The golden calf


The legend

Over the hamlet of Villa Dalegno, to the North, lies an hill called “Castèl”; according to legends there, in ancient times, was the castle of the Dalignum family.
These lords, heathens, fled the castle when Charlemagne arrived in the valley, but before leaving they melt all of the gold they couldn’t carry with them in a calf-shaped mould and left it in a secret passageway that from the castle descended to the hamlet.; it is also said that when they were leaving they cried out “We leave Dalegno for good, leaving more gold than wood!”
In the following centuries some of the townsfolk of Villa Dalegno tried to dig between the castle’s ruins, hoping to find the fabled golden calf, but their efforts were for nothing. It was then decided to seek the aid of a witch of Schilpario, which was said to have divinatory powers.
The witch, after having received a generous offer, instructed them where to dig, foretelling that in a room they would have find the key for the secret chamber of the golden calf.
The works, so directed, started again and under a farmstead built nearby was found a cellar with a granite washbasin; already the workers had started to glimpse a passageway, when from nowhere appeared a cat, that was crushed by some falling stones.
With the cat’s death the passageway collapsed, causing the men to panic; thinking it the Devil’s work they fled the place, and no one ever came back there.
To this day the golden calf still awaits underground for some brave seekers to bring it to light.