Siete quiThe Salt Road No. 2
The Salt Road No. 2
After the Armistice of 8th September 1943 armed and civil resistance developed in this war torn land as a result of the harsh German occupation and increasingly difficult living conditions. This resistance won the Province of Massa-Carrara the Medaglia d’Oro al Valor Militare (the Gold Medal for Military Valour) and the Medaglia d’Oro al Merito Civile (the Gold Medal for Civilian Merit) for the Comune di Massa (Massa’s Town Council). In memory of this the Council and the European Community have reawakened these memories.
The old via Vandelli goes through Resceto, it was built in the mid 1700’s by the engineer Domenico Vandelli to connect the Dukedom of Modena with that of Massa and Carrara, after the wedding of Ercole d’Este and Maria Teresa Cybo-Malaspina. From Modena the via Vandelli goes towards the Sasso Tignoso, above Sant’Anna Pelago, and crosses the Appenines at the San Pellegrino in Alpe pass. Then it descends to Chiozza towards Garfagnana and before Castelnuovo it heads towards Fabbriche di Careggine. From here the road climbs towards the Valle di Arnetola, over Vagli di Sopra, up to the 1,634 metre Passo della Tambura. From which the road descends steeply and with numerous bends, with dry stone walls, to Resceto, dropping 1,100 metres in only 6 km. Abandoned when Italy became unified it was re-used by the women of Massa during the severe winter of 1944-1945, in the course of which the population of Massa, subjected to an evacuation order by the Germans, took refuge in the countryside, in the mountains and in the quarries or remained in the City, were literally reduced to starvation. Usually accompanied by youngsters, the women climbed the mountains, retracing the antique tracks, with their feet bandaged or patched, walking through the snow. Some stopped in Garfagnana, others carried on up to the Padana plain, and reached the province of Modena. Carrying goods to exchange, most of all salt, obtained with difficulty using a long process of boiling sea water. They returned, after days of exhaustion with sacks of flour, chestnut or grain, obtained in exchange for the salt or of the contents of their bottom drawers. Some died of cold or exhaustion, some in torments of snow or machine-gunning, and others were robbed of their precious cargo as they returned towards the coast. Their stories reveal daily acts of humble heroism, which were essential to enable the civilian population to survive during that last hard winter of the war.
Copyright © I sentieri della Memoria- Tutti i diritti riservati