#Following the tracks pf the bear


Family excursion from Sanzeno to the hermitage and sanctuary of San Romedio

Pointing towards the forest my little brother, Lucas, shouted: Hey, look … a bear! — leaving our parents seemingly unfazed. Like the pilgrims of old, we are making our own "pilgrimage" to the sanctuary of San Romedio near Sanzeno in the Val di Non Valley. When Mom announced this morning that we’d be paying a visit to San Romedio, neither of us exactly jumped for joy. But when she told us about a "bear enclosure", we changed our minds.

Walking through the woods towards the hermitage of San Romedio, we reached an enclosure with a sign picturing a bear. Unfortunately, “Bruno” the bear failed to show up. We climbed a seemingly infinite number of steps up to the sanctuary, hoping we’d meet Bruno on the way back. I said that the creaking staircase, the old churches and some unearthly noises reminded me of a horror movie. Dad didn’t appreciate the comparison and, reading the signage, started to lecture us: High-medieval architecture, a millennial claustral tradition ... blah, blah. My gaze crossed that of my accomplice, little Lucas: the two of us are definitely watching a different movie from our Dad!

But then Dad’s monologue goes on to the old hermit of San Romedio who once rode on a bear to the Court of the Bishop of Trent. Now, that’s more like it! Meanwhile Lucas decided that he also wants to tame Bruno and then ride the bear down to the playground at the Zum Hirschen. Just a passing fantasy, before Mom took him by the hand, and led us back to the playground at the Zum Hirschen Hotel. Pity about Bruno!