Balestrino, in the province of Savona, Liguria, is a ghost town. Its residents fled in the early 1960s due to unsettling landslides, leaving a still, rusty village, consumed by inactivity.
Feeble sistrum in the wind / of a lost cicada, / no sooner touched than done for / in the exhaling torpor. Eugenio Montale’s verses, from his masterpiece “Cuttlefish Bones”, resonate with the summer solitude that may overcome you walking around these deserted roads. The uncertainty in the poet’s heart echoes in the abandoned landscape all around:
The secret vein / branches out of the deep / in us: our world / barely holds up.
If you have a chance to visit Balestrino – or while you look at our gallery – bring Montale’s words with you, and try to embrace the experience described in this poem:
If you point they tremble / in the gray air, / corrupted leavings / the void won’t devour. // So the gesture fades, / the voices die / and barren life / flows down and out.