Today I’m back in Bobbio Pellice to tell you a legend set in the small village of Malpertus, on the way to the Conca del Pra and just beyond the Cestel, probably named this way because of the handful of houses (“pertus” means hole) that in winter time take very little sun, since they are wedged in the valley near the stream… This is a really mysterious and fascinating place!
It is said that on a winter day five foreigners, traveling to France, reached the village in the evening asking hospitality to Mr. Gras, known for his generosity, who was at that time the mayor of Bobbio Pellice.
The man did not think twice to welcome his guests in the large room used as dryer and, after accomodating them, he went in the stable to spend the night enjoying his warmth… He was so tired that he did not even hear the women of the family gathering together for the traditional vigil with the neighbor.
When it grew late, the neighbor lady turned back home but, passing by the large room of Mr. Gras, she was surprised to see the light on. Intrigued by that strangeness, she got nearer in order to peep through the keyhole… Think what a fright she felt when she saw that inside the room there were five big beasts sleeping on the floor! She then came back quickly on her feet and ran into the stable to alert the others.
The women, who had not been informed of the arrival of the foreigners, trembled with fear and almost went mad when they heard a hum coming from the back of the barn… Fortunately it was only Mr. Gras, awakened by the women’s shouting; as soon as he heard what was happening he immediately took his sword in her home and ran into the large room.
“Who are you and what the hell are you doing here?” he shouted entering the room.
The beasts, awaken all of a sudde, began to pray the man: “It ‘s true, we have not been honest with you, Mr. Gras. We are sorcerers, but please… Our journey will take us over the mountains, in France, and we will not do any harm to anyone here, we promise. Let us just spend the night in this place and tomorrow we’ll disappear and never come back again here!”
It seems that sorcerers then offered the man a lot of gold coins with which he used to buy many lands and to make his family live in prosperity… As for the five sorcerers, whoever knows where they went?
How to get here:
reach the town of Bobbio Pellice along the Provincial Road 161 and drive past the town; go along Villanova Street for 2 km and you will come to the village
Do you want to read the tale in Italian ?