A little treasure hidden in the hills of Bologna
Elcito, the tiny village
Guess how many inhabitants it has
by Nadia Stacchiotti.
Elcito is a very small village near San Severino (Macerata). It consists of a few houses on a cliff overlooking the valley nearby San Vicino Mountain. And they are about to be abandoned. Yet there are some plans to revitalize the village.
I have always been in love with Elcito. Maybe for the name, that Spanish and exotic sound… but it derives from elce, that means holm oak, a very typical element of the Mediterranean Sea and, perhaps, it was present here even in ancient times. I remember that during my childhood I used to go to a sort of school camp in Elcito, organized by farmers. I also used to spend some afternoons running around and playing in these little streets, while my father was repairing the electrical system of a relative of ours, who had a house right in the village.
Twenty years ago Elcito already risked to be abandoned: more and more people have decided to move out and less and less old people have remained. Today the village has 7 strong inhabitants! However, there are initiatives aimed at revitalizing it, such as renovation works, currently underway, and cultural events: the concerts in summer and the staging of the crib in winter.
Elcito is very small, I would say almost microscopic. After the historical sign that marks the height of the mountain (824 meters), a small and pretty square will welcome you. Then there are the church and the old school. On the “main street” you can find the still-working old bakery. And at the end of the street there is the panoramic viewpoint.
From the small square, the road leads you to other houses. Under the arch you will find a cast iron fountain where you can drink some good water.
That’s Elcito! Beyond it, many paths and roads start. Yet what fascinates me most is enclosed by these few houses with their narrow windows, which tell you stories of hard life.
On the walls you can find photos of the past: processions, feasts, moments of everyday life. They make the atmosphere even more magic. I must say that there is also a little and romantic Bed&Breakfast.
Although Elcito is located on a cliff, it is surrounded by several interesting sites. First of all, the Valfucina Abbey (with a magnificent crypt), the tower of Isola and the beautiful beech forest of Canfaito (spectacular in autumn) near the Lake of Cingoli. If you rather prefer the city life, San Severino with its elegant square awaits you a few miles away.
Nadia Stacchiotti, Racconti di Marche blog