di Lucia Bigozzi

The wind is throwing snowballs at the branches open to wonder. Small gusts, almost a caress. The aphonous sound of the snow falling from the trees and adding to the high mantle, gives the sense of small things that, right for this, are great.

Being there makes the difference and it helps to understand the value of an endless story: Cortona and its treasures, not just the artistic ones.

Cortona mountain, Sant’Egidio: a unique scenery, even more magical with snow. Covid, the pandemic, the economic crisis seem so far up there; so irrelevant, so small. Here it is the magnificence of a place and the impressions of those who know how to tell its tradition but also its simplicity which, when authentic, becomes elegance.

A different step, a step forward in the way of understanding hospitality and promoting the area.

No surface, at least for once, only essence, because telling a place, its soul, means going to the roots and explain why that place is unique, exclusive and why there is no other in the world. Originality.

It means how to explain why it is worth taking a car, a plane, a train, a motorcycle, a bike and ride/drive for kilometers to visit it, decide to spend the night and choose it as a destination for the next holidays.

The details are the “words” of Vittorio Camorri, tireless chief of Terretrusche who has been fighting tenaciously against the effects of the pandemic for a year, enhancing every corner of Cortona. An idea that comes from afar that, with the pandemic, Vittorio was able to recalibrate according to the need of communicating emotions, suggestions, advantages, well-being experienced by walking through history across silent alleys, or up to the paths of the mountains, now almost fabled because whitened with snow.

How? An outdoor table, such as those of a picnic or an “al fresco” dinner, becomes the score where to write a “symphony” made up of local delights, the wisdom of experts who work with raw materials according to ancient rites and traditions.

Cheese, ham, a board of local cuts, the precious Syrah – the most renowned product of the territory – hand-made and wood-fired bread, meat of local tradition together with her majesty the Chianina beef, fire that heats and cooks.

Behind each element there is a story to be revealed, people, families to be told. A powerful image that embodies identity, history, community, style, wisdom, uniqueness.

Breakfast in the snow, in the wonder of Cortona mountains, unspoiled as they are. An open-air museum, a nature never tired of surprising. What is more powerful? The time of non-stop tourists and visitors from March to October and for the Christmas holidays is over and Covid has even changed the idea of relaxation due to the fear of contagion and its spread among people. Since we have to live with the virus again – no one knows for how long – there is no time to waste because Cortona thrives on tourism, because Cortona has an irresistible and world-recognized charm. Yet, like a beautiful woman who looks in the mirror and discovers the signs of age, Cortona risks to see her own light blurred by the slowness of decisions, by inertia which is the opposite of efficacy, while other lights are shining in Valdichiana.

Long live the ideas that become facts, long live the style that makes a place unique and those who live in it and who is able to enrich it with their own projects. Breakfast in the snow can be the first step towards rebirth.

Foto: Andrea Migliorati