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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Again, a short account of my daily trip.

Today we took a trip down in the north part of a region called "Marche" (Marquis lands). Up to about 150 years ago, this area was under the temporal dominion of the Church, and this area was its north landmark, called "Montefeltro" (Cushion Mountains). This area is known to be one of the most beautiful landscapes in Italy, pointed with sharp mountains raising up to 1400 mt. and rolling hills fiercely farmed through the millennia. Bravely facing San Marino, the last, mighty Fortress of Saint Leo held safe the farthest lands of the Popes. The Forthres, built in the late part of the Renaissance, was so militarily effective that it played a major role enven in World War II. Yet, this place is famous to have been the jail of the Giuseppe Balsamo, Count of Cagliostro. The Church condemned him to be buried alive in this cell; the door of the cell was sealed before he was sent there and he was cast down in it through a trapdoor in the ceiling, through which he was also fed.

We then reached Pennabilli, where the Dalai Lama paid back a visit to the hometown of a monk that visited Tibet in 1600 (and making a bit of proselytes there). The place where a Tibetan bell and some prayer rolls have been placed resembles a corner of Tibet itself; just, a bit greener.

We then crossed the Carpegna pass at 1007 mt., and went down to the Lake of Mercatale (Marketplace) and Sassocorvaro (Raven-grabber stone). In some magical landscape that cannot be told, but just seen, crossing roads right through the crest of the mountains, we reached the Fortress City of Urbino (a merge of late Latin and early Italian meaning "Citadel", "little city"), now practically a University Town (and as such, lively with students and pulsing with culture and youth). I made quite a long set of shots, but the fascinating part of the town here is the contrast between the massive buildings and the landscape on which they are laid down. There isn't a single meter running horizontal; you're constantly climbing and descending steep waypaths. In this short, just let me summarize the impact of the majestic buildings through the front "false entrance" of the Duke Palace, built just to face the valley, as the real entrance is on the other side, and a way mark stating that this alley is called "Turn of Death street". Every stone must have an interesting story to tell here.

We then came back to San Marino; after all, still a very Italian place, as you can tell from this pizza restaurant, where we had one of the best pizzas in our life. Just, as delightful as Italy may be, if it were just run thoughtfully.


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