Today, as I promised you some time ago, I decided to take you back with me to the Appiotti of Torre Pellice, since I still have something else to tell you!
You have to know that this small village really wheted the fantasy of people from the Valley, who have handed down other versions of the legend that I told you last time… According to some a young man, dumb and idiot, sought shelter in a cave surprised by a storm. Some fairies used to live in the cave; amazed by his submission, they prepared him a superb meal and gave him a golden hatchet (“apiot” means accept in local dialect) that he sold, and with the money he got the boy’s father could build a small house in Torre Pellice that he called, as a sign of gratitude, “Apiot” and from which the township then took its name.
According to others, before leaving permanently, fairies of the valley decided to retire into a very very narrow cave of Angrogna Valley. There fairies used to use a small golden axe to make extraordinary works to give to human beings, but those insisted on making fun of them, curiously invading their spaces and combining disasters… till when they finally decided to leave forever. Before leaving, however, they decided to give one of the few mountaineers who had shown their profound respect the fantastic golden axe. At first the good man did not even dare to touch the object that had made such extraordinary works, but then he decided to sell it to buy a farm in a less inaccessible place: with the proceeds he bought a farmhouse on the banks of the river Angrogna, at the entrance of the village of Torre Pellice, that he called “Apiot” in memory of the little magic axe. To be honest, I can not tell you which version is the most reliable… but I can tell you for sure that the hatchets were some of the first artifacts made by prehistoric man and, with the advent of agriculture, they became indispensable objects to cut down trees, obtaining cultivable space, and to work wood to build houses and tools. However, some long and well polished axes that were not suitable for work were also found, but they used as ceremonial objects used in exchanges between tribes.
The alpine areas in which we are have plenty of green rocks that were formerly used to make these axes, so beautiful and valuable that they would be traded with the rest of Europe: carved on the slopes of Monviso, they spread from Denmark to Sicily, from Ireland to the Black Sea!
Largest axes, up to 30cm long, used to appear well polished, in very hard green stone and were certainly destined to powerful personalities operating into the religious sphere as sacred objects or as gifts, which real value today we can not exactly perceive…
No wonder then that the memory of these objects has survived in these places, associated with the supernatural world of fairy tales and with the material turned into gold, which then is typical of magical objects made by fairy tales, isn’t it?!
How to get here:
following the Provincial Road 161 you will pass naturally from the municipality of Luserna San Giovanni to that of Torre Pellice; the township is between Appiotti Street and Pietro Micca Square (which is just before the bridge over the Angrogna stream).
Do you want to read the tale in Italian ?