There is a small village lost in the Piedmontese Alps, in the province of Cuneo, just on the border between Italy and France, which is out of the ordinary. This is Coumboscuro, a town where the mother tongue of its inhabitants is not Italian, but the Provençal. idealista/news Italy has investigated the life and history of San Lucio de Coumboscuro, thanks to Davi Arneodo, president of the association “Coumboscuro Provençal Center”who for years has promoted Provençal language and culturenot only in Italy but also in the rest of the world.
“The association was founded in 1947”, explain to us the president of the Center Coumboscuro Provenzal“when Sergio Arneodo (writer and poet better known in France than in Italy) became a teacher at the school of Coumboscuro, and transformed into a real didactic workshopwhich gave people the opportunity to to redeem oneself through poetic and prosaic creation in a language that until then was considered a variant of the Piedmontese dialect, but was in fact a very noble language spoken by the troubadours: Provençal”.
The objective of the association has become to bring Provençal to life as an official language, so that its “Cultural dignity. It is a neo-Latin language like Italian, but it did not have the chance to become a national language, but is still spoken in French Provence and in the adjacent valleys which lead to Piedmont and therefore also in Italy. It is no coincidence that Provençal came to our country from the hands of the inhabitants who traveled the Alps during the six winter months in search of work“.
“We are lucky that Frédéric Mistral, Nobel Prize for Literaturecodified the Provençal language, made a grammar of it, and now there is a huge literature.”
Life in Coumboscuro
Life passes peacefully in Coumboscuro, which was founded in 1018 by a group of French monks and went through a phase of severe depopulation and decline from 1400. It was only after the Second World War begins its cultural revival.
Here, thanks to the work of the cultural association, many events are organized “from January to December”, which attract people to the small town (which has barely 40 inhabitants, and is in turn subdivided into 21 small villages scattered throughout the Valle de Grana).
“We have a cultural center, but also a library and a school of poetry, we animate theater and dance groups and we publish books. We organize festivals and meetings between Piedmont and Provence. We work at European level with many universitiesfrom Zurich to Barcelona, and in our library we have the largest Italian collection of works of Provençal language and literature”.
“Universities from all over the world with a chair in Romance philology are interested in our school, where they organize daily specialized courses for young people and adults. Clean Fabrice D’Andre came to Coumboscuro to sing with the local group in the Provençal language, since his family is from Provence”.
In addition to the strong cultural life that the small town has, located in the middle of the mountains at more than 1200 meters above sea level, its inhabitants manage farms, raise sheep and grow berries with which they make infusions, spices or “bodi”. (fruit puree).
But how are the houses in the small town of Coumboscuro? “The houses are built of stone and wood and the roofs are slate“.
the different villages that make up the core of Coumboscuro are interconnected by charming paths that can be traveled on foot, by bicycle or on horseback.