Legend: the fairy and the bad advice – Malconsej lake, Bobbio Pellice

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When I started my journey walking to the Pra basin the sun was shining, but during the ascension to Pian Sineive the sky got cloudier. When I took the path on the left, just after the memorial stone which remembers a plane crash occurred in 1957, haze started to rise, and I had to put on my jacket.

Pian Sineive salendo verso il Lago Malconsej, monumento ai caduti dell'incidente aereo

The ascension to my destination has been difficult, because the slope was quite steep, and in a few moments I had to use also my tiny hands. When I got there I sat on a rock and in front of me, into the fog, the Malconsej lake revealed itself, surrounded by a crown of dark rocks and with Manzol mount dominating its deep and cold water.
Immediately I realised that I couldn’t have imagined a better scenery to make more evocative photos to match the legend I’m telling you today.

A day, a young shepherd from Bobbio Pellice was in the proximity of the shores of this lake, sitting on a rock. Suddendly, he realised that on the other side of the lake a girl was gazing at him. He couldn’t believe his eyes: he had never seen such a beautiful creature, and so he understood she was a fairy. The young woman was still looking at him, and with a shining smile told him to reach her.

The man, totally charmed, started to climb the rocks in order to go around the small lake and reach the beautiful girl. In that moment he saw that the water wasn’t floating anymore, but it was still, as if it was frozen. “A fairy trick!” tought immediately. The girl on the other bank suggested him to cross the lake. He, cautiously, followed her advice and started to walk towards her. But when he reached the centre of the lake, he noticed that everything under his feet was creaking, and in the blink of an eye the surface broke down. The doomed pastor fell in the icy water, engulfed by the billows and sucked up for the eternity in the deep darkness of the lake. In the same moment also the fairy disappeared in the water, getting down in her dark and damp home to give the shepherd a welcome.
Since that day the lake is called “Malconsej”, literally the lake of the bad advice.

In the stories I told you the fairies have very different aptitudes: some are touchy and vindictive, whereas others are good and gentle and try to help humans.
And you, which stories do you know about fairies?

How to get here
From Bobbio Pellice you can reach Villanova and leave the car there. Take the road to Pra basin, then overtake Rifugio Jervis and continue walking until the end of Pra plateau. Once passed the last pasture take a path on your left until you reach Pian Sineive, another plateau, where you’ll find a memorial monument remembering a plane crash. On your left, just after the monument, on a rock you’ll find the directions to the Malconsej lake. Now you’ll have to walk for half an hour on a very steep slope to suddenly reach the lake shores. In order to get here you have to be a good walker: it took me 4 hours and a half to, but maybe you’re more trained than me! From Pian Sineive in another 45 minutes you can reach Rifugio Granero, where it’s possible to spend the night.