The Cervino was the last summit of the Alps (in Valle D’Aosta) to be "violated" by man.
Ancient inhabitants of the little town of Valtournenche always said that it was protected by demons or spirits of the mountain.
They prevented access to the summit to the few mountaineers whom decided to take the risk of climbing that imposing pyramid of rock.
The legend was never denied until July 14 1865, when the stubborn Whymper, opening a way on the Swiss side, conquered the Cervino.
Not without the cost of human sacrifice.
Engaged in a race against fellow Carrel
(who arrived just 3 days after the finish, passing through the hard Italian way of Cresta del Leone)
Whympet lost four of his climbing companions along the way back.
Spirits of the "Tor” took them away (Tor is the ancient name of the Cervino mountain).
Their bodies were recovered downstream the mountain, smashed against the rocky coastline.
At the time the climbers were considered real pioneers and streets accessible to small villages clinging to the Alps were few.
Towards the 30s of the twentieth century it was possible to reach only Valtournenche by car.
To get the vessel of Breuil it was necessary a journey on foot or aided by a mule, passing by the beautiful Blue Lake (the Layet).
|Layet Lake next to Cervino|
Who, today, goes through the same way, walking through the valley, can see the majestic image of the Cervino reflected on the surface of the the icy and deep blue waters of this small lake.
Until the early '900 Cervinia was a tiny hamlet consisting of only a few buildings,
the typical holiday resort at the time.
It’s been in 1934 that a young local journalist, reporter for "La Stampa", has the idea of building a cableway that connects Breuil to the nearby tourist village of Plan Maison.
At the same time, the mayor of Valturneche begins the hard job that will lead to the construction of a real road to Cervinia.
|Old Cervinia's church with sundial ("meridiana")|
Since then many things have changed.
Now the complex of Breuil-Cervinia is
one of the most renowned ski resorts of our Alpine region, in Europe.
Each year, thousands of mountain lovers
come easily here, but how many of them
are aware of the existence of Tor’s spirits?
The unsuspecting climbers who sometimes meet them,
hardly come home to tell the tale.
Perhaps the old inhabitants of the valley were right.
Who knows it?
VALDOSTAN CHICKEN BREAST
Sliced chicken breast,
slices of fontina cheese,
a few sage leaves finely chopped,
a little bit of salt, olive oil, butter.
Heat up a pan with butter and olive oil. When butter has melted, place the slices of meat to cook, stirring frequently. Add a little salt and chopped sage leaves. Remove from heat and cover the slices with a slice of ham and one of cheese. Pass the meat in the oven for a few minutes, until cheese is completely dissolved. Serve the chicken hot.