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Where the Olive Tree is king
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This itinerary connects the hamlets of Villa Faraldi, Tovetto, Tovo and Molino del Fico, unwinding along hillsides modelled by ancient stone terraces. Turning the hard soil into terraces has always been a hard job for the cultivators. They began to work from the top, removing the land to put it on the lower level, creating an horizontal “fascia”, sustained by a “dry” stone wall (without any cement or binding agents). This effort was necessary, to make the soil, often steep and hard, cultivable. 

Initially On the terraces were cultivated cereals, figs and grapes. Starting from the 15th century, olive trees became predominant. Following this itinerary, you will notice how still today the inhabitants dedicate to the olive cultivation, which dominates other cultivations. Only in the areas where trees have been abandoned, the typical bushes of the Mediterranean vegetation (broom, cistus, myrtle, mastic tree, juniper, strawberry-trees) take over the territory. Slowly, this vegetation will evolve to holm-oak woods. Villa Faraldi is a village with a very compact structure, with little narrow streets crossing each other. You will admire the church of St. Lorenzo, with its elegant façade. The churchyard, every July, is the stage of the Festival of Theatre.

After the Town Hall, in the direction of Tovo, you descend on your right, along the mule track that leads to the Località “Il Santo”. From here, you turn left along the street that cuts horizontally along the hillsides of olive trees. You pass two streams and by the next ridge, you leave this street to follow the slope to Tovetto, walking along an old mule track whose cobblestones save it from the invasion of brooms and thorns. After a votive pillar, you will reach this hamlet. From here, you proceed along a narrow street among the houses, beside the left side of the church. This street is named by the inhabitants of Tovetto “the old municipal street”. You will enter the churchyard of Tovo. This hamlet lies along the ridge, offering a superb view of the valley. Many residents are foreigners, and have restored many old houses, with style and elegance.
From the churchyard, you will reach the cemetery, and then follow the historical mule track that descends to Tovo River; you will cross it and then reach Molino del Fico. Along the track, you will come to the Chapel of St. Antonio, and to some abandoned old houses down on the valley. Once in Molino del Fico, after having walked a short stretch of the Provinciale street, you come back to Villa Faraldi, walking on the ridge that descends from Villa to Molino del Fico

In this last part of the itinerary, you will come to many chapels and votive pillars. These religious buildings, erected to protect the territory, or simply to remember some important events, are easily found along the mule tracks. These tracks were once upon a time the only connections among villages and hamlets, and frequently the men’s passage.

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