Whenever I hear the sound of the waves gently crashing on the shore, my mind takes me back to the Anguillara Sabazia pier, and I begin to remember.
I remember the silence that accompanies those small waves on winter days, capable of lulling your soul. Because Anguillara does this: it heals your spirit.
As a child, I made my town a promise: “Whenever I’m down in the dumps, I’ll come see you at sunset.”
Then that promise became a fixture, especially in autumn, when the sun rests on the lake and the sky turns red, almost as if embarrassed in front of so much splendour.
A stone’s throw from that blue table is the town that is reflected every day in the lake, looking like a painting.
Yet Anguillara is no longer a town, but a city, and this is where its strong point is: it is divided in two.
There is the city, the lively and noisy part, full of a variety of shops, and then there is the town that gives the illusion of being in a completely different place. It is the historic centre, which is nothing more than a hill full of old houses overlooking the pier and narrow alleys made up of only cobblestones.
Whenever I am out of breath I am reminded of the walks through those alleys, all stairs and climbing that lead to the top. Here is La Collegiata, the most important church of Anguillara, from where you can look out seeing the whole pier with its promenade that forms a right angle.
When I see the sun rise, fishermen come to mind, and the colours of the dawn bring me back to the carnivals of when I was a child, with colourful floats in a square full of people dancing and laughing, and it’s nice to know that after twenty years it is still like this.
When I look out on a balcony I think of the families who have lived in the historic centre for generations, and, like every town worthy of being called that, I remember the elderly who at the slightest sound of voice would go out on the balcony to say good morning.
And when they had the impression of knowing you, they promptly asked: “Whose child are you?”
I remember the aromas I smelled coming from all those kitchens and mixing, creating wonderful aromas, that made me want to go to grandma’s for lunch.
I remember the village festivals every summer, how much effort was put in to ensure that everyone was happy and how proud the Anguillarini were of those festivals, sacred popular traditions, with the pier illuminated by those few street lamps and the many stalls.
I remember how much I played as a child, all the football games, and how much I liked running barefoot on the beach, free, without thoughts, with the sun’s rays caressing my skin.
I remember when I looked at the lake, surrounded by other villages and many hills connected by a single road, it seemed to me that afterwards there was nothing else, only that little paradise.
I remember the smell of rain on wet asphalt in the first warm days and the scent of flowers when spring knocked on the door, I remember the song of the birds that woke me up every morning and made me feel like I was in a fairy tale.
Anguillara left me a precious gift, avoiding making me lose that part of man that is indispensable to be able to feel at one with the world: it taught me to love and respect nature and all its living beings.
It taught me that beauty really lies in the little things, that it only takes a moment, just look around to savour happiness.
It taught me to love the stars and admire the lake by seeing everything around it disappear in the dark of the night, and then return the next morning.
It reminds me that even though there are moments in life when I see everything as black, and it seems to me as if there is nothing around me, the next morning, when I open my eyes, the sun will be shining again.
I learned walking through those alleys, with the breathlessness and tiredness of those who can no longer go on, that no matter how hard the climb, once I get to the top, what I have left behind me will not be worth anything compared to this, that I have in front of me. I can look at the whole road I have travelled from a new perspective, because everything from above becomes more beautiful.
That landscape at the top of the hill makes me appreciate all the times I stopped to catch my breath, realizing that it’s okay to fall and despair, sometimes, what matters is to never give up, to be able to say: “It was worth it. . “
I grew up walking around Anguillara Sabazia, and with every step I took I always grew a little more, until I became a little woman who, however, when she sees the sky dyed red while the sun is going away, that little girl returns. she runs barefoot on the beach without thoughts, caressed by the rays of the sun and lulled by the sound of the waves.