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We wake up the next day without knowing what was waiting for us.. best things always come unforeseen. While strolling around in Spoleto, after visiting the teatro romano and the interesting Casa Romana, we get to the Basilica di San Salvatore (that we discover was a temple previously) where we are captured by its strong, majestic and still presence.

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We then arrive in the monastery of San Ponziano where an exceptional guide shows us around the place. Giuseppe is a volunteer in the monastery and helps the nuns keeping the property nice and tidy with some gardening and small repairing works. He is excited to teach us a few historical facts around the monastery. Starting with the crypt we are captivated by the smiling Baby Jesus, the upside down column, the dove sitting on top of the cross and the blanket spread out over the figure of God. Then the angles above, with their peculiar red triangles (Buddhism?), legs crossed and hands joined. And then something I’ve never seen before: ruota degli esposti (literally the wheel of the exposed). This is a revolving wooden box where the infant used to be placed. In ancient times the mother who wasn’t able to take care of her baby, instead of abandoning him, would put him into the hands of the nuns, and this method would ensure her privacy and anonymity.

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Grazie mille Giuseppe! You’ve been helpful and cheerful, hope to see you soon.

Now it is time to leave beautiful Spoleto and head North. We stop in Terme di Clitunno a relaxing place with thermal baths praised by many poets and philosophers.

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We then arrive in magical Spello where once a year in May people organize an infiorata (a flower show), every road gets covered by real petals arranged on the ground to form flowery patterns. Spello is an award winning village for its flowering windows, balconies and narrow streets all year around.

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I cannot resist and pay a visit to an artisan specializing in macramé. Macramé is a form of textile-making using knotting used for wall decorations, hanging baskets, garments, accessories, etc. In the little shop there was a range of products showcased: handbags, scarves, tops, lamp covers, jewels…just adorable!

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I then pay a visit to a craftsman who was intent in creating small hand painted masterpieces: ceramiche di Deruta (Deruta ceramics). He gets the pottery from Deruta and then paints it by hand creating these classic and well distinguished patterns typical of the area. I promise you, I’ll have a house full of these beauties. They make me smile, they make me happy!

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“Quando sarà sparito l’ultimo artigiano…quando non voleranno più api e farfalle…allora sarà finita la nostra storia.” (When the last artisan will disapper…when bees and butterflies won’t fly anymore…in that moment our history will be over).  Pasolini

 

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