“These are perhaps the richest pages written by Dr. G. Angelini. They include, not by chance, the thoughts collected during a period late in the author’s life, presented in 1973, on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the S.A.T. (1972-1972)…”
by Giovanni Angelini
The Angelini Foundation — Center for studies on mountain areas, on the centennial of the birth of its founder, wished to produce a new edition of the small volume, Sentieri (Eng trans: Trails), written by Giovanni Angelini and widely requested by numerous visitors of the exhibit held in Fusine: “Between Pelmo and Civetta: The Mountains through the eyes of Giovanni Angelini”. The text was reprinted exactly as was written in the original, but expanded with the addition of images which accompany it, including rare incisions by Compton and other artists, and with the addition of notes on the life of the author and on the Angelini Foundation. The motivation for the reprinting of this work is contained in the introduction written by Angelini’s niece, Anna:
“We wished to review and reissue these pages in order to bring them to light again for those who share his way of going to, looking at, and experiencing the mountains. These are “the humble trails” which are testament to the history of a hostile and bitter way of life, the trails of people who, in thei forests, pastures, and valleys, have lived, known, and made viable a life in the mountains. Their practices and way of life are re-told to those who may appreciate, with an open mind and spirit, the secrets to be discovered in these places, often revealed in the name of a viàz, of a vànt, of a spiz, of an aiàl, of a triòl. This work, full of passion and curiosity, is developed through a search for a perceived appeal attached to each trail, each ridge, each ledge; and to give value to that which, through the labour of the entrepreneurial inhabitants of the places named, is in need of preservation so that these traces will not be lost. The disappearance of trails and together with them, their names, correspond to the end of a historical memory, dear to Giovanni Angelini, but more so a repository of meanings, techniques, practices, and traditions of an entire valley.
The research of Dr. Angelini is brought to life through the re-opening of the trails lost, under the guidance of precious indications and records left by those by whom, through custom, these trails were broken and frequented, since time immemorial. The inhabitants of these places came to know every angle of these mountains, as hunters, charcoal makers, or as forest guards. Giovanni, accompanied constantly by his brother, Valentino, and by other volunteers, began retracing these nearly forgotten routes, covered or eroded by rain or landslides and hidden by vegetation. He reconstructed the signage, brought up new panels, and reactivated forgotten springs and fountains. From this project, the reflections of a life on the trail is born, and is concluded with the satisfaction of a return to the mountains, a re-visitation with humble and respectful spirit, just as one who has fallen in love, revealing an old affinity, almost nostalgic, united with a sentiment of intimate knowing.