Restoration e la storia…

Around 800 years ago, Benedictine workers built this structure in Fossa on top of a 9th century AD Roman-Byzantine temple. And that was already on top of a crypt where for centuries BC and up until 391 AD, the Vestini tribe honoured Vesta (pagan goddess of hearth, home and family).

It’s survived more than 17 earthquakes over many centuries as well as WW2 bombings close by.

While humble outside, painted inside its walls is some of the oldest, most precious art in Abruzzo. Gothic-Byzantine frescoes that depict scenes like the last judgment (said to have inspired Dante to later write the Divine Comedy after he visited Fossa in 1294) and the pagan agrarian calendar so central to a rural community and to show stories for those not fortunate to learn to read.

Recently it reopened, a decade on from its damage after the 2009 earthquake. Beliefs aside, it’s significant to see its art restored, not just for those at present but for generations to come, for it’s a story of the area’s people and even the tiniest villages high in the mountains have their own potent stories.

(Santa Maria di Cryptas, Fossa, Abruzzo.)


Filed under inspiration + history, italy

2 responses to “Restoration e la storia…

  1. Jan antony

    Zoe. How wonderful it has finally been restored. As you know we were unable to see that part as it was not safe to go into where the work was being undertaken when we stayed the night there
    Fondest regards Jan Antony

    • Hi Jan, lovely to hear from you! Yes, wonderful to see it restored and in time for the anniversary ten years on from the earthquake. Hopefully more restoration work will be undertaken in other parts of the village too. At this stage, the family house remains as it was the day of the earthquake with rubble inside where the roof partially caved in. It means a lot to me that you got to go there and I’m sure Annibale (Joe) would have been absolutely chuffed to know you did too. Hope you and your family are well. Kindest wishes, Zoe xx

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