Look at your map. You see highways, autostradas, roads, smaller roads, very skinny roads and then, focusing harder, you will find white lines. These lines seem to meander, flowing between places like river bottoms. Usually you do not see destinations marked along their ways.
Travelers often ignore these lines and that is their mistake; for, it is as you bump and turn along these dirt, gravel, ravined rutted roads that discoveries are made. It is in these explorations that you will find future memories more evocative than the storied places you have been to—the “must sees,” as they are called.
A mystery of these roads and something to keep in your mind as you decide to take the step and follow one is that they always lead some place—well, almost always anyway. Eventually you will bump your way back onto a paved road with directional signs to somewhere.
Along the way you will find even smaller paths to turn into where at the end will be an ancient farmhouse now restored, lived in and with a sign for olive oil and wine. You wonder what happens to these people in winter; surely cars can’t make it “there and back” in snow and rain. And then the bigger question: Who finds this place to taste and buy the oils and wines?...People who follow white lines, of course.
We spent a year exploring these roads that beckon and yet there must be hundreds more to find. Today was a new one with a delightful reward along the way. After passing by a lovely but mournful wooden cross bedecked with flowers, held up by rough stones at the base—a memorial to some tragic accident, peering into woods where the wild boar roams, hearing the strange calls of unknown birds somewhere in the tree tops and glimpsing small hilltop villages in the distance,
we eventually found ourselves in San Giusto in Salcio--a very small old grouping of stone houses, a church and a towering tower with bells announcing the hour--a borgo of the past but lived in again now.
The parish church was built in the 1200's, restored over the years, fell into disrepair and last renovated in 1926. It is small but clearly in use--not decommissioned as so many of the old chapels here have been. And, in it was this quite lovely treasure that gleamed within the rough hewn walls and scarred pews of the building--a not unusual find when traveling white roads.
Alongside these rooms is a small museum of vineyard/winery implements and equipment from days long past.
KZ in Toscana.
In this picture, they are holding the San Diego Pot Holders he brought them per la cucina.