Old Calabria By Norman Douglas

 -  One
could hardly blame them greatly if, as I have been assured is the case,
they often sell the wood - Page 220
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One Could Hardly Blame Them Greatly If, As I Have Been Assured Is The Case, They Often Sell The Wood Which They Are Paid To Protect.

The same fate is about to overtake the extensive hill forests which lie on the watershed between Morano and the Tyrrhenian.

These, according to a Castrovillari local paper, have lately been sold to a German firm for exploitation.

It is useless to lament the inevitable - this modern obsession of "industrialism" which has infected a country purely agricultural. Nor is it any great compensation to observe that certain small tracts of hill-side behind Morano are being carefully reafforested by the Government at this moment. Whoever wishes to see these beautiful stretches of woodland ere their disappearance from earth - let him hasten!

After leaving the forest region it is a downhill walk of nearly three hours to reach Terranova di Pollino, which lies, only 910 metres above sea-level, against the slope of a wide and golden amphitheatre of hills, at whose entrance the river Sarmento has carved itself a prodigious gateway through the rock. A dirty little place; the male inhabitants are nearly all in America; the old women nearly all afflicted with goitre. I was pleased to observe the Calabrian system of the house-doors, which life in civilized places had made me forget. These doors are divided into two portions, not vertically like ours, but horizontally. The upper portion is generally open, in order that the housewife sitting within may have light and air in her room, and an opportunity of gossiping with her neighbours across the street; the lower part is closed, to prevent the pigs in the daytime from entering the house (where they sleep at night). The system testifies to social instincts and a certain sense of refinement.

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