A Land with a Dragon Heart
by Mirella Giuliani
In Italy, in the Po Valley, a land rich in verdant fields, soft hills and waters that irrigate it, is situated the city of Lodi, which is crossed by an imposing river, theAdda. The stream divides it like a big silvery ribbon and, in a delicate way traces a line in the citizens’ disposition: people born in the area near the river feel proud of their belonging and this makes them feel different from those who live in the centre, situated on the top of the Eghezzone hill.
It is impossible not to stop and watch it from the bridge that crosses it in all its stateliness, thinking that in the Rhaetian Alps a tiny gush of water makes its way through debris flows and later down grassy slopes to become at first a spring and then, nourished by pools, change into a torrent and turn, at last, into our river. And we, citizens of Lodi, also discuss on its sex, whether it is a male or a female river; but this diatribe was made also by great poets such as Alessandro Manzoni and Giosuè Carducci; the first believed it to be a wonderful woman while the second referred to it as a bold young man.
And it was really the water to guide the Gauls, coming from the banks of the Loire, to a territory not too distant from today’s city of Lodi, where they built an “oppidum”, a fortified village that Giovanni Agnelli, a local historian, assumes to have been called Alauda (Lark).
What had been the cause for them to stop at that point? A quadrilateral made of four streams: the Padus (Po) in the south, the Abdua (Adda) in the east, the Lambrus (Lambro) in the west and the Addetta in the north. Certainly strategy and military technique had their weight in the choice, but we know very well that the river has always been considered the sacred limit with the Otherworld, and, therefore, with the Gods. I believe that the Druids of the time recognized this land as a place marked by strong energies still well perceptible today,which I intend to let you know with this work.
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