It’s time to reveal some news related to geocaching and mapping!
Related to geocaching we have finally started our long awaited series, “Smeriglio’s houses”. So a bit of back-story is needed!
In the mountains between Palazzuolo and Crespino, there’s a church (with an annexed house) called Lozzole. It has been restored quite recently (2000-2001) after it was abandoned at the end of the Second World War. It holds a special place in my memory since many hikes I did had this house as a starting or ending point. This church was the center of a mountain parish of the same name, that along the years was left abandoned when all the inhabitants started looking for their fortune in the nearby cities. To give an idea in 1945 there were around 300 people living there, scattered across the mountains, while in 1954 only 199 people remained and two years later only two families still resided there.
An old picture of Lozzole, shot by Franco Conti. As you can see part of the roo already began to crumble after the place was abandoned
Luckily, before passing away on 21 July 2008, Smeriglio Fabbri, the last inhabitant of Lozzole (who meanwhile relocated himself), released a very insightful interview talking about its past life there, how was the life there and so on. You can find the full interview here. It’s only in Italian unfortunately, but there’s a passage I was interested particularly on (I will translate it here):
We ask him an indication about placenames of the entire parish and we are not disappointed by his answer: Prevaligo, Cà della Scheta, Scheta di Sotto, Panera, Campergozzole, Carpine and then, Praticino, Casetto di Sotto, Vigliano di Sotto, Cadalino, Vigliano di Sopra, Casa Vecchia, Stabbia, Fintomorto, La Penta, Casetto, Colla (near the church), Vallombrosa, Casetta di Costa (where Giancarlo [his son] was born) , Pian di Bonaccio, Cà del Piano, Le Fogare, Pian delle Fagge (where his mother was born), Cà del Cigno, La Maestà (where Smeriglio was born), Il Sorbo, La Lastra, Cà di Vagnella, Le Spiagge, Le Canove.
This is the nearest thing we have to a full list of the houses in Lozzole parish. And what I thought, in collaboration with Elian of course, is that it would be great to create a cache dedicated to all these houses. Many of them already exist (as some of my previous posts demonstrate) but are archived, other instead need a brand new cache and some houses still need to be discovered by us!
What you see above is our attack-plan! Green pinpoint means that a cache there is already hidden, blue ones means that a cache is already there but needs re-activation (all of them were hidden by fabio4x4) and red ones mean that no cache has ever been hidden there. The question marks are, instead, for houses without a name that probably has a match in the list left from Smeriglio.
It seems a long work and it will surely be, but it’s good to let people explore and discover great places like these mountains that hold so many great landscapes and old abandoned manors!
A little collection of what you can find walking around this mountains
Every time we will publish a cache under this series (identifiable by the prefix [LCDS]) you will find it in the list hosted on this website.
The second news is not related directly to geocaching, but to hiking! As you probably already know I’m a bit involved in the OpenStreetMap project and in the last months, I started a little project to map all the CAI trails in my region. For not Italians, CAI is an association of volunteers that check, map and organize a lot of hiking trails in Italy.
After I contacted many people of the association to get help with my project, I was contacted by one of the head of the Trail Mapping Committee that invited my to a meeting where I explained them how could be useful to transfer all the data they have about hiking trails on OpenStreetMap and, since they already have past agreements with OSM, they gladly accepted!
So in the last weeks we gathered a sort of a little task force of volunteers that will map all the CAI trails of the region on OSM! I will post more news as soon as I have them.
On Saturday I will probably go with Elian on a maintenance/hiding tours in nearby Ceparano, stay tuned for the report 🙂