It emerged out of the haze above us like a mystical castle, its tower etched against the skyline beckoning us to brave the steep, twisting road to find out what it was.
There wasn’t a soul around as Margo, Kathy and I crept tentatively up the unmarked gravel road somewhere high above the wineries of Barolo, Italy. We kept our eyes peeled for ferocious dogs that might be lurking behind a crumbling stone wall ready to pounce on unwanted interlopers.
Thankfully no such beasts appeared so we breathed sighs of relief and continued on our way up to this clearly abandoned and oh-so-enchanting castle, villa, or manor house.
We crossed the ivy-covered and rosemary bordered bridge to the locked metal doors and I peered in a rusty hole to see what I could see.
How I longed to unbolt that door and walk down that tunnel to the courtyard beyond. I wanted to adopt this place, restore the missing windows, tidy up the overgrown gardens, and soften the brick rooms with cozy rugs and overstuffed, comfy furniture.
At last I tore myself away from such dreams and stood on the bridge in awe of the stunning view. A few moments earlier we’d been down in the valley watching folks fill a bright yellow hot air balloon, and there it was! Soaring cheerily over hillsides lined with vineyards.
The building was fronted by wildly prolific brambles and massive fig trees, as well as a tiny vegetable and flower garden tended carefully by someone. Perhaps little Italian elves. 🙂
I wouldn’t mind picking weeds so much if I had this view to look up at. 🙂
All too soon we tore ourselves away from our discovery and headed back down the hill, wondering what this place had been, who had lived there, and what stories those walls held.
What do you think this place was? 🙂