Anne's Blog

A Return to Todiano

Date: November 29, 2018 - categories: , , - 4 Comments

The road to Todiano through the Valnerina (Nera River Valley) is breath-taking even on a  November day. Villages border the Nera River flanked by mountains as it  winds through the valley.

..and some villages precariously cling to the mountain sides…

Other villages seem about to slip right down the mountain …..

We’d taken this road to Todiano this past summer to view the Palazzo Anzuini, devastated by the October 2016 earthquake.  Pino’s building company Impresa Alagna had bid on the restoration preliminary work, called in Italian “la messa in sicurezza”  (“to make safe/secure”).

They won the bid. We headed back to Todiano to  check out the preparations of two workers.

Buckets of bolts led us to the palazzo entryway framed in scaffolding.

Except for the workers, no access permitted to the Palazzo Anzuini nor to the chapel in front of it, “1600” carved on a stone at the entrance

But Pino had the key:

The Virgin above the altar looked so forlorn:  the sense you have as you walk this abandoned town awaiting seismic restoration


The most despondent point in town for me was the tiny piazza at the top of Todiano.  On the empty benches under a chestnut tree, the elderly of the town would have sat and chatted for hours. The leaves of the chestnut tree and chestnut burls now cover the walkway below and the piazza


That tiny piazza, the heart of Todiano village life, would have been pristinely clean.

A small stone monument near the benches  – a gift to the town from a local – is carved with the image of a dove, the town bellower and clenched hands.

Called “La Stretta di Mano” (“The Handshake”), the grasping of another’s hand represents the hope for a more humane world. As explained in the inscription, the handshake also signifies Todiano’s welcome to visitors in a spirit of friendship.

May Todiano soon again welcome visitors.

And Pino is doing his small part for a return to Todiano…..


  • Bev Oliveri says:

    Pino and his crew have save and restored so much of Italy’s precious buildings. May God continue to bless him as he is truly a blessing for Italy!

  • Anne Robichaud says:

    Awww….thanks.Bev….he sure IS a blessing for me!

  • Cara says:

    Beautiful article Anne. Wonderful work by Pino!! Thank you for all you do, both of you!

  • Anne Robichaud says:

    Glad you enjoyed, Cara..and come visit! Hopefully, when you come, you can see restoration and resurrection

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