It was time for another trip to Italy, and I decided to visit the little-known village of Cymbalta. Nestled in the high hills of northern Tuscany, Cymbalta is known for the beauty of its dialect, the strength of its walls, and the calmness of its villagers.
There has always been some sort of village on this spot; in the ancient manuscripts, Cymbalta is rendered Cimbalta, but during some dusty century the Cymbaltans decided it was too much trouble to dot the “I” and so the “I” became a “Y.”
It’s the tranquility that intrigues historians: what, exactly, contributes to this happy state of affairs? Nobody really knows. Surrounded as it is by two rivers– the Strunzi runs uphill, the Scoreggia down– perhaps some calming naturally occurring chemical is leached into the water.
In any event, nobody gets excited.
Back in the second century B.C., Cymbalta was the site of a Roman amphitheater, the usual scene of a thousand assumed epic struggles between man and beast. Yet recent excavations and scholarship, however, have revealed that the only beasts featured in the arena were sheep; human victims were led to their fate every other Saturday, around two-ish in the afternoon, and thousands watched as they gamboled, napped, and crocheted sweaters fashioned from the actual wool of the white beasts. (Sweaters made from the original patterns are available for sale in the gift shop inside the Church of Saint Lunesta; it’s open on occasion. Please call ahead.)
Renaissance times saw a blip in activity as the normally languid Cymbaltans got together and decided to produce some art– possibly, great art might attract visitors who might want to buy all those sweaters that were stacking up. These paintings can be seen in the Local Museum of Cymbaltan Art, open every other Tuesday, one-ish to two-ish.
The painting by Bacciagaluppi at the head of this article shows a scene in Cymbaltan history which depicts how the villagers reacted when their town was about to be overrun by Huns. The Bruttaporca painting below– a Cymbaltan icon– was discovered by my friend Liz Langley, after years of research, to be known by the title of So?
And this third image depicts a modern work by Freddo Testiculini entitled The Excitement In Dr. Manzoni’s Waiting Room.
Whatever it is about Cymbalta seems to be working; nowadays, people flock to the hilltop village in droves to avail themselves of the area’s peace and quiet. Comatose as they often appear to be, the Cymbaltans are happy and friendly, and will be happy to show you around, maybe for a few minutes after dinner if they’re in the mood. Tell you what– don’t call them; they’ll call you.
Something in those hills has a wonderful effect on these people; don’t be surprised if somebody bottles it one day !
The Town’s Flag
Population: Who knows?
Area: Are you kidding?!
National Anthem: Whatever you want to sing; we don’t mind.
Major Export: Sweaters.
Major Imports: Pillows; sleep masks.
“Cymbalta” is a trademark of Lilly USA, LLC