Slide20

In my current location, agricultural machines yes, church bells no. I know that a nearby place, CA’ Antonio, that I frequent on my daily run has a bell, but it is not in use. I even miss the rooster. The neighbors have chickens but lay their eggs without a ‘man’. Significantly rural…I am told to stay in after dark to avoid encounters with the animals, wolves, boars, and badgers, but I can listen to them…

Slide21

From ‘my high nest’ in the Montefeltro area, with rounded hills, and hilltops that are sparsely dotted with farmhouses and hamlets, I take of for a moderate length run. No road is flat, many slope steeply and the coolness of the early morning quickly changes to hot and humid conditions on most days. Fortunately, today is overcast with a forecast of thunderstorm, still humid, but pleasant to run, up or down.

Montefeltro I now realize is named after Federico da Montefeltro , who was condottieri     of this region and Duke of Urbino and known for his contributions to art and literature driven by his humanist education. He was also ‘immortalized’ by Pierro della Francesca, a fantastic Italian Renaissance double portrait (diptych) of the duke and duchess of Urbino (1465-1472), currently in the Uffizi museum in Florence.

Slide44

It is Sunday and I pass the first bell in CA’Antonio. I pass fields of wheat and clover, the latter is used as a rotation crop. This is small-scale (mainly non-organic) farming. Tractors yes, but this landscape is not suitable for industrial size operations using turbines. Not really competitive. I am told that a nearby farm changed its production from dairy to meat, because of the changing rules and regulations, made milk, yoghurt and cheese a losing business. While eating less meat would be better for the environment and more sustainable in the long run.

Slide45

I continue and I see a bell tower on a hill, take a detour and try to find a road but the only way up is through the wild flowers. It is a nice chapel, but apparently no longer in use. I walk around and spot the bell with a rope attached, I am tempted but restrain myself. I this area deserting? (Later I am told that in the first half of the twentieth century this region used to be a prosperous sulphur mining area, one of the biggest in Europe.)

Slide23

Slide46

Then I see another sign, this one of modernization, a sign to direct you to an online bike shop. If ever you wondered where online businesses are located, not in the cloud necessarily, you can check out possibilities in the Marche region

After a few wrong turns where the road ends at a deserted house, I think I see another tower that may have a bell. I decide to run down to check it out. No bell, but a monument restored with EU funds, and no way to get in or get close to the entrance.

I run back up and continue the path, reach the valley road that leads to the main road to Bronzo. I hear rustling sounds of a considerable size animal along the way and hope it is a deer and not a boar. I reach Bronzo and there is a church with a car parked in front, I am hopeful.

I take a break, walk around the church and wait a bit. LUCK, the churchbell rings! I wait a bit longer, but the sound of the bell does not stir any activity in the community.

Then an older guy in t-shirt, shorts and slippers comes out of the church, locks the door behind him and drives of in his fiat panda. After that I hear some more bells ringing in nearby locations.

Slide22

I turn around and run back along the valley road, I still hear distant sounds of bells while running. Maybe the bells only ring on Sunday…I return to the farm and am welcomed by the familiar sound of Small Agricultural Machine. No rain yet. Get as much work done before it starts…