2020 celebrated the hundredth anniversary of the death of the writer and journalist Emma Perodi, author of the lucky Le Novelle della nonna, one of the most widely read children’s books in Italy and abroad. For Podere Bocci, however, this is a new beginning. And the coincidence is particularly important since it is in this house, according to what we know, Emma Perodi stopped as a traveler, but she herself chose this place to tell the “stories”.
The short stories begin like this:
“All the bells of Poppi and of the valley rang in celebration that night calling the faithful to the Christmas mass, and it seemed that the bells of Soci, Bibbiena, Maggiona and all the towns and castles erected on the barren mountains, which rose up to the Hermitage of Camaldoli and the Picco della Verna, so much was the ringing that could be heard from all sides. In a house in Farneta, a small village on the road to Camaldoli, the family of the farmer Marcucci was all gathered under the wide hood of the low fireplace, which protruded almost halfway into the room. The fireplace, in which a beautiful beech log crackled, was really big, otherwise it could not have held so many people, because the Marcuccis were a subisso! “
From the memoirs relating to Podere Bocci we report the presence, in many of these, of a young Florentine woman who is cited with the name of “Lady”, who – it is recalled in these memories – is portrayed intent on noting the fantastic stories that came told around the fire. The Lady seems to have stayed in Bocci, according to a custom in vogue in many places, namely that of renting rooms to patrons or citizens. This aspect is also supported by the fact that in those years, immediately following the unification of Italy, the so-called demopsychologists – of which Perodi herself speaks a lot in her writings – conducted a patient work of collecting and transcribing fairy tales throughout the national territory. popular from the voice of those – usually the older women – who in the various communities were deputies to narration. These are the years of the Pitrè collections of local short stories, along the lines of what happened in Europe starting from the work of the Grimm brothers. Emma Perodi knew the Pitré and certainly knew in depth contemporary research aimed at collecting and fixing in writing the richness of oral popular culture.
To support the fact that Emma Perodi had stayed in this Podere there is the mention, made by herself in the Novelle, of the Ristori family who put the “trapelo”, or hooked wagons and buggies that were in difficulty in having to face the long ascent of the ancient driveway that led to the religious center of Camaldoli.
In essence, the story written and scrupulously noted by the monks leads us to recognize in Podere Bocci the hearth in which the writer Emma Perodi set the stories of the novels that Nonna Regina tells her grandchildren in a year. The historical, imaginative and literary value of the farm in question opens a new glimmer in this never-ending story that concerns the historical and fantastic masterpiece of Perodi that continues to be talked about.