Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…

Norcia…

Leave a comment

There will be more photos of Venice later, but first back to Umbria. I’ve included a map this time so that you can understand the distances and directions of our day trips. I have already posted about Spoleto and the areas close to our apartment. Also, there was our day trip farther afield to Orvieto. In the opposite direction from Orvieto was Norcia the eastern most destination in the Umbrian region.

map

Our visit included some rain so the photos are not quite as bright, but it was still a lovely day to stroll.

Norcia is a walled town noted as the birthplace of St. Benedict the founder of Western monasticism and it is also one of Italy’s great culinary capitols so there are lots of food stores. The stores feature meats and the extra special small lentils of the region. We did see a lot of boar heads and pig figures because Norcia was known for its skilled butchers (who also led the way as surgeons…go figure…). Since 1859 the buildings have been restricted in height because the area is the center of earthquakes (oh, California, felt right at home…). Walls are buttressed and thick.

We entered Norcia through the 19th century Porta Romana and then the wandering began…

IMG_4863 IMG_4870

I enjoyed the block of buildings that was only one room wide…

IMG_4867

The Civic Theater and monument to war heroes…

IMG_4875 IMG_4877 IMG_4879

The center of town is the Piazza San Benedetto (feels more like a circle than a square, actually). Surrounded by the Palazzo Comunale with a portico from 1492 (where the tourist office is located) and the basilica of San Benedetto. The square is the site of where the Roman forum used to be.

IMG_4913 IMG_4891 IMG_4885 IMG_4946

Supposedly built over the home/birthplace of Benedict and his sister, St. Scholastica, (they are represented in the two niches next to the entrance) ,only the facade is original from 1389 (again, earthquakes). The arched gallery is newer, 1570. Inside the church…

IMG_4922 IMG_4923 IMG_4925 IMG_4926

The fresco is from the 15th century.

Across the Piazza is the Castellina which houses the Museo Civico and is marked by granite lions at its entrance. To its side is the Duomo from the 16th century.

IMG_4896 IMG_4908

IMG_4934IMG_4942IMG_4935IMG_4947IMG_4948

Saint Benedict is in the center of all this.

IMG_4903

and the food stores…

IMG_4931 IMG_4949 IMG_4954 IMG_4955

After a lovely lunch where I learned the beauty of an antipasti that was pecorino cheese drizzled with local honey, we walked through the neighborhoods…

IMG_4956 IMG_4959 IMG_4967 IMG_4969

We found the Tempietto (small temple) built in 1354 with its frescoes. It is thought it was built as an “anti-plague”  chapel after the epidemic.

IMG_4979IMG_4973IMG_4984 IMG_4982 IMG_4985 IMG_4993 IMG_4994 IMG_5001 IMG_5008 IMG_5014 IMG_5015 IMG_5016 IMG_5018 IMG_5020 IMG_5021 IMG_5003 IMG_5019 IMG_5022 IMG_5041

The sun set on another one of the lovely days in Umbria…

I made use of the Rough Guide to Tuscany and Umbria to write this.

Author: loisreynoldsmead

artist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s