Castelli Sabina_Fuoriporta

From Savelli to the Orsini, among the castles of the Sabina

Let’s discover the castles of the beautiful Sabina area between the provinces of Rome and Rieti! Famous today for its uncontaminated nature and the production of one of the most renowned olive oil in Italy, but a theater of critical historical events witnessed precisely by these fortresses.

A path that can only start from the slopes of the Lucretili Mountains and, in particular, from the Savelli Castle which represents the pride of Palombara Sabina. It is difficult, however, to remain indifferent to his large halls, the frescoes of the school of Raphael and the ancient Greek statues. Worth a visit: the Archaeological Museum, which houses a beautiful statue of Zeus dating back to the 1st century BC, the hanging garden and “il soccorso,” a long tunnel with 37 loopholes once used by crossbowmen to pass from the tower to the fortress without being seen.

Not far from Palombara, it is possible to admire one of the most considerable examples of Lombard “castrum.” The ruins of Castiglione, which dominate from a panoramic position a valley characterized by dense terraced olive trees. And always a few kilometers away here is the abandoned town of Stazzano Vecchio, known as one of the “ghost towns” of Lazio, with its Orsini Castle. Continuing in the direction of Farfa, a few kilometers from the famous Abbey, it is possible to see the ruins of Roccabaldesca. The journey through the castles of the Sabina can only end in Nerola and its perfectly preserved Romanesque-medieval castle: defended by a wide moat and four large corner towers. Inside you can admire the vast halls and you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the surrounding valley.

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Arcevia Fuoriporta

Acervia, the Marche and the territory of the ten castles

Arcevia is surrounded by splendid fifteenth-century style centers, which have preserved their typological peculiarities until today. A real backward path can be made over time starting from Acervia, the ancient Rocca Contrada in the province of Ancona, and continuing into the territory up to the fortress of Nidastore, on the border with the area of Pesaro. Starting from Acervia, the Castle of Avacelli is the second stage of the journey. Rocca Contrada founded it on a hill on the border with the territory of Serra S. Quirico. The visit continues at the Castle of Castiglioni, which stands on the edge with the area of Serra de’Conti. The Castle was probably founded after the abandonment of the castle of Fossaceca which was nearby. It is worth visiting the Castle of Piticchio, one of the most evocative and best preserved in the territory of Arcevia, which stands on a hill about seven kilometers from Arcevia. In the Castle of Montale, on the other hand, it is still possible to admire the watchtower of the ancient fortification reused and re-proposed as the bell tower of the church of S. Silvestro, rebuilt after 1830. A visit to the Castle of Loretello, which rises on a hill 300 meters high about 15 km from Arcevia; among the remaining castles of the territory is the oldest one. We have news of the Castle of Loretello starting from 1072, built together with the church of S. Andrea by the monks of Fonte Avellana; it became the possession of Rocca Contrada in the second half of the 200s. A short distance from Loretello is the small Castle of S. Pietro, almost unchanged in its fifteenth-century urban plan, which however preserves few traces of the original wall structures. The Castle of Palazzo is instead one of the most characteristics of the whole territory: it is an urban structure with powerful stone and terracotta walls and a beautiful fifteenth-century entrance door. The Castle is on the slopes of Monte Caudino. Finally, the one geographically to the west is the Castle of Caudino, near which there was the famous battle between the Guelfe and Ghibelline forces for the possession of the territory.

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Liguria Fuoriporta

Through Via Iulia Augusta the Urbe relives in the heart of Liguria

It is one of the most historical and naturalistic trails of the most evocative of Liguria, easily walkable on foot and characterized by the colors and odors typical of the Mediterranean scrub. It is the ancient Via Iulia Augusta, built in the 13th c. at the will of the Emperor Augusto to connect Rome to the southern Gallia, via Vada Sabatia (today’s Vado Ligure) and the resort of Arles in Provence: a truly fascinating trait between the municipalities of Alassio and Albenga, whose first stage can not to be the little church of Santa Croce in Alassio, whose original building remains the apse and the left flank: from the square in front you can enjoy an extraordinary panorama, which, on clearer days, spends to the mountains of Tuscany and Corsica . After passing a stone arch, the images that accompany the entire path will appear immediately: the sea and Gallinara Island, so called by the Romans for the presence of wild hens. In the first section of the route you can admire the port of Alassio, with the characteristic Cappelletta erected in 1929 in memory of the fallen in the sea. A few hundred meters away you reach the church of Sant’Anna ai Monti, inside which are still visible parts of frescoes of the end of the 15th century / early sixteenth century, plastered after the Council of Trento. Continuing the walk for about 3 kilometers, past a campsite, in some short sections you still love the original Roman paved and a stretch of ancient pavement, characterized by the presence of margins on the sides and transverse cuts for the drainage of the waters. A little further, still in the commune of Alassio, are the remains of the necropolis of the Roman Albingaunum, dating back to the I-II sec. which accompany visitors until the end of the journey with a long series of interesting funerary monuments: the “A” and “B” buildings and a “colombary” tomb (the only one that has been found so far in Liguria). Leaving behind the funerary monuments, you reach S.Martino’s tip, near the “Pylon”, a tomb dating to the 2nd century AD. AD, and the Roman amphitheater. After a short descent, past the modern bridge over the Centa River, you reach Albenga with its historic center and medieval towers.

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Cupramontana Fuoriporta

The Hymn of the White Friars, a thousand years of stories and legends

A magical place with a backdrop of at least 1000 years of history. It is the Hermitage of the White Friars of Cupramontana (Ancona), founded in the 11th century by San Romualdo, which is one of the most important religious establishment of the origins of Christianity in the Marches and in Europe. Here, hermits first and friars then lived in caves dug into the still visible tuff. Over the years, this site has been a source of inspiration for writers and poets, such as Luigi Bartolini, C.Corradi and Bon Bonci, and hosted a large number of prominent personalities in the hermitic street, including the Blessed Giovanni Maris, Matteo Sabbatini, Blessed Paolo Giustiniani, Ludovico and Raffaele Tenaglia, Blessed Antonio da Recanati, Blessed Girolamo da Sessa (Pope Leo X), Giustiniano from Bergamo and other hermits in the smell of holiness. The Hermitage that can be admired today is the result of a long renovation that began in 2000, focusing not only on the edifice, but also on the protected forest, which surrounds the monastery in a warm hug: as soon as you reach the garden in front of the monastery , after having traveled about a kilometer on a small ancient road, delimited by the crow’s ditch in a frame of centuries-old trees, you really have the impression of being in “another world” in an absolute silence interrupted only by the noises of nature surrounding. The refurbishment of the advanced central part came to an end, and the advanced part of the long wing and the part corresponding to the ground floor were completed. The ancient caves have been made use of, with a wonderful restoration of the frescoes, and the cloister has also been brought back to the ancient splendor.

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Marzamemi Fuoriporta

Marzamemi and the lands of the two Mari to be visited by bicycle

It is one of the most fascinating places in Sicily, in the southernmost tip of the whole island, where a lovely landscape seems to accompany visitors slowly to Africa. It is Marzamemi, where around the central square the fishermen’s lodges have turned into characteristic holiday homes or renowned trattorias; Here you can admire the summer residence of the Principe di Villadorata, which, beside Tonnara, dominates much of the little piazzetta, where you can admire the lush and blue sea from the fishy peaks. A magical place that can be discovered in so many ways, even on two wheels: the Lands of the Two Marines, in fact, can be cycled throughout their reach.

The itinerary extends to the southern part of these lands, between Portopalo of Capo Passero and Porto Ulysses, with a largely flat territory: 24 km of highway, the highest point on the sea level is 37 meters. The starting point can only be the Terrace of the Two Mari, a panoramic spot in the town of Portopalo di Capo Passero. Crossing the small town of Portopalo, head first to the harbor by the harbor, then cross between the vineyards and the cultivations of the renowned cherry tomato. The second stage is on the extreme point of the territory: from here the look stops at the Insolence of the Currents: the stop takes place on the square that precedes the beach, parking area during the summer. Then continue along the longest stretch of the itinerary, which is 21 kilometers.

The coast goes up northwest through cultivated fields, vineyards and protected plants in greenhouses with thousands of cherry variety tomatoes. Afterwards, the route turns east and returns pedaling along the coast, through the village of Granelli, leaving the province of Syracuse and entering the territory of Ragusa. This is the incredible stretch of the Pantanon Longarin waters, where at several times of the year it is possible to observe the pink flamingos passing through these brackish waters. The last 3 kilometers of the route are developed along the coast, heading towards one of the most renowned destinations in the whole area, Porto Ulisse: from these cliffs you can see the Cirica Faraglioni to the west, close to the “Circe Dry” of so many shipwrecks of Roman and Byzantine ships.

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Cupramontana Fuoriporta

More than 100,000 rarities kept in the Etruscan Museum

Historical, artistic, geographical. These are the sections that animate the International Museum of Cupramontana Wine Lab (Ancona), housed on the first floor of the eighteenth-century Leoni Palace, around the town walls. Opened in 1987, it is a unique international space gathering over 100,000 labels of wine bottles from all over the world, sorted by thematic routes. Among the peculiarities are the series with animals, with cars, with heraldic coats of arms and all that dedicated to Verdicchio, the pearl of excellence in the territory. The contemporary section has over sixty thousand labels, exhibited by geographical origin and by themes; the historical one, refers instead to labels dating to the period between “Otto and Novecento”; the artistic one finally collects over four hundred works performed by artists of clear fame. Every year, the museum is displaying two events: the “Golden Label” award, to be awarded to participating companies for the best label in its usual use, and “Vinimmagine”, which is a graphic review of ideas and proposals for a label. In addition, the teaching lab “Advertising Born” is active.

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Lujo Bergamo Fuoriporta

The Lujo Valley, a small Switzerland in the heart of Lombardy

Few know it, but a small Switzerland lies not far from the well-known Val Seriana. It is the Valle del Lujo, a corner of the province of Bergamo that has maintained the perfect harmony between man and nature. It is a place not to be beaten by the usual tourist itineraries but boasts unique traditions and beauties from the Abbey of St. Benedict, founded on April 7, 1136 by Benedictine monks, to whom these lands had been donated by the then Bishop of Bergamo Gregorio: first inhabiters of the valley, the monks had to break down a dense forest to make their way to this impervious place, but for this more secure and quiet of others. One of the most important centers of the area is Casale, which with its 700 meters high is a kind of large terrace from which you can admire the whole valley; the country is known for “biligocc” chestnuts dried and smoked following an ancient process and for the pretty parish church. Another place of ancient and fascinating worship is that of the hamlet of Dossello, dedicated to the spousal of St. Joseph with the Blessed Virgin Mary: here every year the faithful found themselves at the patron saint of St. Joseph for the blessing of animals and wagons, now replaced from cars. Ancient and definitely imposing is finally the church of Santa Maria di Valle Alta, which in 1304 formed with the church of S. Zenone di Cene a single benefit; only in 1463 the two churches became autonomous and the present structure dates back to the middle of the eighteenth century, when it was dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta and San Giacomo Maggiore Apostolo.

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san pietro di feletto fuoriporta

San Pietro di Feletto, the ancient Pieve and the “Christ of the Sunday”

The fascinating fresco of the Christ of the Sunday, guarded in the facade of the Pieve di St Peters di San Pietro di Feletto (Treviso) under a large wooden beamed porch launched the message that Sunday is not a working day. Those who work during the Lord’s day make suffer the Christ who, struck by the work tools, pours blood from the wounds; the painting is also interesting because it shows visitors the tools and work types of the people of the Hills of Felettane. But all Pieve with his splendid work of the Longobarda era erected around the year 1000 definitely deserves a visit because, it offers to those who come in this magical corner of the “Prosecco Landscapes” a varied and unusual artistic show. The exterior has a large porch, which probably had the function of securing safe shelter for the people during social, political and economic meetings. The bell tower, which rises isolated, with cusp of the 16th century, is in Romanesque style. The Pieve is preceded by a 19th century staircase.

There are many frescoes that decorate the porch; in addition to the “Christ of the Sunday”, stands the “Madonna and Child with Saints”, important for a iconographic detail very rare: that of the Baby Jesus sucking milk from a bladder with which the author probably wanted to recall the tradition of poor families. Inside the architecture is of great charm, but still essential: there are three narrow aisles divided by arches on large rectangular pillars. In the background there is a semicircular apse with overlapping layers of paintings. The walls of the central nave are entirely frescoed with works by various authors and with refined hints of Byzantine taste ranging from the 13th to the 15th centuries. The beautiful chapel of the baptismal font, decorated with frescoes dating back to the end of the 14th century, illustrates the life and martyrdom of San Sebastiano. The painter who has frescoed the interior of the church is unknown, but probably was a mainstay artist between Treviso and Belluno, perhaps formed in the school of Antonio Vivarina. This is confirmed by the typology of faces, the definition of hair as well as the clothing and footwear, which characterize the activity of this person also in Serravalle and precisely in the Galletti Chapel of the Church of St. John the Baptist.

Visiting times: Saturday 9.00-10.00 / 15.00-20.00, Sunday 9.00-11.30 / 14.30-19.00.It is possible to visit the church on other days and hours only by calling the number: 329-3615869

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On these mountains there were the most important and bloody battles of the Great War. And so in 2008 the municipality of Forni Avoltri (Udine) decided to dedicate a permanent

The Great War on display at the Forni Avoltri Museum

On these mountains there were the most important and bloody battles of the Great War. And so in 2008 the municipality of Forni Avoltri (Udine) decided to dedicate a permanent exhibition on the Great War in the Upper Val Degano and on the front formed by the surrounding peaks (the Navagiust mountains, Avanza, Chiadenis and the Volaia and Cacciatore passes). Within the exhibition, housed on the ground floor of the Ethnographic Museum “Cemout chi erin” (which in dialect means “as we were”), you can admire a long series of objects found and collected on these places by volunteers and donations made by population. The postcards are very interesting and photographs of the era that witness the lives of soldiers and the village of Forni Avoltri during the war period.

Also the reproduction of bunk beds in the gallery originally found on Navagiust in 2007 is very suggestive. In the same space, also the ethnographic exhibition “How were we” worth a visit. It testifies the desire to pass on to future generations little traces of history and the people who lived in this part of Carnia, majestically framed by the Carnic Alps. In 1992, around foam puppets dressed in typical local clothes and used during the Christmas period, the locals began collecting objects, furnishings and work equipment, recovered and donated by the Forni families and their villages, which they tell with sensibility and precision the everyday life, rites and traditions of the Fornites since the 1800s after the World Wars.

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Lake Molveno fuoriporta

Among the Italian lakes, Fuoriporta’s summer continues

“Land of castles, lakes and wines”: no better idea could be made to synthesize Appiano on the Wine Road, a small jewel of the province of Bolzano, just two steps from the Monticolo (small and large) lakes, among coniferous woods hardwoods. A country immersed in uncontaminated nature, within one of the most beautiful landscapes of Trentino-Alto Adige, with almost 200 castles and fortresses and a vast vineyard area, the largest of the whole region. It is therefore compulsory for those who come here to accompany the classic dishes of the local tradition with a good glass of wine, to choose from among the more than 25 wineries scattered throughout the territory; and maybe, besides the narrow streets of the old town, you can also visit the hamlet of Saint Paul with the splendid Church of the Conversion.

Hinge between three regions – Lombardy, Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige – Garda is the largest Italian lake, and certainly among the most impressive. Here, overlooking the Veronese shore, stands Torri del Benaco, which is undoubtedly one of the most interesting towns on the eastern coast. A true paradise, thanks to modern facilities and immersed in the greenery, for lovers of sailing, water skiing, motonautics, fishing and even horse riding. But not only: the ancient village reserves surprises also to lovers of history and culture, if you think that the first settlements of man in the area date up to 2,000 BC! A distant past that is still witnessed by graffiti that are well visible on stone slabs honed by glacial retreat. It is worth a visit to the XIVth Century Scaligero Castle, and the Ethnographic Museum hosted by it, in addition to the Clock Tower and a series of religious architectures of great impact: the Church of San Marco, that of the Holy Trinity at Porto and that dedicated to St. Gregory.

Moving further south and precisely on the west bank of Trasimeno, we are in Castiglione del Lago, immersed in a unique naturalistic setting and with a lovely old town all within the medieval walls. From the three gates of access to the village you can visit the Ducal Palace and the Fortezza, in addition to the church of Santa Maria Maddalena and the ancient Palazzo del Popolo, but of great visual impact is also the panoramic path under the outer walls along the Poggio olived. The village in the province of Perugia, which also offers visitors the opportunity to try out all the water sports, tennis courts and horseback riding, trekking and mountain biking along the cycle path that runs along the lake, is also a very alive village with events that animate the summer (Trasimeno Blues, International Folklore Festival, Roccacinema and Trasimeno Theater) and not only from the April Tulip Festival to the Pleasure of Lake in November.

The last stop of the trip takes us to Lazio and in particular to Bolsena, in the province of Viterbo, on the shores of the homonymous lake. A center full of history with testimonies of a glorious Etruscan and Roman past, and at the same time a city of Mysteries and ancient traditions: here, in fact, originated the ritual of Corpus Christi. Inside the Chapel of the Miracle, in fact, in 1263, an oysters caused a great amount of blood to flow: miraculous evidence was brought to Orvieto and handed over to Pope Urban IV, who the following year established the Corpus Domini feast. A religious architecture with a magical charm, in short, which deserves to be visited like the Church of Santa Cristina and the Convent of Santa Maria del Giglio, while in the center of the village are the fountain of San Rocco, the sixteenth century Palazzo Caposavi and the Palazzo of the Dragon. From an enogastronomical point of view, however, Bolsena is a land of fine oils and wines but is above all the ideal place to taste the fish-based fish cuisine: from cooked-to-grill to eel and vernaccia, without forgetting the pike to the Bolshevese , fillets of fried peaches and “sbroscia”: this is the typical local fishermen soup, based on boiled water with various species of fish and enriched with potatoes, tomatoes, almonds and white wine.