WHY IS IT CALLED THE CURVE OF CENCIONE
Who along the Alpe di Casaglia road, immediately after the Passo della Colla in the direction of Marradi, did not notice a sign, corroded by time, with a strange word on it: “Curva di Cencione”? And above all who has not asked, even if only unconsciously, the reason for being of that name?
The old people say that once this place had a hunting name … it was called: “Poggetto della Lepre”, but what does this new denomination have to do with it?
Let’s go in order. The Lapi farmhouse family had lived since time immemorial at Poggio, in Ronta, on the Cicalino estate. In the mid-nineteenth century Gaspare Vincenzo Lapi decided, after buying a cart and a piggyback horse, to start his own business and to start the profession of barrocciaio so as to transport the goods from the Mugello to the Romagna plain.
Gaspare Lapi because of his florid but slightly scruffy appearance was nicknamed Cencione since he was a child, and with this name he was known from Borgo S. Lorenzo to Faenza. Considered honest and serious, he quickly made a name for himself and more than one person turned to him in small businesses. An attentive and scrupulous carrier, he delivered the goods in the various countries in a short time – going through the mountain mule tracks – returning to Ronta with considerable profits.
So the years passed for Cencione and his cart. Until a bad day in mid-spring 1874, just after today’s Colla restaurant, in the direction of Casaglia, travelers found him lying at the edge of a curve killed by two shots in the back.
Someone who knew that he was carrying money had killed him trying to rob him, theft failed because the money was found in a double bottom of the pockets of the murdered poor man.
Even without telephones, the news arrived in the blink of an eye in Ronta, and the Carabinieri were immediately informed. The popular imagination did the rest: there was talk of brigands, the victim was accused of being a smuggler, betrayals and loves were attributed to him. Law enforcement officers walked calmly to the place of the crime and the relevant findings were limited to signaling the presence, next to the body examined by the barrocciaio, of a wagging dog owned by the Pieri who lived in a house near the Pass.
And it is precisely on the latter that the accusations of the murder of Lapi fell. The two Pieri brothers, unaware and astonished, were immediately taken by force from their home and taken to prison in view of an infamous and unjust conviction process.
Thus, a bad case of crime news in Mugello was dismissed by the authorities, with too much haste and superficiality, and soon the story went by the wayside.
Rosa Bartoloni widow of the unfortunate Cencione together with her brothers-in-law wanted to place an iron cross in the place of her husband’s disappearance, and a mortuary plaque on the facade of the church of S. Maria a Pulicciano – still present – as a permanent reminder of her husband.
So the place of that strange murder over time began to be called by the villagers and travelers “Curva del poor Cencione” and then over the years became only “Curva di Cencione”.
Meanwhile, the Pieri brothers sentenced to thirty years in prison spent their days at the Murate in Florence in the vague hope that the true assassin of Cencione would be discovered. Only many and many years later, during a village festival in Marradi, a man considered by all to be a hot head, after three or four glasses too many, coming to the hands of a bourgeois, he let out a phrase that sounded roughly like this: confession made too much late to save the Pieri from bad justice.
Pier Tommaso Messeri