Saturday, April 6, 2013

Medieval Times...

...And I don't mean the dinner theater show.  This is the real deal, folks.

This weekend, I visited three Medieval towns not too far from Rome.  Bro. Giuliano, an Italian Marianist, offered to take us on a little tour.  It was an absolutely beautiful day and a wonderful end to spring break.  Watch for the "Brothers Gone Wild" video shortly :)  Here's some (okay, a lot) pictures from the excursion.

Stop 1: Bagnoregio
This town is built on top of a hill that juts out of nowhere.  Most Medieval towns were built on a hilltop for defense.  Unfortunately, the city still needs defending today because the mountain is eroding away.  I read that there are now only about 12 permanent residents (and I"m not making that up!)  The only way in is the pedestrian bridge.  You can't get lost because it's so small, and you would just fall off if you went too far.  This is also the birthplace of St. Bonaventure, noted Medieval theologian and Doctor of the Church.
Civita di Bagnoregio
Getting ready to climb up

Bro. Bosco excited for the bridge.

The main piazza (plaza) in town.


A beautiful day in the beautiful country.

With Bro. Dan.

Bro. Les and Bro. Bosco.

Plaque marking the place where St. Bonaventure was born.  However, I still probably like his nemesis St. Thomas Aquinas better.

Near the place of Bonaventure's house.  Not a bad view to wake up to in the morning.

One more...I really liked this place.

Stop 2: Bolsena
This quaint town is situated on the shore of Lake Bolsena.  It was originally inhabited by the Etruscans who pre-date the Romans.  It is most famous for the "Eucharistic Miracle" of 1263.  A Germain priest was on pilgrimage and had doubts about the Real Presence in the Eucharist.  While celebrating mass in town, the consecrated host is said to have bled real blood, leaving some on a corporal (white cloth).  It is from this incident that we get the annual Feast of Corpus Christi.
The Castle

Bros. Dan, Les, and Bosco.

Looking out to the lake.

City planning was not too developed in the Middle Ages.

The old city.

Some Etruscan pottery in the museum.

The Church of Santa Cristina.

The miracle reliquary.

There is a second miracle attached here.  Cristina's father tried to drown her, but the stone that she was attached to floated!  Her footprints are still there!!!!

The chapel of the miracle.

The blood stained corporal.

Bro. Bosco taking a rest by the shore.

It really was a beautiful day.

Stop 3: Tuscania
Another quaint, little town.  We mainly stopped here to have a "merenda" (snack) before we headed back to Rome.  It is full of hilly, winding, and narrow streets.  The surrounding countryside was just breathtaking.

Lots of stairs.

Ruins in the countryside.

What an enjoyable day.  Thanks Bro. Guiliano!