Rango is a hamlet with just 12 residents. This is why a trip to Rango, nestling on the slopes of the Bleggio plain, is like visiting relatives who you haven’t seen for a long time.
After just a few minutes, you already know everyone and it feels like being at home. A warm, welcoming home that you never want to leave. Rango, one of Italy’s most beautiful villages, has that effect on you. A little cluster of houses, huddled together, embellished with large entrances, little passages and wooden racks which, in autumn, are filled with cobs of corn.
Rural life in the Comano Valley
Everywhere you look there are stories of farming life, when the day began at sunrise with the ringing of the church bells. In winter, the men would leave the village to work as knife sharpeners in the big cities on the plains.
They would leave in autumn, just after the harvest, and return in spring to begin working in the fields. The women, on the other hand, would stay at home to look after the children the animals. Life was tough. You get an idea of this with the two huge works of art made on walls from hundreds of pieces of wood. One describes the work of a knife sharpener, with the machine used to grind knives.
The other shows a woman collecting water from the fountain in copper pails. Your find them as you wander through the maze of alleyways which weave their way around the houses made from wood and stone and connected by porticoes. These are vaulted spaces where pilgrims would shelter, as well as merchants and shepherds with their flocks in search of food and which now, in winter, are home to the traditional Christmas market.
It was said that wayfarers could cross the village under the porticoes without ever going outside.
Every portico has a name. There is the ‘Portech de la Flor’ which greets you at the top of the big flight of steps as you enter the village. There is the Portech del Diaol where, the story goes, there lived a young girl who was possessed by the devil.
The Portech dei Carloni leads straight to the main square, with its large, rectangular, granite fountain. It was once a drinking fountain for animals on their way to the pastures but these days it has become a meeting point where people stop and chat.
The Museum of School
Rango also boasts a small museum of school which features teaching materials and school objects from the first half of the 19th century. Your guide there is Tomaso. It will be like going back in time, even though in Rango time seems to stand still.