Walk with Ghost (all included) by Mari R: – I must admit that this is a post I would never have imagined writing.
I was only out for a peaceful walk in the wood, so, I didn’t take either the camera or the mobile with me. I wanted to hear nothing but birds singing and the sound of my own steps on a carpet of crispy dry leaves.
I drove towards the Montagnola (lit. little mountain), a woody area close to Siena, heading to Marmoraia, a place that I never remembered having visited before.
Passing Pian del Lago area, I spotted the castle ‘La Chiocciola ‘ on the right. Driving up the hill, I saw the elegant Villa Cennina and after a while, the beautiful Castello di Celsa suddenly appeared from the woods!
Along a “strada bianca”
The road sign to Marmoraia was well indicated on the left, so I followed it. The narrow “strada bianca “(white road) went on for a little while, like a narrow passage through the thick vegetation. All of a sudden, the trees stopped and a large clearing opened in front of me.
I had reached my destination: la Marmoraia. Three-four houses, a conical structure reminding of the basement of a tower and an ancient Romanic church with a slender bell tower. I immediately took a path named“ La senese”. The shadows of the wood were deep and even if it was a warm summer day, it was quite refreshing over there.
I walked slowly without hurry, because there wasn’t any place to hurry to. It was so restful!
Along the way, I saw several plants of wild fennel starting to open up their tiny yellow flowers and I picked up some ripe blackberries, prickling my fingers with the sharp thorns.
Every time I reached a crossroad, I checked my map. (I must admit, I am not very good in reading maps…) I found myself facing a large gap in the wood, a wide space covered by grass at man-high.
I was puzzled: the path that I had chosen on the map did not go into the wood. I knew immediately what that meant…I was lost. So what could I do? Retrace my steps or face the tall grass? At that moment I felt like Indiana Jones, so I jumped over a ditch and disappeared among the grass. A deer looked at me with curiosity for a while, then it went back to eating.
It’s wasn’t easy. This area clearly had large fields, even though not cultivated at the moment. I imagined that a farm of some sort must be near by. After some struggling, I found a path where the grass had been cut down, and then I saw a rooftop.
It was a small building, or better said, it was the ruins of a small building. Due to its condition, it was difficult to guess what type of building originally it had been . But I didn’t care, I had found the farm, and from here I should easily find my way back to the main road,… or so I thought.
I realized that I was approaching the main building from the back . I saw a large oven blackened by years and years of smoke and a shed with rusty farm machinery. I had to locate this farm on my map. And here it was! Lucerena was its name.
Now I knew where the main road was, but it wasn’t easy to find a gap among the thick bushes that blocked my path. Hidden by overgrown creepers, I spotted a small gate.
As I approached, I saw a small deer that had died entrapped between the bars. Judging from the animal remains, this gate hadn’t been opened for at least 3-4 years. The place started to give me the chills. I was all alone, there was no sound, no living soul in sight…who had cut the grass, and why?
I quickly retraced my steps and reached the front of the building. It was a beautiful constructions dating back, more or less, to the XV-XVI century. It seemed well tended, but I sadly realized that large portions of the roof had collapsed, thus showing the bright blue sky above. An elegant balcony was located on the top of a low tower. The view from up there must have been fantastic! On a large arch, there was a coat of arms. I was so disappointed that I had left my camera at home. I walked lazily around the building. Even though the place was beautiful, it was difficult to imagine someone living in there.
A voice from nowhere
I was happy about this unexpected discovery, a deserted farm…or so I thought, when, all of the sudden, I heard loud and clear: ‘Ma lei come si permette!? Questa è proprietà privata!!!‘ (How dare you to come in here! This is private property!).
My heart jumped. That voice got me so scared that I was afraid of my own shadow. But…looking around I saw no one. The voice, a woman’s voice, said again “ Go away, you are trespassing!”. I tried to explain that I had lost my way in the wood… but I was brusquely interrupted buy the same voice that had become malevolent “ Salti il muretto e vada via!‘ ( Jump over the wall and GO AWAY!).
It was the most unusual experience ever and a surreal one. The voice tone was strong and clear, but I was unable to see anyone around. I jumped over a ruinous wall while the voice was still shouting “Go Away!!!”.
Looking back at the empty building a thought struck me : What if… it was a ghost? There was no one to be seen all around.
Don’t ask me why
This unease feeling remained with me, as a spell, all the way back. While driving through a magnificent road with ancient linden trees. Only when, finally, I reached the main road, I felt really safe. Don’t ask me why.
During the drive, feeling quiet now, I have long thought about who could it have been but couldn’t find a logical explanation. I decide then to write about it in a story. Most unusual experience going out on a bright Summer day for a walk and meet a ghost in a bad mood! This too is a Tuscan Experience worth telling you I believe!