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Christmas is celebrated in the various part of the world in different ways. In the German-speaking countries the Christmas tree is set up and the four Advent candles are lit. In the Scandinavian countries, where the night is very long, behind each window, candles are placed, as their lights reflecti on the snow and make the night less dark. London, Paris and New York show off more and more beautiful Christmas lights. In Rome too all the traditions are respected with the monumental Christmas tree and the representation of the nativity in St. Peter’s Square.

In Umbria, the tradition of the cri bis dominant. In Massa Martana, cribs are made with all kinds of material, including ice. They come from all the regions of Italy and they are of variouskind: traditional and very modern, classic and abstract. The town of Massa Martana is an evocative setting for the nativity scenes:  every alley and every square celebrates the Christmas time.

The living nativity scene of Marcellano

In the small town of Marcellano, the ancient eastest possession of Todi that still retains the eagle tuderte, is staged every year a picturesque living nativity scene. It i san event which attracts a growing public. The village dates back to the early 1200s, and built inside the castle. For the past thirty years Marcellano has staged the living nativity scene, an event that attracts a growing public. The initiatve involves all the inhabitants of Marcellano who, inside the castle, recreate scenes of daylife as they probably were at the time of Jesus.
Eventually, when night falls, commercial activities stop and on the church square the sacred representation begins. It  starts with the Annunciation. Tourists are pressed in front of the church, then the action moves towards the valley, in the cave where there are the main characters: Maria, Giuseppe and Baby Jesus.
Tourists are still  in the village when the comet star appears, croaking down a line to the cave and leading the way to the Magi Kings. The Magi Kings go to pay homage to Jesus and to bring their precious gifts, on horseback. Only now tourists can move and get off.

 

The Christmas carols

The Christmas carols in Umbria, are called  “laudi”, born in Umbria around the thirteenth century  and still known and appreciated as recently proved by 5,000 umbrian people who gathered to listen to the Polyphonic Choir “M° Tommaso Frescura” directed by professor Emore Paoli. These music is both religious and popular and have been handed down over the centuries almost unaltered. Hearing them, it is possible to experience the traditions of the shepherds, the images of cribs and the music of the pipers.
A pleasant experience that professor Paoli makes live again thanks to the concert which is held every year during the Christmas feast days, in the plateau of Gualdo Cattaneo.

«Take a handful of chopped walnuts, a handful of raisin, a fistful of pecorino cheese cut into small dice, a pinch of the same grated cheese, a pinch of pepper, a little salt, five or six cloves, half a glass of red wine, lard and olive oil as required, and form a whole which has to rest for about ten hours. Join a kilo and a half of bread dough, forming a mixture to divide into three parts like separate loaves. On these you can practice a deep cross cut. When the mixture is leavened, you have to cook it in the brick oven».

A snack for farmers

The Yearbook of the city of Todi, dated 1927, reports this procedure for the preparation of the “pan pepato”, a bread enriched with tasty walnuts – sometimes even raisins – that the people of these areas used to consume during the Autumn period, especially when the worked in the fields.
This type of food due to its ingredients is extremely energetic and corroborating, so that it was choosen as  as the perfect snack for those who, during the cold November days, struggled along the grassy ridges because of the olive harvest. In fact, the small size of the damaged breadpan was perfect for having  something to eat without weighing down.

 

A sublimated version

Although there are several versions, both sweet and savory, the original recipe is the the one from Todi, which benefits not only from the softness of lard, but also from the sweet-savory contrast of raisins combined with pecorino. It seems that this preparation had already been codified in a treaty of the sixteenth, but similar preparations were already widespread in the classical world. The patriarch of Jerusalem Sofrone, during the sixth century, talks about a type of cheese bread for children, not to mention the innumerable preparations spreaded in the ancient Rome and then refined over the following centuries.

Literary appetizers

It is undoubted, then, that the “pan nociato”, or “pan caciato”, is an authentic delicacy, still appreciated today, on the Umbrian tables and served as an appetizer. A delight that spreaded from Todi throughout the Umbria. So known to deserve a place of honor in the poem “November” of Guido Discepoli, inside the “Sage of poems and religious folk songs of some Umbrian towns”, edited by Oreste Grifoni – unfortunately, today, out of print.

The torta al testo, typical product from Umbria, has arrived in Tokyo and it is bound to become an innovative haute cuisine dish.

This is thanks to the chef Narisawa who spent in Europe a period of time to know the best of Italian, French and German cuisine. He tasted, appreciated, learned and brought back to his country many different European specialities, which he transformed according to his inspiration in order to satisfy all the senses.

 

The Bread of the Forest

From the Japanese virgin forests

He introduced a refined product in his minimalist restaurant in Tokyo, which combines ancient and modern traditions: the Bread of the Forest. This bread is made with wheat flour, chestnut powder and a Japanese chestnut compote. The chestnuts are collected in a virgin forest without pollutants, where flavors and aromas are expressed to their maximum. A novelty in Japan. In the past, the chestnut tree was called the Tree of Bread, because from its fruits, it was obtained a nutritious and cheap flour. This happened when wheat flour was expensive and reserved for wealthy people, while chestnut flour, was left for the poor working class. Now the situation is opposite: the chestnut flour is expensive, seasonal and chic. Narisawa made the Bread of the Forest something special to taste.

 

First act

Two forms of raw pasta are brought to the table. Add a dose of natural yeast and mix with fingers. All in front of the customers.

Second act

Customers observe the miracle of the floury growth. In a few minutes the future bread reaches the expected leavened, then it has to be cooked. Where? On the table, of course.

Third act

A pot of stone arrives on the table, very hot 240 ° degrees – in which the two forms of leavened dough are placed.

In just 10-12 minutes the bread is cooked.

 

In Umbria, something similar has happened since the dawn of time

The dough, already leavened, is spread out like a pizza and placed on a large stone wheel called testo. The testo is positioned inside the fireplace in front of the fire. On the top of the dough an iron cover is placed and the embers are glowing over it.
The torta al testo cooks under and over, while the fireplace fire warms up. 10-12 minutes – as in Japan. Then the torta al testo is ready. Cut it and bring it to the table with cured meats and cheeses.
Here, the Umbrian ritual of the torta al testo starts: it involves opening the slices of cake with your hands, stuffing it with the cured meats and eating it with your hands.

«If Umbria was a comic book? It would be fun and colorful»

Sualzo

 

Antonio Vincenti, better known as Sualzo, defines himself as a missing saxophonist and a self-taught artist. With his pencil he illustrates and tells stories: «For me it is important to tell beautiful stories. I always choose topics that are close to my heart».Winner of several awards, his works have been published not only in Italy, but also in USA, Russia, France, Spain, Poland, England, South Korea and other countries: November 30th will be in Russia to represent Italy at the Moscow International Book Fair. But Sualzo remains closely linked with its territory, with Umbria and above all with the Trasimeno Lake: «Umbria is often represented in my comics and the lake appears often as a background of my drawings».

The first question is a must: what is its link with Umbria?

I was born in Perugia, but I have been living in San Feliciano for twenty years. I feel very closed to the physicality of this place, I feel it mine so much; here I met my wife, here my children were born.

Would you like to explain how a comic book takes shape? The idea, the inspiration…. 

I usually work with two types of stories. I need six to seven years to make a book with a story completely mine: the work starts from an idea that appears in my mind, or I work on stories written by Silvia Vecchini, and at that point the creative process is faster because a process of change, elaboration and refinement of the story can begin.

What does come first? The texts or the drawings?

Usually the texts, even if sometimes, a text can be generated by an image. However, generally, first of all there is the writing. Writing is, for me, the most important part.

What are your characters inspired by? 

In the stories I write, I always put a part of myself. The characters are not 100% autobiographical, but they resemble me a lot. It is very important in my books, to talk about things that I have experienced, and above all, of subjects that are close to my heart The same can be applied to children’s books: the choice of topics is always oriented to communicate something inspirational as the motivation must be strong.

 

Sualzo and Silvia Vecchini

Do you work more on comics or graphic novels? 

At the moment, more graphic novels, even for children. 

Which of the two do you prefer? 

For my perspective, I have always been fascinated by the idea of ​​a non-serial narration, closer to the novel, a story without presuppositions and consequences because I do not care to tell a character, but only stories.  

This year with La zona rossa you won the Attilio Micheluzzi prize for the best comic book for children: could you talk about this work?

La zona rossa is a comic book that tells the kids about the earthquake. Before realizing it happened that the displaced people of Norcia were guested in some structures of San Feliciano and for some time they lived with us in the country. Even if only by spectators, we had  the chance to entered their real experiences and to tell more closely. Moreover, a part of the proceeds of the book financed a theater school in the earthquake zones: it is important to rebuild, but not only things. Next year La zona rossa will be released in the United States and in Korea: a local history can also have an international dimension.

Is there a common thread among all your works? 

What always is present in my work is the need to communicate a concept and a basic thought. Also in the comic books for children Gaetano and Zolletta – which tells the story of a father and son donkeys – there is an important topic: the role of fatherhood. Silvia and me wanted to deal with this aspect, which in the books for children is not very represented or, at least, only marginally. I want to specify: they should not be pedagogical books, but books that tell a meaningful and captivating story. It is our priority.

But you don’t write books only for children… 

The stories I write with Silvia are for children and teenagers, but the ones I write on my own, are for an adult target.

If Umbria was a comic book, how would you represent it? What are the aspects that would you like to highlight? 

Surely it would have a comic humor: the Umbrians have a belly humor, they are not as musoni (sad) as they seem. They know how to be funny. However, it would be a colorful comic: Umbria is full of colors. Even in my works the landscapes of the region are very present. After all I see them every day from my window. 

How would you describe Umbria in three words? 

As a crossroads, a place where walking and a mystical land. 

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region… 

Rest for the gaze.

When Autumn comes, it is time to harvest and to collect olives. Once, in our countryside after the harvest, the rents had to be paid, and if the harvest was scarce, the farmers had to move.

A palette of colors

The colors are so special during this period: the hills that surround the town of Montefalco are cultivated with the Sagrantino wine variety, a multi-awarded DOCG red wine. The beauty of Sagrantino explodes in the colors of its vineyard: at a distance, they seem to be mainly red; but if we go closer, we can note that the leaves have taken the whole palette of autumn colors, ranging from yellow to red, passing through the burgundy, and with shades of dark green. The Canadian maples have become a worldwide attraction for the magnificence of their autumn leaves: the vineyard of Sagrantino is no less beautiful, but at the moment it is little known. Compared to the others vine varieties, the leaves of the Sagrantino do not take on the sad and crumpled aspect of the vineyard that are bound to die, but they widen and seem to acquire a still summer vitality.

 

The olive harvest

Another important aspect of the Autumn in Umbria, is the social one, which consists in the ritual of bruschetta with the new olive oil. Many people in Umbria harvest olives, those with hundreds of trees and those with only a few dozen. Suddenly the fields are filled with nets stretched out under the trees to collect the falling fruits, because none must be lost. Those who have few plants still collecting by hand, those who have more trees collect with the electric beater, a kind of whisk that quickly drops all the fruits from the trees. Umbrian trees are small and hand harvest is still possible, even though the advantages of the new technologies are replacing ancient methods.

The smell of the milled olives

Fun begins here, at the olive oil mill, where you are greeted by large baskets full of black and green olives. You can hear the noise of the machines that are milling them, eventually the scent of the fresh olive oil with its intense flavors.At the olive oil mill you can start enjoying the new olive oil. «How many olives did you collect? How much does olive make this year?» These are the two fundamental questions that everyone exchanges. The collection varies from year to year, once it could be affected by the drought or too much rain. During other years, the flies arrive, another time, the frost ruins gems and trees. Nature owns a factor of uncertainty that cannot be ignored or avoided.

 

Christmas arrives early

Between a chat and another, you can taste the new olive oil. All the olive oil mills in the area of Gualdo Cattaneo have a room with a fireplace, with fresh bread and a bottle filled directly in the mill.The olive oil is still a little dense, not transparent, perfumed with fresh fruits, it is poured slowly on the bread called bruschetta. Then you taste it and it is a wonderful sensation. This is not only for the quality of the olive oil, as it comes after, but, above all, it is important to be together, to discover, with curiosity, the magic of the new season. It is a bit like at Christmas, with the difference that it does not last only a day, but a whole month.

Today I walked in an enchanted garden. A large lawn with trees, flowers and roses. Wild roses with only five petals and hybrid roses with an infinite number of petals, fragrant and perfumed roses, white, red, yellow, pink, mottled and solid. An endless palette of shades of colors.

A spontaneous garden like the one, as I saw, was not born by chance; it takes study, knowledge of the environment and the ability to wait.

 

Which grow wild!

This wonder was created by Mrs. Helga Brichet, who, in a short space, collected the whole world. Mrs. Helga comes from South Africa, she lives in Umbria in the area of Torri, where she grows Chinese roses and roses from other parts of the world.
Do not expect the usual rose garden with neat bushes and romantic passages covered by climbing roses. Mrs. Helga lets the rose bushes to maintain a spontaneous form, the shape that nature gave them. To enhance its beauty, it has accompanied them with other flowers, such as poppies, periwinkles and blue bells.
In the garden there are two types of roses, the wild ones and the hybrid Chinese ones, which are ancient, but arrived in Europe at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the following century.
Since then on, Europe had known red roses, and had fallen in love with them. Napoleon’s wife, Josephine, wanted to set up a rose garden at the Castle of Malmaison, which surprised by the great variety of flowers, and because the Chinese roses bloomed again, unlike those already present on the old continent.

 

The garden of the antitheses

Entering the garden, I found myself facing the gigantic Rose of the Himalayas. Large flowers and large leaves, has no stem but a trunk and climbs up a tree. Then we move to its opposite, a bush of white Chinese wild roses, very small, with very small leaves. It’s called Rosa Sericea Pteracantha, but it’s an absolutely new feature for me: it has giant, reddish, winged and transparent thorns. In contrast, they look like a precious stone.
Perfume? A little. Chinese roses are not recommended for perfumery, but if you approach them, you will feel a gentle and intoxicating smell.
Mrs. Helga is an excellent guide, accustomed to show visitors her wonders with a great knowledge of the subject, also for her role as former president of the World Federation of National Rose Societies. To see the garden, just call and make an appointment.

 

Helga Brichet

 


For information: Helga Brichet – 0742/99288

A Lombard who lives in Umbria and tells the Sicily of Commissioner Montalbano: “In Umbria there is only the sea, but for me it is not a problem, so I can live in Sicily when I turn the series”.

Alberto Sironi was our guest, and with him we had a chat on the occasion of the Fa ‘la cosa giusta, to discover all the secrets of the most famous commissioner in Italy. The director of the record – almost twenty years behind the camera of the series with an average of 10 million viewers – was trained at the drama school of Piccolo in Milan where, under the guidance of Giorgio Strehler, he began working as an actor in small theatrical parts. In the seventies he began collaborating with Rai as a writer and director: after a series of experiences as director, at the end of the nineties he arrived Commissioner Montalbano, based on the novels written by Andrea Camilleri.

 

Alberto Sironi

Now you live in Umbria: what is your relationship with this region?

I married a umbra and now I live here. Initially the Umbrians are a bit ‘closed – this must be said – but then when you get in confidence with them they are friendly people. I would very much like to tell a story set in this territory.

Her career began in the theater with Giorgio Strehler: how much did she use this school to make television?

In the six years I have been with Strehler, at the Piccolo in Milan, I learned a gym that facilitated my work on television; I also prefer actors who have done theater, it’s easier for me to work with them.

Tell us a secret: What does it work in this tv-series?

This success continues over time because the public loves the stories of Andrea Camilleri. Andrea tells the characters, describes the environments, tells a type of world set today, but that is actually a child of his world of many years ago. The stories thus become somewhat historical. We have removed the cars: there is no one in our films on the streets, they are deserted. Commissioner Montalbano has a car that was old since the first film came out. We have created a sort of magical world to support Camilleri’s way of narrating. This is what the audience loves. Another thing that appreciates a lot is the desire to live well with the Commissioner. Italians want to eat well, they love women and they need their friends. When the audience waits for the release of a Montalbano film, it is as if waiting to meet a friend.

Do you think the success of the series drags the literature or is it the other way around?

This is difficult to establish. Surely we have helped to sell more than normal publishing, but the character of Montalbano was already quite popular. Camilleri started writing in 1997, we started shooting a couple of years later. They are certainly two different ways, there are those who love the literary genre who the film, so it can not be established.

 

Montalbano is broadcast in over twenty countries around the world: did you expect all this?

When we started, nobody could imagine the success that Montalbano would have had in Italy and in the world. Today we shoot in 4K, a technically advanced system, but until a few years ago – by my choice – we were shooting in 35 millimeters: this allowed us to have a perfect product, with more definition and depth of field. In this way we have conquered the US market and beyond.

Have you ever thought about leaving the series?

I still like Montalbano, but I do not think it will last that much longer, maybe even two or three years.

Does he want to tell us some behind-the-scenes curiosity?

The first that comes to mind was when Belen Rodriguez arrived to shoot the episode in which she was the protagonist. There were people everywhere waiting for her: so we decided to have her arrive on the set a day late from the expected and on board an ambulance.

Will Montalbano ever marry Livia?

No, he will never marry her.

In our imagination, museums’ deposits are dusty warehouses full of marvellous works, more or less guiltily removed from the public view. Some of them are temporarily exhibited in place of others on loan or in restoration, other still await the visit of scholars or connoisseurs who can study and better enhance them; other finally, though valuable and sometimes beautiful, they carry on themselves too many offenses of time so they can’t be exposed to the public.

Giovanni Baronzio. Imago Pietatis

 

The National Gallery of Umbria in Perugia completes the celebration of its first hundred years of life with an exhibition until January 6th, 2019 called: The other Gallery. Works of deposits, that brings to light the less known works. The exhibition offers the visitor an opportunity to discover unpublished works among the pictorial beauties of the thirteenth century up to the middle of the sixteenth century

New techniques

The works were first subject to diagnostic investigations and conservation interventions, thanks to a team of restoration specialists of the Umbrian and Tuscan territory that used innovative systems of painting and cutting-edge conservation methods. New attributions, new dates and findings on provenance, technique and old restorations have made it possible to clarify the identity card of each product and to be able to better evaluate the qualities. Cesare Brandi said: «The restoration is the methodological moment of the recognition of the work in its physical consistency and in the double aesthetic-historical polarity, in view of its transmission to the future».

 

Madonna with the Child, Giovanni Battista and Benedetto.

The amazing discovery

So bright colours have emerged by thick deposits of dirt and heavy layers of yellowed paint, as in the Crucifix and Santa Maria Maddalena, in the Madonna with the Child, San Girolamo and Sant’Antonio da Padova by Matteo di Giovanni and in God and Angels of Mariano of Ser Austerio. Unpublished polychromes are surfaced by strongly damaged boards due to cleaning carried out with aggressive substances; details of intense suggestion have also been discovered, such as the stigmata on the legs of the Mystic Lamb or the prayer of the Virgin engraved by the author of Saint Catherine.

 

The exhibit

The other Gallery is therefore configured as an extension of the museum itinerary, in which we find names already known as Giovanni Boccati, Bartolomeo Caporali and Perugino, and figures that, on the other hand, return to the exhibition circuit after a long time, or they make their first appearance as the Master of Dossali di Subiaco, Melozzi da Forli, Meo da Siena, Allegretto Nuzi, Rossellino di Jacopo Franchi, Eusebio from San Giorgio, Berto di Giovanni, Domenico Alfani and Dono Doni. In addition, some frescoes are also visible, detached from the Santa Giuliana monastery in the choir, in the refectory and in the chapter hall of the church itself. From these rooms comes the fresco with the rare representation of San Galgano. The exhibition offers the visitor a unique and special occasion to admire a refined selection of tables at the golden age of the Umbrian school.

Giuliano Giubilei, Perugino DOC, journalist and former deputy editor of TG3, tells his Perugia, where he was born and where he took his first steps as a columnist for Paese Sera; the city with which it maintains a strong bond, despite the forty years of distance: «I have been living in Rome for a long time, but I will never forget the wind of Tramontana in Corso Vannucci. The relationship with these places has never stopped: a Perugino will always remain a Perugino».

 

Giuliano Giubilei

So I can only ask you this question: what is your connection with this region?

I was born in Perugia and, although I have not lived in the city for more than forty years, I have maintained a strong bond: I have a relationship with these places that has never stopped. In Perugia I had my first experiences, including work; I had my first friends and I lived my training as a man: after all, when I moved, I was twenty-five. A Perugino by birth will never become a Roman by adoption.

You are president of the Festival delle Nazioni of Città di Castello: how important are these kinds of events for the region?

They are very important, they make Umbria known in Italy and in the world. Three of them are fundamental: I’m talking about Umbria Jazz, the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto and the Festival delle Nazioni in Città di Castello. These are the manifestations which make the territory alive and allow it to be appreciated outside. Each edition is dedicated to a nation and this allows you to bring in Umbria artists who otherwise would never have come. The festival is also very popular with foreigners, who in summer live in the Upper Tiber Valley and in other areas of the region.

How was this last edition of the festival?

A great success! Last year we celebrated fifty years with a record number of spectators and collections. Well, this year it went even better. The next edition will be the twelfth under my direction and we plan to host China. In the past only on two occasions, we came out of Europe, hosting Israel and Armenia. With China, we want to expand even further.

What does Umbria need to make the leap forward and get rid of the reputation of Tuscany’s younger sister, both in the infrastructural and in the cultural field?

I do not think that Umbria is the younger sister of Tuscany, it is not inferior to any other region. Regional policy has invested heavily in culture and in promoting various festivals and events; obviously it is always possible to do more. As far as infrastructures are concerned, the railway structure must certainly be strengthened: Rome seems far away, in addition to the fact that it takes two and a half hours to reach it from Perugia. In addition, we it is necessary to improve the airport: Umbria cannot be isolated!

Through your journalist’s eye, what is your opinion on Perugia and the region? What are its strengths and weaknesses?

Its greatest weakness is its closure. I tell you an anecdote: I graduated in Contemporary History with Professor Fiorella Bartoccini, who was a prestigious name and she was leading figure at the University of Perugia. One day she said to me, «Do you know I’ve never been invited to dinner by a Perugino?» This is to make people understand what I mean speaking about closure. Among the strengths instead there is the concreteness and the solid character of the Umbrians.

Do you have any significative story related to your work and to Perugia?

I’d like to tell how I started my career as a journalist. In 1973 I joined Paese Sera: the newspaper had an office in Perugia. One day, while I was walking along Corso Vannucci, a friend of mine said to me: «I am working as a journalist at Paese Sera but I do not like it, would you like to take my place?» Obviously, I accepted without hesitation. Firstly, I dealt with news in the judicial area, eventually with local political issues. Perugia, in the seventies, was a very lively city, full of culture; there was a close relationship between the community and the foreigners who lived here. Unfortunately, it went through a deep change like all other Italian cities, but it should return to play the role of capital of an important region, both in cultural and social fields.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

People who visit it want always to come back, it is serene and characterized by landscapes shaped by man.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…

The cold mornings, lashed by the Tramontana in Corso Vannucci.

 

In Umbria the numerous castles of the territory represented the border line between two worlds: the Romans Empire and the Longobards Kingdom.

In the area of Todi there are many evidences of this past. Between the XII and the XIII century, the town of Todi started to become very powerful. It was necessary both defending its borders and expanding its territory; for this reason a solid defensive barrier was built. The defence line ran from Todi to Marcellano and from Massa Martana to Gualdo Cattaneo. All the castle were under the dominion of Todi, firstly of the Atti family and then of the archbishopric, which marked them forever by affixing its coat of arms: an eagle with a grifagno eye and turkey legs.
The highland castles have resisted time and earthquakes, many are still inhabited, others are restored and others have been transformed into residences. Finding them is like a treasure hunt. Most of them are characterized by the presence of only the main road, which roses them and the silence of nature.

 

Castle of Pozzo

The hidden castles

One of the castles hidden between hills and woods is the one of Viepri. The village has only one entrance door, dominated by the coat of arms with the eagle of Todi, an unique narrow street and a small church dedicated to Saint Giovanni. The Assignano Castle is not easily found. From Pantalla, following the indications, you arrive in a place so isolated and silent that invites to walk on tiptoe. The walls are a bit shabby, due to the great battle in which Perugia was defeated by Braccio from Montone. Passing from the only door, with an eagle, you enter a pleasant and well restored village.

Towering castles

The Frontignano Castle is impressive, it can also be seen from Todi. The XIII century square tower stands out from afar. The village was so important that it required the intervention of Cesare Borgia and eventually, that of Julius II to ensure its possession to the Church. Todi also left its mark with the eagle above the entrance door. The Torri Castle remembers a bit Frontignano, but much more towers are present. From them it derives its name. On the front, the high walls raise, inside them, pigeons find a shelter. Following the well paved path, it turns around to the entrance door with the unmistakable eagle.

A romantic place: the petroro castle

The road that goes up to Petroro follows backwards the route that ran along the pilgrims who descended from the North to reach Rome and stopped to pray in small chapels dedicated to local martyrs. The Petroro Castle, was one of the small fortified village along the way. A large internal courtyard and the Todi coat of arms on the front door are still visible. Once, the travellers found food and a place where sleeping and, even medical assistance. The castle has returned to new life after the damage caused by the earthquake in1997. Today it is inhabited by a group of Orthodox monks, who contributed to transform the village into a place, where pilgrims are welcomed, as in the ancient times. In summer in the courtyard of the castle, theatre performances are staged by Todi Festival.

 

The eagle out of place

The Barattano Castle passed through various lordships but for a long time it remained under the jurisdiction of Todi, which marked it with an eagle, which however is not above the entrance door, but out of the medieval walls.

The Cisterna Castle: fields, olive trees, hills, vineyards and finally Cisterna. A formwork with Guelph merlots overlooks the valley, a small road and that’s all. Braccio from Montone and his army spared the Cisterna of today. Eventually Todi took the village under the protection of its archbishopric. In this case too there is the eagle but also in Cisterna it is not where it is supposed to be.

 


Ruggero Iorio, Le origini della diocesi di Orvieto e Todi, alla luce delle testimonianze archeologiche (1995) 
Emore Paoli, Marcellano indagine su un castello medievale umbro (1986) 
Vincenzo Fiocchi Nicolai, Umbria cristiana, dalla diffusione del culto al culto dei santi (2001) 
Atti del convegno internazionale e studi sull’alto Medioevo
Paolo Boni, San Terenziano e il suo altopiano 
www.isentieridelsilenzio 
Maurizio Magnani, Il signore di Collazzone (2010) 
Italia – Umbria: Istituto geografico de Agostini (1982) 
Alexander Lee, Il Rinascimento cattivo 

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