Summer holidays in the mountains.
I don't have that many memories of my puberty.
Just yesterday I was answering to a mail from a friend I went to "Pinocchio" primary school with. He cited episodes of those times and, while I was reading, I asked myself how he could remember all that.
When I wrote him back I also tried to open those same drawers in my memory, but nothing came out.
My memories start at 10/11 years old, gliding down on the wonderful Cervino slope I already wrote about. But from that moment on, memory is in full swing and there's no way of stopping it.
Piano is a small village in Val di Sole, just ten houses in all, between Dimaro and Tonale. The valley is so beautiful that recently A series soccer teams fight for the few available fields. And if these societies with unlimited financial means like them fight for the right to have their teams go on retreats there, they must have a good reason.
Aunt Licia and uncle Walter had a "maso" there, in a faraway place near the wood: it was a traditional house with ground floor in stone and first floor built in wood̀.
No heating whatsoever, except for a fireplace on the ground floor that had the unrealistic pretention to heat the whole house.
My brother and I spent all August months with my mum there. In the morning we went hiking in the woods, looking for mushrooms. We left early in the morning, at sunrise, sure to beat the locals: actually we crossed them in the woods (their baskets were full, ours empty, and they had this look on their face, of people used to getting up early every day of the year, not just one month like those two little guys who even felt heroic about it).
In the afternoon (after the mandatory nap) the two brave boys cruised the valley on the "lambretta" (motorbike) of their cousin Luciano who, being ten years older, was their idol.
But the most exciting moment of those holidays became, after some years, the soccer competition among the different villages of the valley.
People from Piano, or rather from Commezzadura (I've never played for a team with a worse name) checked that the two boys from the plains were going to be there, calling our aunt in June.
The team included us, a policeman in defense, the son of Piano's mayor in the center of the field and the owner of the hotel in Commezzadura (Alberto, rather overweight) in an offensive position like me.
What were the tactics? The ball from the goalkeeper to my brother, who got it to me, hoping that I would score. Notwithstanding the poor tactics we often won.
Then we went home (there were no locker rooms to speak of), where we found waiting for us the cold water from the hosepipe, for the delight of the women of the village (if there were any looking), since the maso was in front of the village, and the "shower" ceremony took place in the garden. Well, at the time it was a show worth watching (modesty aside). And what about the carrot cake frome Cles' main bar? And strudel? And Mezzana trouts cooked with my aunt's rice?
Too many years have gone by. My dad and uncle Walter are not there any more, aunt Licia is sick, and you know my state. But memories stay, and nobody will ever take them away from me. Never!