21 Nov 2014

Italy: the hill town of Veroli


I've still got a lot to write about regarding our time away in Italy in September and October as I'm trying to keep a chronological record of our year. I know I'm 'swimming against the flow' compared with many of you who are writing about Christmas preparations, but I'm going to continue to share about our Italian life with perhaps a post or two about what we're doing here in Yorkshire if something of interest comes up.




The view above can be seen from one of the terraces in a local town where we go from time-to-time. The weather, even in early Spring and Autumn can be sunny and you can see for miles across south Lazio.
However, it's not the highest area of the town and the day we took a walk it was one of the few when the weather was not so good.  It was a different walk because I wanted to explore somewhere we don't usually need to visit as we often park at the bottom of the town and walk up to the middle streets and that can be quite enough of a challenge.
Fortunately we could drive up, park and walk to the highest quarter of the upper town. There were tantalising glimpses of what the residents were growing in their town gardens on the other side of the ancient walls. The megalithic walls that surround and protect Veroli in a polygon form are called cycloptic walls because they were built with enormous stones that are wedged in place and can be seen best in the St. Leucio quarter, which is the oldest part of the upper town.
The lane led up to an ancient tower called 'The Rock' (9th century AD).  Many important people found shelter or were kept prisoner within the walls. Turning left passed 'The Rock' the narrow road had no barrier on the side where there was a steep drop into the valley road below. There was a dead end with a small cobbled courtyard where there was a shop, a little church and a narrow pathway back down to the lower streets. It felt as if this area was mainly used by the locals. The small church was very old, had been untouched by modern hands and yet was obviously a much-loved and intimate neighbourhood place of worship. We spoke to the elderly man sitting on the bench outside and went in.
The main lane to the right continued as a single-track road across the Ernici mountains. It's called 'The Way of the Benedictines' as St. Benedict and his little band of followers in 529 AD journeyed from Subiaco, stopped in Veroli, founded the monastery of St. Erasmus, before going on south to start a new monastic community in Monte Cassino.  Of course, these mountain tracks would have been known routes to all travellers as well as marauding peoples.
























The remains of the tower called 'The Rock'













The enclosed courtyard in front of the church and the path leading
 back down to the lower part of the town.

Th church of St. Leucio

the cemetery


 a wall painting - I have no information about what is depicted





The Ernici settled in the area around the 12th century B.C. and founded  the settlement as it was in a strategic position being more than 700 feet above sea level and between two major valley routes. It eventually fell to the Romans and because of its alliance with Rome became a free municipality. There was a period of unrest during the Norman period, but by the Middle ages Veroli was established as flourishing centre of art and culture and in the Renaissance was well known for its places of learning and the libraries attached to them.
Although the weather wasn't good and the light was poor for photography, especially as we approached 'The Rock' tower, it was an interesting walk which gave me an insight into another aspect of Veroli.

13 comments:

  1. i am glad you made the climb, these are so beautiful and i like looking across and down into the gardens. those stone walls with the plants growing in them are fantastic

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  2. Life tends to get in the way of blogging (as it should) but it's good to record your time in Italy before it fades. I, too, am grounded with winter bugs. Hopefully things will all clear up soon. Have a good weekend Linda x

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  3. Veroli looks like a fantastic place. I LOVE LOVE LOVE all of that rock work... WOW---so interesting... Glad you were able to get to the "Rock" .... Gorgeous views from up there. Loved seeing the little church also... Thanks so much for sharing.

    YES--we have had some cold weather --but it's much worse north of us than it has been here in Tennessee.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  4. What a lovely area and so much history! And all of that sunshine made me feel warm!

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  5. I love those high hill towns of Italy where life seems to carry on as it has done for centuries seemingly immune from the goings on in the wider world.

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  6. Wonderful photos of this lovely place which seems so full of history that is almost timeless. Thank you for sharing your visit - I'm really enjoying your photos of your visit and look forward to more. Have a happy weekend:)

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  7. Another wonderful tour of a beautiful town. Thank you Linda! I do hope I get to Italy one day.

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  8. Beautiful, if vertiginous, views from the top! I for one am happy to read your Italy posts for as long as you want to publish them Linda. It takes me back to warmer climes and besides, I'm not ready for Christmas yet!

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  9. Such beautiful views, and with all that history. It's good to explore areas we don't often visit, a great way to discover some gems.

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  10. It is lovely to see your posts from Italy, and to see sunshine and warmth rather than the cold and wet that we have now at this time of year! x

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  11. This post encapsulates all the things that make Italy perennially fascinating for me – beauty of landscape and architecture and a palpable sense of history and antiquity. The little church reminds me strongly of San Stefano in Assisi, which is one of my favourites.

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  12. Enjoyed the pictures and the history and great views. And the cat of course. Incidentally do hope you are getting your computer issues sorted. I am 'getting there'!

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