Small pieces of a large mosaic


    Small pieces of a large mosaic

    Let’s compare our history to an ancient and complex mosaic, comprised of many small pieces. With the passage of time, it is natural that large gaps in knowledge will form and many of the pieces will be lost. Let’s imagine that each of us has [...]

In Focus

Medieval parchments Medieval parchments

Some scrolls found in the archives of the monasteries of Santa Giuliana (Saint Juliana) and San Domenico (Saint Dominic) in Perugia, indirectly provide some very useful information to help us understand the status of women in the late Middle Ages.
The documents found, in fact, seem to confirm that women held a relatively [...]

Butchers, surgeons and charlatans Butchers, surgeons and charlatans

Near the medieval castle of Preci (formerly Castrum Precum), in the pristine mountainous area of Umbria which is called Val Castoriana (the valley of Castor), lies the Abbey Sant’Eutizio, a medieval monastic benedectine complex which is among the most beautiful and evocative of Italy.
The story of the foundation of the building is to be found [...]


The Festival of the snake charmers The Festival of the snake charmers

Not to be confused with the founder of the Dominican order by the same name, St. Dominic from Foligno was a saint of Umbrian origin, born in 951 at Capodacqua near Foligno.
His cult is still being celebrated today at Cocullo, in Abruzzo, during the “Festival of the snake charmers”, a folkloric and religious event of [...]

Bevignate and the mistery of the Templar Code Bevignate and the mistery of the Templar Code

Who was Bevignate, the mysterious hermit venerated like a saint by the population of Perugia, notwithstanding the Church had never approved his canonization?
An aura of mystery surrounds the figure of this medieval monk, whom The Templars dedicated a new church in Perugia. Inside the medieval building there are interesting frescoes, dating back to the seventies [...]


A mystery in the crypt A mystery in the crypt

The church of St. Ponziano, built outside the medieval city walls of Spoleto and close to the paleochristian temple of St. Salvatore, is considered one of the most interesting examples of romanesque architecture in central Italy. It belonged to a benedictine abbey and was dedicated to the patron saint of Spoleto, martyred during the persecution [...]

The Tree of Life is within us The Tree of Life is within us

A few nights ago, as he ate a lemon slowly bite by bite, my son unintentionally swallowed a seed along with the fruit of the lemon, and then exclaimed soon thereafter:  “That’s okay, all it means is that I will grow the tree of life in my stomach!” (Va bene, vorrà dire che mi crescerà [...]


Greek inscriptions in the Temple Greek inscriptions in the Temple

Very few people are aware of the mysterious Greek inscriptions that are found atop the columns, inside the Tempio Sant’Angelo in Perugia. These intriguing inscriptions are found inside of what is considered to be one of the finest early Christian churches in Italy.
The indipendent resercher Antonella Bazzoli is planning a series of articles in which [...]

A circular church from Byzantine Perugia A circular church from Byzantine Perugia

Despite the lack of direct historical references about the history of Perugia in the early Christian age, we know that around the seventh century Perugia was part of the Byzantine state: a large Christian state that was based on the structure of the Exarchate, whose network of territories were defended by a specialized and multi-ethnic [...]


Under the sign of Virgo Under the sign of Virgo

The medieval Woman, in her role as wife, is the protagonist of four different scenes out of the twelve months of the Main Fountain carved in 1278 by Giovanni and Nicola Pisano. There is no doubt of her identity as uxor (wife) because the Latin word is clearly written in letters above each of the [...]

Hairdressers and prostitutes in the Middle Ages Hairdressers and prostitutes in the Middle Ages

The term lavatrice di capeta (hair washer)  referred to what we would now call a hairdresser for ladies and gentlemen in the Middle Ages.
It was a perfectly respectable profession that was nonetheless frowned upon by late medieval society.
Taking care of hairstyles for gentlemen was in fact considered so intimate and promiscuous as an activity, that [...]