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Pytheas's choice

Globespot of the month

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Every month, we ask somebody to be a modern Pytheas and tell us something about the most amazing place they have ever experienced, and explain why this is!

Globespot of the month: The Casso village, Dolomites, Italy

Barbara The Pytehas of this month is Barbara Corona. Born in Italy, she stayed several years as a researcher in Austria and the Netherlands, lived in the US and is currently living in Belgium. She picked the Casso village in the Dolomites as her Pytheas spot. More specifically, she picked the house 'La Mura'. And she has a great legend to tell, coming straight form her ancestors... Read all about it...

The term La Mura in an Italian dialect means ‘The Wall’ and in this story it refers to the side wall of a very ancient house situated in the microscopic village of Casso (municipality of Erto-Casso) in the Dolomites mountains on the eastern part of the Italian Alps. Casso

Maurice The story tells that many many years ago, more than 200, a widow, Deda Maria, ‘Aunt Mary’ was living in the house with her 2 kids. On the night of January 5th she was busy at her spinner teasing the wool to make socks when she receive a special visit...

Before continuing it’s necessary to explain that in the valley it was not allowed to work on the evening of that day because the night of the 5th of January was named La Sera della Legrosega, meaning ‘The Evening of the Epiphany’ and in this evening the Devil comes on earth under the shape of and dressed like an old woman…


Portugal So Deda Maria hears knocking at the door and: 
Maria: Who is it?
Visitor: Hello Maria, I’m a friend coming to visit you.
Maria opens the door and sees an old lady. She invites her in and offer her a chair to rest.
Old woman: How come are you working tonight, in the ‘Sera della Legrosega?
Maria: I know I know, but I have two little ones to take care of and I need to work also tonight. Please keep me company dear Comare (Godmother).
After a while Maria drops a woollen tangle on the floor and while collecting it she notices, from under the long skirts of the old woman, that her legs are not normal... they are goat’s legs..
Maria gets scared.. she understands that that’s not a nice old woman visiting her, that’s the Legrosega, the devil in person, in her own house! 



So she says:
Maria: Comare, I’m so thirsty, could you please go down to the crick and get me some water? Here I give you two buckets.
Old woman: Certainly Maria, I’ll be back in a sec.
After the Legrosega lives, Maria locks the door and runs upstairs in her kids’ bedroom. She goes in the same bed and shaking she prays God.

The Legrosega in the meantime goes to the crick, fills in the baskets and walks back to the house but she has to come back multiple times since the water keeps on disappearing from the baskets. When she realizes that the baskets have holes and that Maria did it on purpose to gain time she drops them and runs full of anger towards Maria’s house but she finds the door locked. So with fury she grabs the walls of the house and shaking them with anger she pronounces the following words:

Legrosega: MARIA! Say thanks to God for the fact that you’re there between your angels…otherwise I would have come there and made a fiorin (small pieces) out of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since that moment the walls of the house are not straight anymore but curved like after an earthquake.

Today La Mura is still existing, living together with her scary legend as a symbol of the village of Casso. La Mura is abandoned but not for long! She will become a B&B by December 2008 and everybody will be able to visit it and sleep in the rooms where once the Legrosega entered.

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