High, high up in the Monte San Vicino Nature Reserve…
… is the tiny hamlet of Elcito.
Elcito consists of a handful of houses, the ruins of a once important castle
and a church.
At approximately 824 metres above sea level, Elcito affords some stunning views and welcome breezes on hot summer days. We visited it with my friend D. and her niece.
The following words are by D. who is now back in New York:
It was a dreary winter day in New York City and I got lost in the photo of Italian vineyards, the rows of grapevines on rolling hills reaching out into the distance. Something about the dusty brown and green colors, the hills folding into each other like waves in the sea, the bright Italian sunshine illuminating the endless landscape sucked me into the vista and made me want to go there, even though I hate to fly.
And then there was my beloved friend who I had not seen in over twenty years, who had moved to those hills, made a life with her husband, and created the blog I was looking at. I had to see her again along with that vista.
My niece kindly agreed to accompany me and I bought the plane tickets for June. Suddenly, all the photos from the blog came alive in three dimensions and the landscape surrounded us like a living tapestry or Technicolor movie. Even my niece commented that it was so beautiful it seemed surreal.
We drank wine from the vineyards I had seen on the blog, and limoncello made from the lemons on the balcony. We ate arugula fresh from the garden, dressed in olive oil made with olives from the surrounding trees. We saw passion fruit on the vines outside our door and a fig tree in the yard.
And just when I thought that I had seen all that there was to see that was beautiful and special, we drove to Elcito, an almost completely deserted village carved out of stone. We saw the cluster of granite gray buildings resting like a crown on the head of the mountain as we made our way up the twisting road ascending out of the patchwork fields below into the wild green above.