On the road that goes from Taglio to Olmo, there is a small lake that has been called, since time immemorial, “el gorgo de la Nuissa”, which means the lake of the “novizza”, of the bride.
The legend says that a church used to be there, and a marriage was supposed to take place. The woman, the “novizza”, did not wish to be married to the man her father had forced her to marry, so that she desperately and angrily cried she’s rather be swallowed up by the earth than marry a man she didn’t love. And sure enough, like magic, a bottomless pit appeared and swallowed up the bride, the groom, all their guests, and the church itself, leaving in that place only a hole full of water that is now appropriately called the Gorgo della Novizza, the “lake of the bride”. We can still see that small lake, measuring about 15-20 metres, almost hidden by reeds in this place. It is said that this lake is so deep it cannot be dried out and it is not possible to touch its bottom.
The “Gorgo della Novizza”, from which, at night time, one can hear sounds, singing, rackets and see ghosts that terrorize and sometimes make people shake…”
Stories of Bandits
THE “WOLF” BANDIT
His hut was at the outskirts of Conselve and had become a place of fear and mystery.
The locals called him the Wolf. He used to go out at night and terrorize the population, which had already fallen into poverty because of a recent flood of the river Adige and the endless raids from foreign lords. Many had tried to get close to his home but had never come back, disappearing who knows how!
Albertino da Carrara, lord of Conselve, had put a bounty on his head: dead or alive, the Wolf had to be caught.
A meeting was held in the house of Quirino, an expert in this kind of deeds, and it was decided that the capture operation would take place the following morning, at dawn. Five men, armed to the teeth, would bring nets and big ropes to capture the man.
The slow, watchful journey across the countryside lasted about an hour. Deep silence reigned around the hut, but there was no trace of the bandit. And every time they heard some leaves rustle… how scared they got!
“But this is the wheel of my cart…” “This is my well’s bucket!” Everybody found something belonging to them. “Don’t touch anything, leave it all in its place and stay quiet!” Quirino said.
Some sort of moan, a pained, scared cry came from the hut. Everybody got the chills. “Stop, it’s a trap! Look at those knives hanging from the door and that fake doorstep!” “Bloody devil!”. Suddenly there was a terrible noise and desperate cries for help: Quirino’s friends had fallen in a bottomless pit. When the wild bandit came out, he wasn’t expecting Quirino to jump behind his back, hit him with his sword and make him fall in the deep hole himself. Once the Wolf had been dealt with, Quirino saved his friends with a rope and destroyed the hut.
Excerpt of a story by Alcide Salmaso
BAGNOLI DI SOPRA
Bagnoli xe un logheto cussì belo,
Cussì ben fato, e pien de simetria,
Che poeta no gh’è, no gh’è penelo,
Che ve possa mostrar cossa lu sia.
Nol par minga una vila, ma un castelo;
Una contea, o qualche signoria.
Chi no crede sta roba vegna qua,
Che come ogn’altro, el resterà incantà.
(L. Pastò, El Marcà de Bagnoli, 1788)
BAGNOLI DI SOPRA
The siege of the castle
The “Carraresi Castle” according to ancient maps, was once down that small road past the church, on the left. The merciless Ezzelino III da Romano was lord of these lands for years, as a lieutenant of the famous Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, who had reigned after 1220. Ezzelino, not only served his master’s interests, but especially his own. Long story short, of all the incursions, raids, barbarities and arsons he did with his army, he especially resented the big dogs because, as he was also a clever man, he knew he could steal more from them. The most famous episode among the many cruel things this tyrant committed, occurred in Agna in 1241. This was a punitive expedition against one of the most important people in Padua at that time, Jacopo da Carrara, who had his castle in Agna. In August 1241, Tebaldo Francesco, Podestà of Padua, was ordered by Ezzelino to secretly depart from Padua with approximately two thousand foot soldiers and two hundred horses, and arrived in Agna, where Jacopo da Carrara and his whole family lived, at dawn. After a long siege, the castle was taken and set on fire. During the assault, many noble women tried to flee with their belongings on a small boat near the castle. This, however, was too loaded and sank, drowning all on board. Jacopo was dressed in black (the color rebels against the Emperor were made to wear) and taken to Padua; he was killed on the bridge of San Giovanni and buried in the church of San Giovanni.
An excerpt from stories collected by Gino Mantoan
The circus used to arrive in the main square, with its dancers, horse-drawn rides, “hit the target” games, silent movies. Before starting their show, the dancers used to go around the town in a carriage, playing their wind instruments and announcing the evening’s programme with a speaking trumpet, while the cinema resonated thanks to the gramophone and song records. The actors dressed up as mythological characters, the roads livened up with toy stalls, pastry and ice-cream shops and greengrocers, with people.