It was like an apparition. A road wound up a steep hill to its pinnacle. The cumulus clouds had parted so that only the summit was sunlit. It was there that we saw the medieval town of Castellucio. The ghostly structures were impressive, yet forbidding. When we reached the town there were no people, only a cutting wind that swirled scraps of litter around in a circle. A wild dog sniffed the street.
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Margherita handed me her longest matterello. Shaped like a dowel, it was three feet long and two inches thick. It was made of oak, smooth, very old, and of a deep rich color and patina. One end was shaped like a small doorknob while the other had a gentle taper resulting in a blunt point. I held it with caution. It looked more like a weapon than a kitchen tool.