Poor people’s gratitude, in Colognora’s Chestnut Museum
Chestnuts have always sustained life in Colognora, near Lucca. In thanks, the old Tuscan town has now dedicated a museum to this tree species.
The museum tells in great detail the story of how for centuries, entire generations’ daily lives revolved around chestnut trees, both for work and for food.
Visitors are invited to discover a world that now has disappeared: rooms full of utensils and everyday items represent a past in which chestnut wood equaled warmth, and meals were based on chestnuts – roasted, boiled, or ground into flour to make bread.
Peasants’ gratitude for this tree was beautifully expressed in a poem by Giovanni Pascoli, who called it
tree of bread.
Sometimes gratitude is at its strongest when people receive the simplest gifts.