I Giorni della Merla

Last weekend for I Giorni della Merla we decided to go to Belavarda near the city of Cantoira in Piemonte. OK, but what the heck is I Giorni della Merla? Continue reading this post to know…

To Begin

Although it was I Giorni della Merla but it was a really hot sunny day. We start our journey from Lities. A small village which you start directly from there or even if you are ready for 400 m more height difference you can even start from Cantoira. All the information of this route completely described here. Yes, it is in Italian, but you can always use translator. These days they are working much smarter even with a hard language like the Italian.

panormaic View from Bellavarda
panormaic View from Bellavarda

The Accident

Once again, our plan was going on our own. And yes, as I mentioned before in our journey to Monte Soglio I always prefer more adventure and taking more risks. But to be honest on this trip we got lost which for me was still fine, and then an accident happened to one of my friend, and he slipped and fell down from the cliff. Frankly, we were so lucky that he did not get any serious injury. But I understand that we need to be more careful and also get more prepared for unwanted incidents.

The Second Accident

The other things that happened on this trip was after that accident we finally reached somewhere to had our meal, and then I just discovered that I left my delicious Tuna Avocado sandwiches in the fridge! Luckily, I was not that hungry at the moment. Later on that night I had a big Burger plus lots of fried stuff as a reward to myself.

The Details

This trekking include a really steep track which require a good level of fitness. So, I do not recommend it for beginners. The total distance to the summit is around 4.5 km, but the height difference is around 1000 m and if you start from Cantoira it will be 400 m more. The path almost well signposted, but be careful because we got lost of the track two times. There are some signs which also let you know the vertical distance which you take so far in an interesting graphical way. You can see it in photos at the end of this post.

I Giorni della Merla

The last 3 days of January (from the 29th to the 31st) are traditionally called “I Giorni della Merla” (Blackbird’s Days) and are considered the coldest days of the year. This is actually just a legend, but I am crazy for these types of legends.

I giorni della merla
Merla (Black bird)

The origin of the saying

There are numerous theories about the origin of the expression “I Giorni della Merla”. Which you can find them by yourself or just ask your Italian friends about it.

But according to my favourite legend, January originally had 28 days. The month of January was terrible to a poor blackbird because he envied her beautiful pure white plumage. Every time this poor bird went out seeking food for herself and her little ones, the Month became suddenly colder. Tired of this, one year, the blackbird decided to gather enough supplies for the whole month. When, after the 28th day, she went out singing and mocking January because she thought she had played him, January got upset and borrowed three extra days from his brother February so that it could continue to torment the blackbird with snowstorms, chill, wind, and rain. During those days, the blackbird was out hunting for food and had to find shelter into a chimney; when she came out, three days later, her plumage was black. Since then, blackbirds have always been black and January has 31 days.

If you check my instagram post of this trip you will see me mostly with short sleeves and that is why maybe it is all just a legend. If you are Italian and know any other origin about I Giorni della Merla, please let me know about it.

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