Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Italic Temples at Schiavi d'Abruzzo

The Appenines are described as the backbone of Italy, and we discovered an army marching for power across the brows of the mountains in a long file.
These wind turbines did not, to my eye, detract from the landscape - they never do.  Clothed in clouds, they looked as if they belonged.

Driving from Carunchio to Schiavi d'Abruzzo showed some majestic scenery.

And as the town appeared in the distance, I wondered if the clouds would catch up with us.

Our destination was, in fact, past Schiavi, as we were hunting the Italic (Pre-Roman) temples built nearby.

This bush - a type of broom? - grew by the layby where we parked the car.

This was clearly one of nature's gardens.

The vegetation was lush.

The ground beneath our feet was squelchy.  I think there must have been springs to create such bogginess as elsewhere was dry.

It transpired that we had entered the temple site by the back door (an easier path from a parking place lay downhill of where we stopped)

I am very partial to a bit of ancient wall

and this was certainly well up to standard!

This is a temple reconstruction

while these more ancient remnants are somewhat protected from the elements.

Wonderful change of scale in this terracotta floor.

and a hint of more pillars.

We were the only people there, and the site was very peaceful.  It was easy to imagine why it had been chosen as a sacred place.  The majestic views of the cloud-clad Majella Mountains was awe-inspiring and the atmosphere was contemplative and special.

We were surrounded by the treasures of nature.

Eventually, it was time to leave and set off homewards

Past Schiavi d'Abbruzzo once more,

Past more mountains

and glimpses of Lago di Bomba to tempt another excursion on another day.


We arrived at Curunchio during the sleepy siesta time and parked in the square (by this church) where there was also a cafe open for liquid refreshment and ice creams.  After taking our ease there, I wandered over the church (which might have been dedicated to S. Margaret, I don't remember properly), wherein I found some beautiful frescoes.

 I did not like to assault them with my camera flash, so the photo is rather dull, but they were beautiful.

This gives an idea of how much this village is built on the hillside - the piazza is about haf a storey above these houses which skirt it on one side.

Curving lanes turned off the piazza and ran down the hill.

A balcony bought Romeo and Juliet to mind.

We determined that it was possible to drive out of the piazza to the high point of Carunchio, so we carried on up the hill to the top and the Chiesa de S. Giovanni Battista.

This archway was the gateway to a viewing platform affording stunning views of the village and countryside around.  Carunchio is said to be one of the 100 most beautiful villages in Italy, and I could well believe its worthiness of this reputation.

The glorious terra-cotta roofs dripped down the hillside to the verdant valley below.

The roof tiles are interlocking half-cylinders, as we saw in Venice, and the rocks upon them help to prevent damage when the sows come in the winter.

Unfortunately, this church was locked up, but there was still plenty to see.

The magnificence of the landscape

and more


roof shots.  To live here, you have to be very fit - or maybe living here makes you so.

This handsome couple is my son and daughter.

Then it was my turn to be snapped, outside the decaying magnificence of the Palazzo Camillo.

Doorway to past glories.

A picturesque wood-pile, ready for winter fires.

Looking back at the church bell tower.

What can I say?  I have a thing for old doorways.

Sun and shade by the Palazzo Tour d'Eau.

Another display of brotherly love.

Ancora, Palazzo Camillo.

Room with a view?!

Open window.

Door and ghostly messages.

No entry here.

Abruzzan vista.

More sun and shade.

Church flowers 1

Church flowers 2

Church flowers 3

Splashes of colour in planters beside S. Giovanni Battista.

Looking back at Carunchio as we set off for the next part of our adventure.