(by Anita Rosso)
Colma from the sky
The old houses underwent renovations and conservative modifications. Some rural houses turned into countryside residences and though responding to the modern requirements their original construction has been maintained; as a matter of fact it only changed the building destination, in a way that many arcades became garages and the haylofts became veranda or additional rooms. An example of this way of restructuring can be considered the Caprioglio Family house. Situated in the Roveto Region: the big house, once residence of the Caprioglio brothers (Mario, Ferruccio and Ugo) was restructured by keeping unchanged the main features of the old farmstead house and, of course, by preserving the secular chestnuts in the same position as in the original. The same for the old bowls game ground, it was kept in the same place where in the old ages the villagers challenged the clergy, whereas the ancient farmyard now holds roses and other flowers. Even the ancient utensils have been gathered and positioned among the flowers, in a way to bear witness of the ancient traditions. All these restorations have been carried out, with deep affection, by Professor Damaso Caprifoglio (great grandson of the same Caprifoglio family who, in 1889, appealed to court and won against the suspension of the mess in the Saint Bartholomew Chapel). Professor Caprifoglio, though his many academic engagements which keep him far from his homeland, is deeply cherished with his Monferrato origins and people.
Caprioglio's house - Ugo and Damaso Caprioglio
As far as the little Saint Bartholomew Chapel, we have to say that still nowadays it is active thanks to the determination of the Colma people, who keep on managing it in complete autonomy. On Sundays people attend the mess, as in the past, to remind of the people who are no longer with them and many christenings and weddings recently took place in it.
Today Colma assumed the main features of a residential village, a quiet place where to live and where to come back in the evenings to forget the stress of a working day, a place where you can still play a cards (the typical “scopa” card game) and where you can loiter after dinner to remind of the people who lived in the village many years ago, people who come into life thanks to the souvenirs of the collective memory.
Little of the ancient peasants’ community has been
left. Only two or three families keep on tilling the soil,
whereas the rest of the people tried to convert into industry
the production and trade of agricultural products. A more
detailed description of this agricultural reality can be
examined in the link “The enterprises of the Colma”.
Notwithstanding the changes, the Colma keeps on being a
quiet place where to live: it is enough to retire within
the big courtyards exposed to the south, behind those row
of houses that seem to hold up each other to protect you,
in a place where it is easy to find silence and peace. The
world is left behind … there on the wide road.