Last week Luca and I found ourselves with an hour to fill while Justin was at the gym working on his guns. On the hill next to the gym is not just one but two castles, it seemed like the logical option to take a wander up and check them out.
To get up the hill you firstly wander through the old walled town and cobbled streets of Finalborgo. The most treacherous thing about this place is the la pasticceria which makes the most earth shatteringly good custard doughnuts. So we diverted our noses and made our way up the hill. The first castle/fort is Castle S. Giovanni, the Spanish originally built it in the 1600’s. Unfortunately it was all locked up and no one was home, admittedly it was pretty early for Italian visiting hours.
We carried on up the hill, but it became obvious pretty quickly not so many people carry on up this far, the path became rougher and overgrown. However I did have a Sleeping Beauty type moment where we were surrounded by flowering broom, butterflies and birds.
We carried on up the hill and through the long grass, which admittedly I spent the whole time worrying we would wake a lazy snake* warming itself on the rocks. As we got out to the clearing at the top the view of both Finale and Castle Govone made it worthwhile. Although the gates were unfortunately locked the castle looked beautiful. It was originally built in 1191 and since then has been destroyed, rebuilt, razed, repaired, destroyed and reconstructed. All that is left is the original Torre del Diamante (Diamond Tower) which fits its name. The stones are all cut in a diamond shape and it looks exquisite.
While I stood there taking in the views, I had that flash of reality that I couldn’t actually get any further from Sleeping Beauty if I tried, firstly you have to get regular sleep, secondly I was a hot sweaty mess with a 10kg sleeping lump strapped to my chest. Oh well perhaps next time.
* Snakes are my thing that I just freak out about, luckily in New Zealand this is not an issue I have to face, but I would put snakes and eels in the same placing on the my ‘spawn of the devil’ list. Normally I wouldn’t worry so much but Gabby had informed me a few days before that they had seen a 1.5m long snake not too far from out house.