Walk, walk … when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes passed her, almost touching her. There was not too much to be amazed about, nor Alice thought was it so strange to hear the Rabbit talk, saying to himself: “Alas! Alas! I’m late!”

(When Alice later recalled it, she realized she should have wondered, but then it seemed quite natural); however, when the Rabbit took a watch from his waistcoat pocket and consulted it, and then began to run away, Alice jumped to her feet thinking she had never seen a rabbit with a waistcoat and pocket, or a watch to pull out, and, burning with curiosity, crossed the field running nearby.

She arrived just in time to see him go into a spacious hutch under the hedge. A moment later Alice running up slid down behind, without thinking about how she was going to get out of it. The hole of the rabbit hutch spun straight on like a tunnel, and then so suddenly that Alice had not thought a moment on the idea of stopping: felt herself rolling down in a kind of precipice that resembled a deep well …

Well yes!

How Alice came to fall into the tunnel, reminds me of how I also pursued various White Rabbits and the most incredible characters, after being lengthily precipitated into hutches, to admire watches, libraries, pictures, maps and empty jars of jams of oranges empty …

I rushed forward and I lived the last 20 years in that wonderful garden that is the Pro Loco world. I slowly discovered this world and its fantastic characters.With whom I have become friends.

I experienced the most incredible adventures, not quite as imaginary as those of Alice, but just as amazing and satisfying. I then thought that a good story cannot remain within us, if we do not tell it as it is, it is as if we did it harm, it is as if we betray it, so I decided to tell each story starting from:

Land of watches … A wood, a branch that is creaking breaks, a rustling of leaves …

Here where nature can do everything, amid bright green our story is born. A crossroads where another 100 small and big stories intersect, the stories of many men and women who have marked the life of this place. But also the changing of the seasons and the unceasing work of animals and plants. All under the watchful gaze of small, mysterious characters (but more later) …

Uscio is a Ligurian inland village, of 2,000 inhabitants whose life runs slowly and quietly, 375 meters above sea level, and is marked by regular tolling of the bell placed behind the clock on the bell tower.

So why do they call it the ‘land of watches’ indeed it may even have been called the land of bells?

You need to know that since 1824 the firm Trebino has been operating in a house in the town center, very similar to the factory of Santa’s toys, where there is a group of skilled men who have dedicated their lives to the service of time. We could call them just like that, ‘time keepers’.

The Trebino family builds each year more than 3.900 watch and clock mechanisms (three thousand nine hundred) that with their beauty adorn the towers and squares of thousands of Italian places. These extraordinary artisans in their forges shape the metal to complete each work of art, accompanied by the bells that diffuse with their voices ringing the passing of time.

Hey wake up, the day has arrived, the first bell seems to announce. It’s time for dinner, the second bell finally announces to the hungry inhabitants. And then vespers and so on in the eternal alternation of day and night. Masterpieces of precision and musicality, things by magicians, enchanted, difficult to understand for us humans, only to be admired: the beautiful museum where they display the rarest pieces.

If, after your visit to the Trebino works in Uscio, you get hungry, search for “Fuoco di Bosco” and taste its finest dishes based on mushrooms, or go to the “Tugio” where the fish comes fresh from the coast but especially do not miss to taste the Batolli a typical hand-made pasta of the local tradition, pure water, white flour and lasagna meal, these are the simple ingredients.

Then resume your tour of Uscio with the Roman church of about the year 900, the oldest of Liguria. Then you can end the tour with slate quarries monument to industrial archeology.

Oh I forgot, if sometimes you feel observed or it seems you have caught a glimpse of something disappearing in a flash of your eyes, do not worry, it could be one of the Sprenaggi, loving elves of the woods that in the local legends live in Uscio.

To rest your weary limbs strained by emotions and tastings find rest at Albergo Caprile or the inn “Mulino di Gio”.

Finished your trip?

Of course not, Italy is an eternal discovery and the story continues ..