21 October, 2019
Italiano
Home / Posts Tagged "Cascia"

«The mountains are silent masters that make silent disciples», wrote Goethe. Inflexible masters who evoke the mysteries and torments of silence in the soul of those who listen to them. Ancestral places where earth and sky unite, where verticality merges with mass, with the heaviness of the earth. Stone cathedrals and memories where the caducity of the land enlenìvens in contact with heaven.

Pian di Chiavano

 

The Altopiano di Chiavano is nothing more than the rock bridge that still preserves the relationship between earth and sky, the stage of an ancient amphitheater whose audiences are lost among the mosaics of clouds.
It is as if a painter’s brush had lingered on this part of the Valnerina by drawing the skyline of countries and countryside in which the human being promptly crept in. But never nature has lent itself docile to the intervention of man: small funds taken from the mountain, improvised pastures and uneven tracts that, losing themselves in the heart of the plateau, seem to remind those who observe them that here Nature always manifests itself according to Leopardi’s ideal: mother and stepmother, double face of the same coin. Modeled by the human labors to assume an almost human profile, the countryside appears composed, almost asleep, in a vortex of pastel colors and shadow games, in a chromatic progress much more similar to the landscapes of ancient Scotland than to the typical hilly environment of Umbria.

Natural scenographies

In times of ruinous loss of cultural identity, the Chiavano Plateau jealously preserves dusty reminiscences of a still alive folk tradition, which resists stoically with the disappearance of its earliest treasurers. A popular tradition considered as the summary of many lives, capable of mysteriously interpenetrating the meaning of things, even the most common. Near the junction point of the ancient Roman road system rises Coronella, a town that owes its name to the marble column used by the Romans as a reference in the construction of any road system[1]. A ghost town, which appears and disappears behind trees grown in abandoned gardens; a country that lives only on the 15th of August, the day when the church shutters are reopened, on a feast that is as simple as it is felt. The mystery of faith that lives again in improvised processions, in sacred kiosks that indicate the path to follow to the shepherd and the flock by the mountain route, in those climbs that are above all life experiences.
On the scenic backdrop of these peaks, the shadows of the empty and silent dwellings, unarmed in front of the inexorable passing of time, are projected. But it is precisely this silence that leaves space for introspection, a silence that is empty of words, but not emotions. Yet there are plenty of silences and catching the differences is not easy. Some are atrocious: silences of death and chilling loneliness, while others are desired, long awaited or surprisingly unexpected. Eloquent silences in which the principle of non-contradiction also fails. Silences in which fear and courage converge, tears and smiles, questions and answers, coincidentia oppositorum.

 

The relationship between man and earth

Stormy peaks, but for what they evoke in the soul of those who scrutinize them. And then, the best attitude to be implemented is the one of attention, the one of stopping to contemplate. Because we are not always able to immediately understand the hidden message behind the silence of nature. Ancient figures, almost sinister, inhabit this silent plateau. Gnarled hands and faces dug by sweat, a bitter sweat that finds its reason in the generous fruits of the earth. People used to the tiring mountain life, which rejects the easy idols of so-called progress. And it is in those gnarled hands that the most intimate meaning of this morbid attachment to the earth is to be sought, of this strong devotion to fatigue and work, which is ennobled, but which makes man similar to the beasts. Yet it seems that between the peasants and nature there is an almost mystical relationship, able to break the link with the sacred and mix with the profane to merge as a single stream in the vast ocean of popular tradition. A complex territory that not even its oldest inhabitant knows deep down, a cauldron of traditions, culture and stories whose origins seem to be lost in the mists of time.
A land that exudes popular wisdom, in which the ghosts and memories of a distant past are superimposed, but never forgotten. A glorious past, which has its roots in the splendor of ancient Rome and in the countryside surrounding the small village of Villa San Silvestro, a village of just twenty souls became famous for the presence of a Roman temple probably dedicated to Hercules. The genesis of the hero to whom the temple is dedicated, the result of the carnal union between the terrestrial Alcmena and Jupiter, seems to further strengthen the relationship between this earth and the sky, between matter and the celestial, between what is human and the divine. On the podium of the Roman temple stands the church of the village, in the point where, in a not too distant past, votive choirs were raised aimed at the deities of the Roman pantheon, in a place where a deep fear of the divine dwells.
And it is precisely from Chiavano that begins our journey, from the terrace overlooking this wild land whose children, both in the great deeds and in those daily, have managed to express a value and a passion in some cases almost heroic, that only those who live one step from heaven he manages to show off in the hardest battles, in those superhuman silences that make noise.

 


[1] Si tratta della cosiddetta pietra miliare vedi http://www.treccani.it/vocabolario/miliare1/.

As has already happened before, but in this case, it comes from a small strip of wounded land in the heart of the “Heart of Italy”. A sprout of future for Italy and Europe.

Montanari testoni

 

Four documentaries, four stories about Valnerina’s rebirth. A year after the earthquake that hit central Italy, four documentaries, written, produced and realized with the Restart project. Comunità Resistenti by MenteGlocale – permanent laboratory of social communication, based in Perugia – tell the stories of a land, the Umbrian Valnerina, which reacted to the earthquake’s material and moral damages.
Norcia, Campi, Cascia, Ruscio: the earthquake struck the populations touching them in the affections, in the habits and in the small and great security of everyday life. These mountaineers were injured but not defeated, and in some cases they were able to react to the difficulties by rolling up their sleeves. Written by Filippo Costantini, Giorgio Vicario and Daniele Suraci, who has also directed and edited the Restart project. Comunità Resistenti, it was created with the contribution of Corecom Umbria, through the 2017 Community TV competition.

The four docu-films

The four docu-films try to tell the stories of these territories, the stories little known or that few tell. People and places are the protagonists, who go beyond the earthquake and try to roll up their sleeves to start over and move on.

 

  • Montanari testoni

Born in November 2016 in Norcia, inside a field tent, the Montanari Testoni association was promoted by a group of young people from the territory to face together the adversities related to the earthquake. It was created to talk and discuss the personal and collective situation and to propose activities of participation, sharing, collaboration and cultural promotion dedicated to the inhabitants of Norcia. From a collection center for food and clothes, a real social center, the container has hosted in recent months – and continues to do so – condominium meetings, workshops for children, film clubs and much more, until the rehearsals of the famous Corale di Norcia, left without a seat, and has now become a fundamental reference point for the entire nursery community.

 

Sisters of Cascia

Sisters of Cascia

 

  • Rita

In Cascia, after the shock of October 30th, 2016, several buildings became unusable, but except for a few cases there were no collapses. For security reasons, for the first time in the history of Cascia the Basilica of Santa Rita was closed and the Augustinian cloistered nuns had to leave the monastery, returning after a few weeks. They tell the life in the Cloistered Monastery of the Sisters of Cascia and the relationship between the Casciani and Saint Rita: in a Cascia hit by the earthquake the icon of the Saint is a concrete presence of hope for the future.

 

  • Maddalena

Ruscio is a small fraction of the Municipality of Monteleone di Spoleto composed by two-storey houses, historical buildings, three churches, two squares, a bridge and many fountains. The village develops along a single road cut by a bridge that divides Ruscio above from Ruscio below. The fraction, where there are permanently seventy people, has not suffered much damage. The material signs of the recent earthquakes are there, but they are not very strong: the most evident damages are in people and are linked to the fear of depopulation, to the fear that at least for a few years it will no longer be the same. Every year in the summer the rusciari scattered in the world return to the small Umbrian village to spend their holidays, repopulating houses that for most of the year are carefully guarded by the few stable inhabitants of the country. On August 24th the traditional Rusciari Dinner is celebrated, an indispensable moment to say goodbye before returning to their places of residence. In 2016, due to the earthquake, the dinner was canceled.

 

  • Doctormonster

Back to Campi is the dream of Roberto Doctormonster Sbriccoli, bricklayer-dj of Campi, a fraction of the Municipality of Norcia strongly affected by the shocks of 2016. The upper part of the village is red zone, all the houses are unusable, and several are collapsed. Between the upper and lower parts of the village stands the headquarters of the Pro Loco, a structure inaugurated just four days before the earthquake of August 24th, 2016 and built by the inhabitants of Campi – ed by Doctormonster. A class four anti-seismic structure that was immediately used as an emergency reception center. In the weeks following the shock, it hosted up to ninety people, proving to be fundamental for shelter and assistance. Animator and coordinator of the space was Docmonster, who is also the president of the Pro Loco. These were difficult days, full of discouragement and nervousness, but that place was fundamental. Today many of the inhabitants of Campi live in the newly delivered containers and wooden houses.
Docmonster has a dream called Back to Field, a € 4 million project that aims to build a multi-purpose center for tourism and sport on a newly acquired site by Pro Loco. It is a project that aims to provide a complete and equipped with all the services to those who will be on vacation in the summer (before the earthquake many people choose this place for summer holidays) in these areas and has the ambition to be a multi-purpose center for pre-season retreats of the teams of different sports. Docmonster took it upon himself to realize this project.

 

 


The video: http://www.menteglocale.com/

A route made of byroads, paths, riverbanks and perched villages. This is what the Greenway is about.

Marmore Waterfall

Marmore Waterfall

 

A pedestrian and cycle path has been created in the green heart of Valnerina, with the aim of letting people know and live these places which have been neglected far too long. It is a 180-kilometre ring dedicated to nature lovers. It is not too difficult nor too challenging and allows the wanderers to enjoy the landscape along the Nera River and its outfalls as well as the local cultural aspect, which can be appreciated while crossing the historical villages.

The Idea

The Greenway has been thought to promote Valnerina and the area belonging to the mountain community. However, there is more. It started, indeed, as a real environmental emergency, to preserve the landscape while exploiting its huge potential, but respecting its ecological balance at the same time. Thus, it has become a straightforward learning tool about nature and its articulate shapes, the place where a creative and engaging approach can be experimented to attract new forms of tourism and knowledge of the territory.

The routes

The first step to connect the visitor to the territory has been identifying and arranging an alternative route, which you can either walk or ride on a bike or a horse. The starting point is at Marmore Waterfall, which is also the arrival point. It is a ring completely immersed in greenery, which allows the tourist to enter an unchartered world made of green paths and enchanting villages. Thus, in a place beloved by Lord Byron and all the other travellers who revered the Grand Tour, you can set off on a long route partly formed by chartered paths: Benedectine trails, the Via Francigena, and the former Spoleto-Norcia railway.
From the Marmore Falls to the fork to Preci it is possible to walk along the Nera. The left bank of the river is entirely viable and is one of the most interesting dirt roads of central Italy. From there it is possible to take a mountain trail which has been connected and which crosses Preci, Norcia, Cascia, Monteleone di Spoleto, Salto del Cieco, Piediluco, Prati di Stroncone and then goes back to the Waterfall going though Campacci di Marmore (The upper Belvedere).

 

Marmore Waterfall

 

As a ring, the Greenway can be followed one way or the other. As to make it accessible to anybody, it has been divided into sixteen stretches, each of them a ring itself, so that it is easier for the travellers to go back to the starting point without having to follow the same route. Many of the stretches along the river, from the Falls to Preci, are mostly flat even though the mountainous ones on the way back to the Fall can present quite challenging climbs. Yet, these can be avoided by choosing the alternative paved and low-traffic routes. Each of these routes is five to twenty-two kilometres long. By joining several trails, you can plan a journey any length you like. Each route, clearly indicated by signposts, goes through residential areas where public services are provided. Moreover, along the route all the paths that take to the protected natural areas are clearly signalled.

A trip for everybody

 The Greenway is a route accessible to everybody. It is completely safe as it is dedicated to non-motorised users and it grants access to anyone thanks to the so-called “soft-traffic”, which allows the tourists to enjoy the area they are crossing slowly as to observe the surrounding landscape in all its aspects.

 

Nera River

Nera River

 


Sitografia: http://www.lagreenwaydelnera.it/it

Nicola Zabaglia, better known as Maestro Zabaglia, was born in Buda di Cascia, in Umbria, in 1664,  although  his tombstone bears the inscription «Romanus» and most of his biographers think that Tuscany was his birthplace. Thanks to the Carmelite Friars, his tombstone was placed in the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina (Rome) and later removed.

Son of Alessandro, master mason  of the Fabbrica of  St. Peter’s, in 1686 he started working in Rome at 22 baj and ½ by the day for Antonio Valeri, land agent of the Fabbrica of St. Peter’s. In 1703, for his skills and merits he was appointed as architect supervisor at the Fabbrica of  St. Peter’s. «Without knowing how to read  and without  any teachers, he made so much progress in statics and mechanics and in the ability  to lift weights that probably he was better than anyone else in the mechanical profession»[1] and actually some of Zabaglia’s wooden models are still  kept in the  Petriano Museum, in Rome.

The French scientist, Jean Etienne Montucla, in his Histoire des mathématiques  has called him «a man of rare than of singular genius» and claimed that the collection of his inventions is «crucial to any architect in charge of major public works;» [2] this thought became widespread even after his death as evidenced by the publishing of  a second edition of his work in 1824, which also included a biography of Zabaglia, to  meet the several foreign requests. His works were very famous, although they were criticized by some of his contemporary architects such as Luigi Vanvitelli or Carlo Fontana. Perhaps they considered him as an unfair competitor because his machines were really cheap or maybe they didn’t  think highly of him because he was almost completely illiterate; that’s why he didn’t take part in the technical-artistic debate  on  the consolidation of Michelangelo’s dome, but this  didn’t keep him from constructing the  scaffolding and the iron  rims necessary to carry out the work.

 Marco Franceschini from Cascia, in one of his manuscripts describes him as a «boorish» (i.e. a rough person) who appeared before the King of France, Louis XIV «with a cap on his head and a cloth cape». When he saw him, he thought the pope made fun of him, but then «hearing that Zabaglia was ready to complete that work (turning a colossal statue) in one day only for payment of  twelve bottles of wine», whereas so many good engineers needed one month at least, he had to change his mind looking at the work that Maestro Zabaglia had been able to complete [3] «in one day to great astonishment of all Paris…[4] A street in the Testaccio district of Rome as well as a School of Arts and Crafts were named after Zabaglia».

 

 


Basic Biography 

A. Morini, Nicola Zabaglia e il suo paese di nascita, in «Latina Gens», (gen.-feb. 1941)

P. Pizzoni, Gli umbri nel campo delle scienze, Perugia, Urbani, 1955, pp. 51-52

A.M. Corbo, Nicola Zabaglia. Un geniale analfabeta, Roma, Edilazio, 1999

U.M. Milizia, Notizie sulla vita e sulle opere di Nicola Zabaglia, in http://digilander.libero.it/baraballo/umilizia/Zabaglia.html.

 


[1] These are the words used by G. Bottari in the preface to N. Zabaglia, Castelli e Ponti di maestro Nicola Zabaglia con alcune ingegnose pratiche, e con la descrizione del trasporto dell’obelisco vaticano, e di altri del cavaliere Domenico Fontana, Roma, Niccolò e Marco Pagliarini, 1743.

[2] Quotation referred to by P. Pizzoni, Gli umbri nel campo delle scienze, Perugia, Urbani, 1955, p. 52.

[3] Quotation referred to by P. Pizzoni, cit., p. 52.

[4] For a detailed list of his works see http://digilander.libero.it/baraballo/umilizia/Zabaglia.html.