima Sapadda to Calazo... then Pieve, Perarolo, Ospitale...  I was exhausted!

I permitted myself a quick visit to Davestra, but there wasn't time to photograph any of a most interesting village, before Una and I were away again heading south to Termine.

Termine is so-named because it is situated at the southern  limit of the region where the Cadorino language is spoken in Cadore.  Immediately south of Termine, the language that was spoken in the 19C was Bellunese.  With the coming of television in particular, the Italian language has become dominant throughout Italy.

But local languages are still important, and there are many institutions dedicated to the recording and preserving of these languages.  Anyone speaking Italian and interested in knowing more about the Cadorino language should visit Carlo Soravia's quite exceptionally detailed blog.  There you will find also links to much fascinating information about the history and culture of Cadore.

For those of you who have been following the Scottish referendum this year, let me say Scotland, as a nation, has confirmed it is happy to remain part of the United Kingdom.  We have, as in Italy, many local languages.  I prefer to call them languages, as they are not dialects of English.  The language still spoken in the region of Scotland where I live (the Moray coast) is Doric.  It is not related to Gaelic,  other than it imports 'loan words' - as do all languages.

I digress!  Let me say I am once again indebted to Franco Baldissarutti for writing to me and sending me a photo - in this case of Termine.
The church at Termine looking down the street
 [Courtesy Franco Baldissarutti]
Here is Franco's photo of the wonderful little church there. My diary of 1998 states, 'It is the smallest church - the building is square but the corners are cut off!'

At 6pm the light was really bad - but this was the most remarkable little place of worship I had seen so far on my journey down the Piave valley, so I had to try and take a photo.

The church of S. Maria Maddalena
looking up the street  in the half light
[© Peter Alexander Gray 1998]

Above is my own attempt on a darkening Saturday evening in August 1998.  Then it was down the Piave again - not the easiest stretch passing by the cliffs under Castello Lavazzo with heavy traffic roaring past - over the Ponte Malcolm and so into Codisaggo.  I have already published a lengthy post about Codissago in this blog.  You can read it here.  The next post covers the stretch of river from Codissago to Belluno, and also says a little about that saddest of subjects - Vajont.

Note: This blog supports readers of The Door of Perarolo, a historical novel set in Cadore, Italy in the early nineteenth century.  You can examine feedback from readers in the UK here and in the US here.  The Door of Perarolo is a Kindle ebook comprising 140 chapters.  It can be downloaded from Amazon sites worldwide.  The launch post of this blog gives further details.  The second post provides links to maps, etc.

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