Monday, February 22, 2010


From the Parco dei Mostri at Bomarzo we went down the road towards the east, towards the Tiber, the north south rail line and the autostrada. Avoiding such embranglement, we turned right after 3 km to climb up to the little village of Mugnano (actually a frazione of Bomarzo), past which we had driven in the dusk once before, marking it down as definitely a hilltop to be visited, more precarious than most, and from information on public works signs up there, with significant hydrogeological issues, the rock being so porous.

Here (next photo below) is a plaque at the entry to the hilltop town, telling of how this too was a place of Orsini expansion north from Rome and how they lost it to the so-and-so's and the so-and-so's etc...

Note, in the context of Mugnano's history, the Italian word paese for which the google translator offers these possible meanings:

  1. country
  2. land
  3. region
  4. village
  5. parts

and remember that all pictures can be enlarged with a click (press back to return)

It is a startlingly beautiful little village, wonderfully maintained.

This house below, with the washing mixing it with the grape vines, is in the left corner of the square above; there is a view from the other end of the square (excuse me, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III) below the picture of the house. When we had done our tour of the village and returned to this square, we spoke with an elderly, stylish, well-dressed man who lives, as it happens, in that house. No, he was not born here, his wife was.

How many people altogether we asked: "Forse ottanta, novanta, almeno non pui di cento. Non sono tanti, ma sono tutti buoni." (Perhaps 80, 90, at least not more than 100. Not many but they are all good people.) - Said with a warm smile.

Look at the pictures below after reading the history on the plaque above, see the extent of maintenance by local government and also the care and respect by the community. This in a place that doesn't actually make it to Wikipedia or anywhere else much on the internet. How nice.

Helen in here looking southwards (towards the sun) down the Tiber, at this point running from the north, heading towards Rome where it shifts westward and to the Tyrhennian Sea. The Etruscans commanded this side of the Tiber for half of the first millenium BC, providing the first kings of Rome before the Romans made themselves a republic. The river was a great natural barrier for a long time, also navigable.

The Orsinis built the tower in the thirteenth century, only the tower was left when in the fifteenth century, the Colonna family under Pope Martin V, tore down the Orsini's fortifications. If the tower is that old, the potted olive beside it is also of great age.

These cats below (seven) are in via del Ghetto. We did not have opportunity to discuss the ghetto.

This picture of a neatly bag lined bin (all towns are cleaned, all rubbish removed first thing every morning in Italy) is included because even it, even it, speaks of Orsini, the pine cone being the family symbol.

... and this picture is included not only because the doors are beautiful and umbrellas sensible, but also to show how you keep the mineral water cold in winter.

You see from all this how perplexed we are by the tendency of so many tourists to natter together in the bus or train, heads down, between the museums... though on reflection, long may they continue so to do! The world of actuality, among such interesting people, is wonderful.

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