Legend: the brazier – Pianoro del Pis – Massello

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The legend I’m telling you today talks about magical powers and teaches us to not underestimate its own opponent.

Salendo verso il pianoro, alle mie spalle la cascata del Pis

A long time ago there was a brazier, a man who performed the ancient work of crafting pots, was walking towards the houses of the shepherds of the Pis, in the territory of Massello, in Val Germanasca. When he reached the hovels, he saw a shepherd who was poking the fire under a big cauldron to make cheese. He was thirsty because of the long walk, and so he asked to the shepherd a bit of fresh milk. But the shepherd replied: «I don’t have any, you have to wait for the milk I’m cooking, when it’ll be curdled». The artisan protested, and raising his voice said: «No, I want the fresh milk!». Due to the insolence of the man, the shepherd relied again, and told him «I want? Is this the manner? And so you won’t have anything! Go on your own way!». The brazier, annoyed by the words of the shepherd, continued his walk to the Val Pragelato, but shouted an intimidation: «Alright, I’m going, but you’ll repent!».

Alone again, the shepherd continued to heat the milk, and when it reached the right temperature, poured in the rennet, but the milk couldn’t curdle in any way. The man poured in more rennet, but without any result. At a certain point, he realised what was happening, and exclaimed: «Oh, this was the threat of that man! He is a sorcerer and he has casted an evil spell on me. Well, he won’t get away!».

Saying so, the shepherd took a black hen and put her under a flipped over pot. Then, he sat over it and declaimed some magical phrases. Yes, you’re guessing right: he was a sorcerer, too!

In that moment, the brazier wall still walking on his way, but suddendly the path he was following disappeared, and in front of him an enormous rocky wall appeared. Every attempt to pass over fell through, and so the man had to turn back. When he reach again the hovels, he saw that the shepherd was waiting for him sitting on the big pot that was trapping the hen. A mysterious force obliged the brazier to sit on a bench near the fire. The flame was high, and he would have liked to move away from that spot, but the invisible force continued to prevent him from moving. At that point, he had to confess: «Shepherd, o good shepherd – he said – move the bench away from the fire and your milk will be curdled!».

Heard that, the shepherd was satisfied, and so freed the hen. The brazier begged him pardon for the bad joke and started again to walk to his destination.
Yes, also who has magical powers need to be always respectful and to pay attention, because he could find another sorcerer, even more powerful than him!

How to get here
This nice hike starts from Balziglia, in the territory of Massello. This is a more engaging walk respect to many others I suggested you, and it takes more or less 3 hours and a half.
So, take the road that climbs through the houses on the right before passing the wooden bridge. After half an hour you’ll reach the houses of Clot da Mian. Go forward on the path until you get to the plateau at the feet of the beautiful Pis waterfall. Continue to walk on the path going towards the waterfall, and at a certain point it will start to climb more and more with a sequence of hairpin turns that will conduct you to the summit of the waterfall. After a short precipitous part, you’ll be able to admire the beautiful plateau. During the summer, this place is full of edelweiss!

Do you want to read the tale in Italian ?