Nicolas Gentile, a 37-year-old Italian pastry chef, did not just want to pretend to be a hobbit – he wanted to live like one. First, he bought a piece of land in the countryside of Bucchianico, near the town of Chieti in Abruzzo, where he and his wife started building their personal Shire from JRR Tolkien’s fictional Middle-earth.
The Guardian article continues:
Then, on 27 August, alongside a group of friends and Lord of the Rings fans dressed as an elf, a dwarf, a hobbit, a sorcerer and humans, he walked more than 120 miles (200km) from Chieti to Naples, crossing mountains and rivers, to throw the “One Ring”, a central plot element of The Lord of the Rings saga, into the volcano crater of Mount Vesuvius.
“Some time ago, I realised that books and films were no longer enough for me to satisfy my passion for the fantasy genre and, in particular, for the Lord of the Rings saga,” Gentile said. “I was still reading about the lives of other people. I decided that I wanted to live my hobbit life to the fullest.”
This article and that man reflect the region I live in, Piedmont, and the Piemontese people. They are deeply attached to their land. It produces many of the world’s finest products and allows them to stubbornly resist the modern sensibility of dismissing the power of the soil, their land, which is magical. And this is precisely what I’m writing about in my next book, “Once Upon a Time in Loazzolo; Tales of Piemonte”.
And this is what Nicolas believes in his heart. He realized he’s always lived in the Shire. The only thing was missing was to become aware of it and build a village, so he is – this isn’t just a fantasy; it is his reality.
Italians never cease to amaze….