Riccomassimo is a district of the municipality of Storo, the most populous municipality in Giudicarie. The other districts are Lodrone and Darzo.
This little hamlet is home to about fifty inhabitants, perched high up (755 m) around three kilometres from Lodrone, on the far southern border of Giudicarie. A forest road connects the village with the hamlet of Bagolino in Brescia.
In rebellion against the “JUS PRIMAE NOCTIS”, or the right of local lords to sleep with new brides on their wedding nights, a young man rose up against Count Paride di Lodrone. With the help of all the villagers, he surrounded the nobleman’s home, chanting “death to Count Paride…long live liberty”.
There was nothing for the count to do but flee into the chestnut forest. The count could hear the shouts of the enraged mob getting louder as they gained on him. Coming across a mountain dweller feeding an enormous charcoal kiln alone, he begged him for help.
“If you save me from these dogs, I will make you rich, Massimo”…
And so Massimo the charcoal burner hid him beneath a huge pile of wood.
The hunters soon arrived and asked Massimo if he had seen Count Paride pass by. The poor man, torn between a guilty conscience and a lust for gold, answered “no” in a low voice but pointed towards the shed where the count was hiding with his hand.
The hunters only paid attention to his words and continued on their way, searching high and low throughout the woods.
The count, having escaped revenge at the hands of the rebels, kept his promise and the now-wealthy charcoal burner built new homes for himself and his relatives where his humble house had once stood, thus founding the hamlet of RICCOMASSIMO.
by Fabio Maffei
Brescia e dintorni: storia curiosità poesia (Stories, poems and interesting facts from Brescia and the surrounding areas)