Today we are in San Giovanni , in the District of Luserna (Val Pellice): this is a fairly large hilly area in which each group of houses has a different name . Often villages were named after the family who lived there, just as it happened here in Bellion place: Bellion indeed is a typical surname from Waldensian Valleys.
I decided to take you here ’cause I want to tell you a funny story that happened here a long time ago… No one remembers the exact place where it happened, but when I saw these beautiful green meadows, I thought it all happened probably round here.
It is said that warlocks like taking features of particular animals , when they do not show up themselves as human beings. Some say that one of the animals they like most to take the form is the hornet, and now I’m gonna tell you why.
One day a group of farmers came to lie down on this cool grass in order to get some rest from the tiring work in the fields, and one of them fell asleep with his mouth open. Soon after, the other men heard a buzz and they saw a hornet fly out of the sleeper’s mouth…
The farmers soon realized that the sleeping man was actually a wizard and as soon as the hornet flew away , they decided to verify it and prevent him from harming some innocent people. Therefore, they emptied the barrel of wine they had brought with them for lunch and they put it on the mouth of man, with the opening facing up.
When the insect turned back, he tried in every way to enter the mouth of the man who was sleeping, but of course he could not do it. So he began to climb the barrel, and when he found the hole of the cap open he suddenly slipped inside it.
The farmers, who had remained still beside the wizard in order not to scare the hornet, leaped to their feet and corked immediately the barrel, trapping the hornet in the inside.
From the inside of the barrel the furious buzz of the angry hornet could be heard… and in a while the container flew , pushed by the anger of the witch-bug! The barrel started flying left and right, bumping into the rocks and on the surrounding chestnut trees.
Bumping and beating, finally the barrel broke into pieces and the hornet flew away and disappeared from the farmers’ sight.
The man sleeping on the grass did not ever wake up any more…
How to get here
moving along the provincial road 161 connecting Val Pellice to Pinerolo (To) , turn right into Via Malan about 1 km before the town of Luserna San Giovanni. Follow the whole road till its end; as you arrive in February, 17th Square, pass in front of St. John the Baptist Parish Church and turn left into Route of Saret. Just follow that road and in 500 meters you’ll be in Bellion place.
Do you want to read the tale in Italian ?