Neviano degli Arduini

Stefano Rotta 

On the tractor at 5 years old.  It can happen that a man’s destiny is sometimes drawn using the colours of infancy.  With the perfumes that you get only when threshing.  Afro and Ivo Amos Cavalli are two brothers from Campora, well known across the Apennines as being free lance threshers.  But behind them is not only work, tradition, agricultural mechanisms and commerce, there is also a whole world.  Which we will try to get to the heart of as we chat in the shade of the trees of the Pieve of Sasso.

The origins of the family can be traced back to the the year 1000.  On the table the brothers unfold, like a huge sheet, the family tree.  Somehow we travel to Corsica, to the blood of Napoleon, the mother of the men’s grandmother was cousin to the soldier.  From there we pass to the stables of Guardasone via many stories of country workers, cardinals and counts……Of one thing we can be sure, the Cavalli have been threshing since 1890.  These friendly brothers were never idle as youngsters: one was born in 1946 and the other in 1956 and well before the first hairs on their chins showed through they were working in the fields.

Their parents are Rosa Ferrari, midwife and Ulisse Cavalli, do I have to say it ?...a thresher, with nine years of war behind him.  “He was very calm, with commonsense, humanity and a great work ethic” they say of their father “He was honest and always said that he wasn’t sure  we would turn out to be as honest as he was”.  At that time a thoughtless gesture, or an intransigent position could have placed the family at risk, in that terrible civil and political friction which had the Apennines in its grip. “He couldn’t use the combine harvester for a while”. Amos added “Our mother lived through the war not to kill but to save lives and bring new lives into the world”.