Why do we flee from civilization to choose solitude, the simplicity of a life in the woods or in the mountains? This is the question that Marco Albino Ferrari wants to answer, listening to his desire for the great natural spaces, for a silence that is very far from our times.
The adventure that he lives and recounts in these involving pages takes place a few steps from our cities, in Val Grande, between Piedmont and Lake Maggiore, an insidious, hostile place, populated by the ghosts of a pastoral society vanished among rocks and tree trunks. The author moves his steps and his narration on the Bove Path – the first high hiking path in Italy, dedicated to the explorer Giacomo Bove, – a demanding and almost forgotten excursion in a theater where the “power of nature recaptures everything”. Like Bove during his explorations, stuck in the same arctic whiteness that had haunted Edgar Allan Poe, Ferrari seeks the unknown in wild nature, the fear of getting lost and the nostalgia of that fear once safety is regained. And reconstructing the story of Bove (who committed suicide at 35) the author encounters unexpected figures: Emilio Salgari, the commander Nordenskiöld, Edmondo De Amicis, the naturalist Mario Pavan.
Stories of isolation, of a captivity by the elements that makes us rediscover a more profound freedom, because “on the enchanted path one suffices for oneself”.
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