UNEXPECTED ORSIGNA

Countryside, food and culture on a sunny autumn day

It’s Saturday and we’re terribly late. A friend of Nivek’s is visiting from France and we want to take him somewhere a bit off the beaten path.

Kevin suggests we to drive to the mountains nearby, in the Pistoia area, and find a cute, possibly tiny, hopefully delicious restaurant for lunch. We drive off and look at reviews on our way. I eventually stumble upon Molino di Berto, in Orsigna, with a 4.6 rating on Google and 4.5 on Tripadvisor. It seems cute from the pictures, the food looks delicious, plus we can eat outside.

Molino di Berto

The restaurant is up a quiet mountain road, where the weather is a bit chillier than down in the city. A cozy atmosphere and gorgeous surroundings welcome us. The setting and the people working at Molino di Berto look and feel like they discovered the secret for a joyful, mindful living.

Everything in the menu is home made and all the seasonal ingredients are grown and processed locally. We get some crostini to start, and then pasta!

When we ask the kind owner if there are any short hikes nearby, she suggests we check out the path to the “Tree with the Eyes” –  which is just 5 minutes away by car.

Before we set off, we purchase a jar of local honey from the woods nearby – which turned out to be delicious (we are honey junkies FYI) .

The Tree With Eyes

Little do we know that this place actually has a truly interesting story to tell. This story is that of writer and journalist Tiziano Terzani.

Tiziano Terzani spent most of his life reporting from East Asia, and had been one of the very few western reporters to witness not only the fall of Saigon to the hands of the Viet Cong, but also the coup d’etat in Cambodia in the mid-1970s. His books have been translated in over 10 languages.

When he got really sick, after a life full of travels, and even spending some time in confinement on the Himalayas region in his early 60s, he returned to Italy to spend the last months of his life with his family in Orsigna.

The tree with eyes was established here in his memory.

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