THE SIENESE CRETE, domineering horizons 

Everyone bilieves to know the Crete, the land of the grand vistas, the twisting roads flanked by cypresses, the green rolling wheat fields, the bare, ash-coloured hills, so often evoked with the adjective most commonly used to describe their striking, severe beauty: lunar. Like an island: exuberant, uncompromising, where the sun really shines, the wind blows unhindered, the light is blinding, and sight can range mercilessly everywhere, chasing distant horizons, wonderful lines, and unforgivable damages. It is a white patch when alla else is green, or green when all else is grey. A seemingly soft, almost velvet earth, but in reality cracked, split, rough, and often wounded. The Crete has preserved, for better or worse, the coarse finish of the ancient countryside: rugged and gentle, harsh and courteous, testy and hospitable. Millions of years ago those hillocks were an undulating, animated, and peaceful seabed; the “grete”, in the farmers’demure language is synonymous with difficult soil, “ignoranti” soil.

It goes without saying that these places have a high emotional impact, troubling and scarring. The poet Mario Luziphotografed them thirthy yars ago with verses that left a mark: “ The earth without the gentleness of trees, the arid earth that interrupts below Siena its still waviness and riplles in the distance remote towers, remote rocks; it is a place beynd the senses, a different land that lets your thoughts travel but does not hold them, does not acta s memory, but as angst”.


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