Category: History

  • The Avignon Papacy or Babylonian captivity

    The Avignon Papacy or Babylonian captivity

    It was not so unusual for the pope to reside outside Rome – the city was often insecure and unruly – but that this would happen for some seventy years no one imagined. When Clement V transferred the papal see to Avignon at the beginning of the 14th century, it was thought to be only…

  • The abandoned village of Old Cirella

    The abandoned village of Old Cirella

    The ancient Medieval village of Cerillae once stood on a steep promontory, nestled in the beauty of a boundless place, close to the roaring sea and cliffs in the Riviera dei Cedri; but today it is destroyed and abandoned. All that remains of so memory are the ruins of Cirella Vecchia, melancholy reminders to the…

  • Narni Underground, secrets from the past

    Narni Underground, secrets from the past

    Remnants of ancient walls covered by brambles and shrubs, and then the cliff overhanging the Nera River. What could be beyond those crumbling stones of the monastery? What secrets did the coenoby of san Domenico, now partly abandoned and buried by the cowardly bombardments of the war, still conceal, and which ones Narni underground? A…

  • The city of Spoleto and the sense of beauty over the centuries

    The city of Spoleto and the sense of beauty over the centuries

    It is not easy to find a place that takes on the value of a monumental complex [1] as in the city of Spoleto. It is a site of historical, artistic, ethno-anthropological importance that preserves buildings from different eras, admirably integrated with each other. Often, however, the opposite happens: archaeology shows how easy it is…

  • The Lombard Monasteries way

    The Lombard Monasteries way

    In the Middle Ages, pilgrimage had a fundamental importance for social life. It was not just a journey, a slow walk along the road, but it represented a true missio, a special frame of meaning for the existence. The pilgrimage, through a concrete sacrifice, made it possible to experience the vicissitudes of Christ and to…

  • The basilica of Saint Euphemia in Grado and the Schism

    The basilica of Saint Euphemia in Grado and the Schism

    I like to think that in Grado, once upon a time, the bells tolled slowly, like mystical emanations to the rhythm of the lagoon sea. From the thuribles of the basilica of Saint Euphemia the incense wafted to the square, while the delicate smell of saltiness faded for a moment. The motifs of the Byzantine…

  • The town of San Quirico and the spiritual struggle of a pilgrim

    The town of San Quirico and the spiritual struggle of a pilgrim

    The town of San Quirico stands out in the hills that mark the boundary between the Orcia and Asso valleys in Tuscany. These lands, shaped by verdant landscapes, still inspire suggestions of a distant and evocative past. There were echoes there of chivalric deeds, stonemasons at work, pilgrims dragging their weary steps over dusty paths,…

  • Hadrian, the sensibility of an emperor

    Hadrian, the sensibility of an emperor

    The Historia Augusta, a 4th century source by an unknown author, transcribes the words of the Emperor Hadrian facing death: “Animula vagula blandula, hospes comesque corporis Quae nunc abibis in loca Pallidula rigida nudula Nec ut soles dabis iocos” “Little soul, gentle and drifting, guest and companion of my body, now you will dwell below…

  • The Colossus of Barletta, echoes from the East

    The Colossus of Barletta, echoes from the East

    An imposing bronze statue seems to stare with icy eyes at the tourists walking along Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Barletta. It is a familiar figure to the locals, who call it Arè, short for Heraclius. Heraclius is about four and a half meters tall, and his appearance testifies to centuries of life, partially mysterious. This…

  • What Florence was like in the early centuries

    What Florence was like in the early centuries

    We can locate the first settlement of Florence along the Arno River, where the Etruscans had built a ford at the closest point between the river banks. This was probably a wooden footbridge, which rested on stone piers. The ford stood not far from today’s Ponte Vecchio and connected the city of Vipsul, the ancient…

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