Save the date on the diary for March 25, the "Dante-Day".
According to scholars, in fact, on March 25th 1300 Dante Alighieri started his descent into the underworld "In the middle of the journey of our life...". The rest is part of ... "the Divine Comedy" the most important "novel" of italian literature.
And for this reason, in the month of March our three #thingstodo will be dedicated to him.
1 - #aselfiewith ... Dante!
It is necessary to walk a little bit, but the route climbing up the “mountain for which Pisans cannot see Lucca" (Inferno canto XXXIII) is quite pleasant and Dante seemed to know it well.
From Santa Maria del Giudice, the village at the foot of the mountain, on the side of Lucca (remember to visit the new parish church and on the other side of the road the old parish church, two small treasures of Romanesque architecture), go up a winding road in the middle of the Mediterranean scrub forest, getting a simple dirt track before you reach the pass and the old bust of the great poet. Click!
2 - #a walk ... on Mount Pisano.
Once you have reached Dante's pass, you can proceed on one of the many paths after a stop to admire the beautiful panorama of the coast that opens up at our feet. Mount Pisano was formerly located between the coast and an extensive marsh and this explains the presence of numerous paths and small villages. In that era, hermits and ascetics chose these places for meditation and for this reason the mount was better known as Mons Heremita.
Not far from the pass, the Spelonca hermitage is therefore an easy and important destination. The path continues in the middle of the typical garrigue landscape with low bushes of mastic, myrtle and pink cistus. As the vegetation reveals, the sea is not far away, in fact.
The hermitage was founded in 1190 by Honestus and Dulcis who were no real hermits, since they lived in groups, and they used to remain there for a long time to bring religious comfort and perhaps even christening to the inhabitants of the area. On the back of the church there is a shelter hidden under a rock, as it often happens in these places, leading to the heart of the karstic mountain and representing a paradise for cavers.
You can vote for the hermitage as your favourite place
3 - #agluttonysin ... fresh frittelle!
Frittelle, traditional small pancakes, are a must. A bit of overindulgence this month is welcome if they are made following the ancient recipe from the 14th century cookbook by Anonimo Toscano, with precious instructions about how to "cook a roast beef quickly and well" or how to prepare a salad of onions.
For the Dante-Day, however, we sugest "fresh frittelle: Take the bread crumble and a fine herb sauce, mint, petrosello herbs, eggs, mix them together and fry in fresh lard in a pan. And then you put them on a chopping board covering them with icing sugar. "
If you want them tastier, add some agresto seasoning which, as the Anonimo teaches us, is prepared with white wine and water.
Or you can taste some excellent gingerbread or a pastry panforte. The perfect couple is a good hippocras drink, of course.