Cinque Terre are famous for their beautiful views and crystal clear water. Now they are overpopulated and super touristic places. However, in the past they were simple, isolated, fishermen villages. And the thing is that probably only a careful tourist will notice certain elements that remained from the ancient past of Cinque Terre.
In fact, before Cinque Terre became touristic attractions they had been five villages where the life was really tough. Their inhabitants had to organize themselves to survive in that unfriendly and hilly area. They were totally independent and were living without any help from the outside world. And the sasso del sego is one of the witnesses of that past 😉
You will find sasso del sego in Vernazza – one of the villages of Cinque Terre. You won’t even look for it too much. It is located in the main square of the village! Exactly where the majority of tourists arrive! Thousands of them simply pass along and don’t even notice its existence! Why? Cause it is really inconspicuous and almost not signalled at all!
It is the two-foot-high square stone at the foot of the stairs that leads to the Vernazza’s castle. Fortunately, it is marked with a small plate “Sasso del Sego” that means “stone of tallow“. What it was created for? In the past, It was used by Vernazza’s workers who crushed animal flesh and fat in its basin to make tallow! The tallow that they had obtained drained out of the tiny hole below. The hole is still visible, however, very often it is used as a rubbish bin … In the past, the tallow was extremally important for the inhabitants of Cinque Terre and it was used to waterproof boats or wine barrels.
Nowadays, sasso del sego is one of the few witnesses that we can still see in the Cinque Terre that shows how life in Cinque Terre was like. Don’t miss it when you are visiting Cinque Terre 🙂
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