Mysterious Italy

  • The village of Altomonte and Cistercian Romanesque in Calabria

    The village of Altomonte and Cistercian Romanesque in Calabria

    The village of Altomonte is situated on a promontory overlooking the wide valley of Esaro River, about 455 meters above sea level, between the plain of Sibari and the great peaks of Sila. Today’s urban settlement traces the organization of the defensive structures constructed in the Middle Ages, which still include the remains of the…

  • Monterozzi necropolis and a journey into the underworld

    Monterozzi necropolis and a journey into the underworld

    We could never have known anything about the Etruscans, a people of ancient Italy who lived between the 9th and 1st centuries BC, if they had not given death the same importance as life. In the 7th and 6th centuries BC, when Etruscan civilization reached its military and cultural peak, houses and temples were built…

  • The Tempietto longobardo of Cividale del Friuli

    The Tempietto longobardo of Cividale del Friuli

    The doorway that gives access to the Tempietto longobardo of Cividale del Friuli not only separates the spaces of matter. It also figures that particular moment of transit, in history and in the figurative arts, that characterized the epic of the Longobards in Italy. In the ancient Roman village of Forum Iulii stands the limen…

  • The abandoned village of Old Cerillae

    The abandoned village of Old Cerillae

    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 Old Cerillae Vecchia, melancholy reminders to…

  • The Temple of Clitumnus, sacred center of the Longobards

    The Temple of Clitumnus, sacred center of the Longobards

    There are places that, even across the centuries, preserve intact that admirable perception of innate sacredness. A stream of water flowing gracefully in the moonlight on the valley floor; a silent forest of beech and cypress trees, the edge of which declines impetuously along the banks of an ancient spring: the Sources of Campello reveal…

  • Saint Michael’s Abbey and the Portal of the Zodiac

    Saint Michael’s Abbey and the Portal of the Zodiac

    On the summit of Mount Pirchiriano, like an ancient guardian protecting the valley, stands the marvellous Saint Michael’s Abbey. It is an ancient and admirable place of faith, towering 962 metres above sea level, almost seems to reach towards the sky: it can only be accessed by a steep climb. The ascent is a metaphorical…

  • The Sanctuary of St. Michael on Mount Gargano

    The Sanctuary of St. Michael on Mount Gargano

    The monumental St. Michael’s Cave, on the Gargano promontory in northern Apulia, is a holy place since time immemorial. It is the place where the Sublime and the encounter with the divine are manifested. According to tradition, the cave was chosen by Archangel Michael, the commander of the celestial militia, as a house of worship…

  • 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 cosmic temple of St. Michael the Archangel in Perugia

    The cosmic temple of St. Michael the Archangel in Perugia

    A hillock stands close to the city walls, and on it there is a sacred building that reflects the harmony of the cosmos. The temple of St. Michael the Archangel in Perugia is circular, as symbol of the perfection of all creation, but also image and anticipation of the heavenly Jerusalem. There is an eschatological…

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