“We arrive at home in the evening, before my eyes there was a fabulous landscape, detached not just from the plains but the entire world.”
We begin today not with the protagonist of this story, but the place where she lives, as described by the poet Attilio Bertolucci in an interview of the 1980s. We’re talking about Casarola, a small village in the Emilian Apennines near the border with Tuscany and Liguria. An Emilia that is still wild, a world still detached from the rest.
This is where Elena Siffredi Duranti lives, Venetian in origin and a forager by profession and for passion, together with her partner, her son Adriano and the few other inhabitants of this isolated place. All around us are the forests of the Park of a Hundred Lakes. These are highlands, around 1000 meters above sea level, which provide chestnuts, mushrooms, wild herbs, and fruits. Elena is like a modern-day Walden, with the difference that she doesn’t just wander this wilderness, but forages in it too.
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