Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Off to Tuscany (6)

From medieval days right up until fairly modern times, village life was very communal in Italy and the hard tasks of everyday life were lightened by the companionship of fellow-villagers.
Here is the Old Bagno in Casola, where the women of the village used to gather to do their washing in the clear running water of a spring which was fed through the cistern.
One can easily imagine the gossip and laughter which went on around these ancient stone slabs, to the accompaniment of the slapping and scrubbing of the soapy clothes.
There is a wall opposite and no doubt the village youths gathered there to exchange banter with the young girls assisting their mothers. At a re-enactment I attended one night at a village fete, that is exactly what happened and the night ended with couple slipping off, hand-in-hand, in the dark.

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