Colle Don Bosco
This is the land of little Giovanni Bosco. He was born here where he played, worked and listened to the voice of God. Here you can breathe the joy and the spiritual strength of Don Bosco. These peaceful places are full of memories and messages. Colle Don Bosco is the place where Don Bosco’s dream was born and where it started. On this hill, in the small village called “Becchi”, in the district of Morialdo of Castelnuovo (AT), on August 16th, 1815, San Giovanni Bosco was born in the “Biglione farm” where his father worked as a farmer. Here you can find the places that prove his presence and his work in favor of youth.
The Little Home “CASETTA”
“This is my home”
Fatherless at two, Giovanni with his mother, his siblings and his grandmother, moved into the little and humble house bought by his father..
Here he receives the precious education of Mamma Margherita: the fundamentals of human and Christian values. The little home consists of the stable, the little kitchen-room and, on the upper floor, the mother’s and grandmother’s room, and finally the room, where at the age of nine he made the Dream that guided him throughout life.
The little house is leaned on a structure where there are ancient photos of the hill that recalls the educational values of Mamma Margherita.
The small building shows to the pilgrims the humbleness of Don Bosco’s family and how farmers’ life used to be.
Lawn and pylon of the Dream
The west lawn is the one he saw at nine, in the prophetic dream of his future mission. The pylon reminds the vision of his entire life spent for the young people.
Growing up, Giovannino felt a great desire in his heart: studying to become a priest and to take care of the kids. God made him understand his project in an extraordinary way. Indeed, Don Bosco is also known as the “Holy Dreamer”. In the Bible for some characters the dream was already a way of communicating with God (for example the dreams of Jacob, Joseph or Saint Joseph). So it was for Don Bosco: during the Dream he received the mission of taking care of the kids all over the world. The first significant dream in his life was the one he had at nine years old. It was set here on this lawn with the great horizon to Buttigliera and beyond. With goodness, conquering their heart, in his dream he invited kids to transform themselves from wild and aggressive animals into docile lambs (“from poor, abandoned and pernicious kids to good Christians and honest citizens”).
Monument to Giovannino the Juggler
The monument reminds the beginning of Giovanni as young animator through the art of juggling and entertainment. Gradually, setting up his entertainment shows, Giovanni followed some rules that will later lead the game in the Oratory: seriousness in preparation, healthy and intelligent fun with an educational purpose. From his mother he learned how to build sincere friendship: bind to those who are loyal and generous (avoid the vulgar, the coarse, the rude and the aggressive ones …) and to those who are open to the sense of God.
Monument to Mamma Margherita
On the lawn of the “dream of nine years”, lies the watchful eye of Mamma Margherita, a bronze work by Enrico Manfrini (1992), composed of five bronze figures illustrating episodes of her life in Becchi. In the Becchi lodge, the needy people knew that they would find a welcoming heart for any need. The monument wants to be a sign of gratitude from the Salesian Family to Mamma Margherita, who did a lot for the formation of the Saint of the Young.