5 Nov 2014

Italy: visit to a local town

There would hardly be any need for us to leave our Italian village to do some shopping since there are trades people and little shops that meet our everyday needs. Vans selling fruit and vegetables, fish and household goods come around on different days of the week. Also our self sufficient relatives generously share their seasonal produce. We have plenty of our own fruit and this time the bruised windfall apples were collected for a relative's pig and the fruit and vegetable peelings went to the sheep.
However, it's always good to take a break and go to town on market day. We were particularly looking for some ripe lemons to make some limoncello and the ones growing in our relatives' gardens had green skins.

In Sora the stalls are set up in the streets on either side of the river and there are other piazzas dedicated to the fruit and vegetable market. Individuals also bring in produce from their smallholdings so everything is seasonal and fresh.

This time we wandered around Borgo San Rocco and walked into town.

Although Sora lies in the shadow of high mountains the town itself is located in a wide plain with the River Liri running through it. There are areas of wetland and a lakeland reserve. Sora is well known for paper making and wood crafting. A popular method of getting around on the quieter country lanes and narrow streets around town is by bike.

In a side street there's a shop selling organic and Fairtrade produce and we went into the deli and talked to the owner since he also sells products from the local Abbey. Our nephew has a similar deli in our village, but it's always good to talk to other traders about organic food. He had some lemons, but they were still green and didn't look suitable for our purpose.

Then we came across a van selling fruit and vegetables and got the ripe, unwaxed and organic lemons we wanted (from Fondi, which is a town near the coast in a lemon-growing region). (I'll show you what we did with them to make limoncello another time).
We had a coffee before walking back through the streets of San Rocco district - a photographer's delight if you're interested in architectural details. Borgo San Rocco has had some restoration work done over the last year or two, but the ancient character of the buildings remains the same. 

          Looking back through an entrance gate that leads into the main part of the riverside town.

At the end of the street is another piazza and the church of San Rocco.

There are two small windows that enables the outsider to look into the church.

The same window from inside the church.

courtesy Church of San Rocco, Sora leaflet

A window and statue depicting San Rocco (St. Roch) with a dog who offered him bread when the man was an outcast due to a skin disease which he contracted after nursing the sick.  You can read more about San Rocco here.  His feast day is on the 16th August when there are festivals and processions in many parts of the world associated with him including Venice where his body is enclosed in a glass tomb in the church dedicated to him there.  The Borgo of San Rocco in Sora has its own festa on that day. A newly painted fresco on one of the outside walls of the church depicts some scenes from the life of San Rocco and the festival procession as the statue of the saint is taken around the streets.  It's interesting to see this aspect of community life portrayed with people from the community taking part, some in traditional regional costumes.

Piazza San Rocco


  1. Thank you for the lovely tour of Sora. It is a very pretty town and one I would enjoy walking around.

  2. What a beautiful town. I do love a place with a good market.

  3. Your photos are a feast for the eyes! I could feel the heat of the day on my back as I looked at them and also the contrasting cool of the inside of the church. What a wonderful town and oh, those blue skies. Thank you for sharing your search for ripe lemons with us:)

  4. every single photo is magnificent, the first 3 are spectacular! those are amazing reflections. i love the narrow streets and the grapes on the table and on and on.. the perfect place to shop... and even better you don't have to leave your village. i like that part

  5. What a charming little town, it must have been wonderful wandering around it. I did love the church, very interesting. When my dad lived in North Wales vans came around selling veg, fish and meat too, it certainly made life easier for the locals. I did enjoy this and seeing a little more of Italy.xxx

  6. Thank you for taking us along on this beautiful visit around your part of Italy. It is magnificent and how I wish I could visit there.
    I just know your lemoncello will be wonderful too.

  7. What a lovely tour you've given us! (I know how long it takes to load photos onto the blog.) I thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking forward to your lemoncello making. I tried it once with whole lemons.

  8. It's so beautiful. I spent five weeks in Italy last summer, and it is so lovely. I loved the market on Wednesdays where I spent three of those weeks. I've never got to around through sorting through photos. Thank you for the gorgeous tour. How wonderful to live there. xoxo

  9. What a lovely trip out, it looks like a lovely town to visit. xx

  10. Sora is a gorgeous town. Thanks for sharing it, Linda. I love reading about churches and their history... Loved the statue of San Rocco and the dog... Interesting! Love the murals around the church --and also enjoyed seeing the inside of the church and the stained glass window... Great post.. I enjoyed it.


  11. What a lovely village and town. I am very much a home body and would love not having to leave my village to shop....I wish it were that way in my home village.

  12. I really enjoyed this tour of Sora, Linda, and your photos are super. i love the little architectural details you pick out as well as the streetscape and landscape shots. The neighbouring commune to us in Normandy celebrates the feast of Saint Roch in mid-August, so it was very interesting to read the background information about the saint.