Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Coming south on the via Cassia, Procena is the first town in Lazio, after leaving Tuscany (but men of the village grinned and proudly said to me: "Noi siamo Toscani!" [We are Tuscans]

Again we see a castle on a hill and we must turn right and go there!

And find our way up the hill to the town, discovering it's name is Procena.

an interesting and beautiful place, woven along the top of the ridge.

Some relatively recent construction and restoration, but for the most part medieval.

and with a castle, more modest than the castle at Soriano nel Cimino, behind me as I sit in the kitchen.

A splendid church. In search of a toilet we sought out the priest. And yes, we were able to use his toilet. The priest was Marius Bakubi, a solid built and charming man from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has been priest here for two years, after college in Rome. Very small population he said (5-600), and very few come to church. His personal isolation, his sense of the cold, must be extraordinary.)

There are a number of places to buy, under Euros 100,000, with sensational views... how tempting. But only one everything shop and one bar, nothing else. Though the car population included some large and expensive items, one senses gentrification or rural retreatism.

Small though the population may be, there is pride and beauty.

This man runs a B&B. He was feeding the cats? How many cats, I asked. Maybe 12, he said, the number changes, the cars run them over and kill them.

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