Once upon a time there was Rosì, a robust, blond brigand with invulnerable skin. The lead bullets that the gendarmes of the time fired with archibugs did not hurt his skin. Rosì lived by theft that he committed night-time by entering the houses of unlucky villagers in the village of Gromo to steal cheeses, eggs and other kind of food.
The house of Rosì was ancient, with stone arches and long dark tunnels that reached the village square and even up to the Serio River, was surrounded by the forests of the Seriana valley inhabited by dangerous animals. In autumn the Rosì used to be hiding along the route where the herds ran from pasture to the village to steal sheeps to unlucky shepherds. Sheep that became a good hot roast or a litter for the cold nights but an Autumn Rosì dare too much.
The legend, still today handed down by the grandmothers of the village to the little ones as a "good night" fairy tale continues by telling of an autumn when Rosì did not content himself with stealing a sheep but kidnapped the sixteen-year-old blond daughter of a shepherd locking her in his home.
The young woman, scared and desperate, prayed the Madonna of the Appearance of the nearby town of Ardesio, and the sacred woman made her hear, in the darkness of her prison, the sound of the Serio's waters coming from the dark tunnels under the house of Rosì. Touching the walls in the darkness, the blonde found the passage for the galleries and by divine grace managed to return to the town.
In the village the little girl told the story, and this time the gendarmes could not make it go smoothly to Rosì. Lead bullets would not be enough. They then decided to arm their archibugs with gold bullets hoping to make it pay dear to the brigand. And that happened. The Rosie died after a hunt and was buried in a shady area of Mount Cornalta where eagles make nests and where no sound comes, not even from the church bells.
This legend, as we said, is still handed down today in the Gromo bergamasque village and is also the subject of art and folkloric workshops for children in the small town.
The moral of the tale of today's curiosity column is that we think it is admirable that a legend of the old times is still part of the culture handed down to the little ones to inspire them and carry on with it the ancient traditions.
Citing a phrase from the Gromo tourist office website "The veins bathed by the sweat and blood of ancient miners, the anthologies once full of mystery and legends of heroes and bandits are now no longer the cry of greedy kids Adventure and discoveries, searching for Rosì's gold bullets and fantasies of the first falling in love".