Thursday, September 15, 2022
Citerna to Città di Castilla
19.3 kilometers, 12 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,067
Elevation Loss: 2,651 I
The three of us staying at the secondary accommodations, (if you consider an estate with a pool that has an eye-popping view secondary!) were transported over to the other place at 8:45 for breakfast. It was a good half an hour later we finally sat down to the typical breakfast of muffins, bread, jams, cheese, cured meat and fruit. Sometimes we get hard boiled eggs though not today…. I have pretty much given myself over to these late starts, contrary to my nature, however today we have thunderstorms in the forecast and there was talk last night of even aborting our trek if need be. They’re not forecast until 1:00 so it would have seemed getting started early would have be a good idea. Oh well…
We had two super steep accents and one pretty steep descent. We experienced high humidy (aka: lots of sweating) even though it was generally overcast. Blue sky did appear and the sun did come out, but generally it was evident the clouds were preparing for the big storm that was forecast. We stopped at a lovely place about 2 miles in where many of our group had coffee, the majority ordered sandwiches, and there were even orders of homemade ice cream and some fruit, such as watermelon. Two friendly dogs who loved having their ears and belly scratched hung out with us and I even had a chance to spy a long-haired goat!
Ultimately, about the time we planned to stop for lunch and about six miles in of the projected twelve, it started to rain – and as God would have it, we were on the doorstep of the Archeologia Arborea where we took shelter. Giovanni had wanted to stop here, except the proprietor, Isabella Dalla Rangione was not available until afternoon. She happened to arrive the second we did and invited us in to wait out the storm. In no time it began POURING RAIN and an hour later we all decided to take the van to our lodging (two trips)! Lots of thunder and potential for lightning.
“A research on old local varieties of fruit plants began 40 years ago in Central Italy. A race against time to save these plants from their final disappearance. As archaeologists reconstruct a civilization from a fragment, ‘Arboreal Archeology’ from a small apple has rediscovered the worlds and cultures of entire rural communities. Places still inhabited by elderly farmers were privileged. Speaking, but above all listening to their stories and testimonies, we have reconnected the thread of memory interrupted between old and new generations. Research in ancient, abandoned farms, monastery gardens or ancient cultivation sites destroyed by industrial development has brought to light trees that are now silent witnesses of the ancient rural culture. Every day we discovered how extraordinary the genetic and cultural heritage was and how strong the danger of definitive disappearance was.
Finding dozens of varieties of apples, pears, figs and other species, an orchard collection and a nonprofit foundation has been set up to take care of this treasure. Over the years we have organized pomological exhibitions, conferences, researches and participated in national and international projects, continuing our research. We have written and have written about us articles, reports, documentaries and books. The large orchard of Arboreal Archeology has become a reservoir of genes and culture, to be shared with a new generations. A unique heritage of biodiversity…”
“ There are about 600 specimens of different species Including apple, cherry, pear, plum, fig, almond, medlar and quince in about 150 varieties found in the research in areas.” (from the website, archeologiaarborea.com)
Once we arrived at our pleasant Hotel in the downtown area of Città di Castello, it continued to rain harder and harder and there was an ONGOING/CONSTANT grumbling of thunder! I observed a few very wet, poncho wearing and umbrella carrying pilgrims walk by….We still went out for a tour of the downtown area as our illustrious tour guy, Giovanni, lived in this town from birth until age 19 when he went to university! He greeted focusing you throughout the hour we stopped at several places including Pinacoteca Comunale and the incredibly beautiful and impressive cathedral in town.
https://www.cittadicastelloturismo.it/percorso/pinacoteca-comunale/). We had to duck for cover several times and the sky gave us a surprising light show of purples and pinks. One of our stops to get out of the rain was a bar where we all had some adult beverages and then we went to Ristoranti Da Lea, for a very delicious dinner and probably my favorite restaurant so far. I wish we could’ve spent more time in this town – so much to see, so little time!
“ The Umbrian people established Città Di Costello on the banks of the Tiber river over 2500 years ago. Continuously occupied since then, the town was rebuilt and fortified by its Bishop, Floridus, around a new castle, ultimately earning it the name Città Di Costello. Towering above the town’s buildings are the 11th-century Torre Comunale and the cathedral’s 12th-century Campanile Cilindrico.
The town is a center for medieval and Renaissance art and at its Pinacoteca Comunale art gallery has significant works from Ghiberti, Signorelli, Raphael and della Robbia.
The cathedral’s museum houses a collection of Christian art, including a display of 25 rare objects from the sixth century used for Eucharistic liturgy that were found while plowing a nearby field in 1935. The museum also houses the ‘Dragon’s Bone’, found in nearby Pietralunga and transported here as evidence of dragons – or at least of dinosaurs.” (Trekking The Way Of St Francis From Florence To Assisi And Rome,” by Sandy Brown)