moai di vitorchiano

The History of the Moai Statue of Vitorchiano

Just a few kilometres from Viterbo lies Vitorchiano, the splendid village in Tuscia suspended on volcanic rocks. And here you will find the only Moai statue in the world, outside Easter Island.
Table of contents:
  1. What is a suspended village
  2. What is the Moai of Vitorchiano
  3. What a Moai looks like
  4. Where is the Italian Moai

Just fifteen minutes by car from Viterbo, stands Vitorchiano, an ancient village and historical jewel set among the volcanic rocks of Tuscia. Considered one of the most evocative historic centres in the province of Viterbo, it also enjoys the prestigious accolade of one of the 'most beautiful villages in Italy'. And here we also find the only original Moai monolith in the world, outside Easter Island (or Rapa Nui).

What Borgo Sospeso means

The integrity of its ancient core, the dwellings that seem to blend harmoniously with the peperino cliffs on which they are erected, give Vitorchiano its distinctive appellation: the Borgo Sospeso (Suspended Village). The origin of this name lies in the unique geology of the area. Deposits of volcanic materials, modelled over millennia by the activity of volcanoes, have created the imposing cliffs on which the villages of Tuscia rise. However, what makes Vitorchiano truly special is its peperino bank, fractured into enormous boulders, on which the village buildings rest directly. This peculiarity creates a fascinating visual illusion, making it seem as if the village has been carved into the rock. The houses, clinging and overhanging, merge with the lava rock, creating a perfect harmony with the Valle del Vezza and the surrounding landscape, rich in oak, ash, beech, elm and chestnut forests.

What is the Moai of Vitorchiano

And it was precisely the abundance of peperino that made Vitorchiano the perfect place to build a gigantic Moai statue. Moai statues are anthropomorphic monoliths carved by the indigenous Polynesian population Rapa Nui (which is also the original name of Easter Island), mostly between 1100 and 1500. They are veritable stone giants up to 21 metres high, probably augural monoliths bringing wellbeing and prosperity wherever they look. The Moai of Vitorchiano was built in 1990 by the Atan family, originally from Rapa Nui and consisting of 19 people. The occasion for the construction of the Vitorchiano monolith was the RAI television programme 'In Search of the Ark' by journalist Mino D'Amato. Intent on promoting the restoration of the Easter Island Moai, the journalist was looking for a stone in Italy that was as close as possible to the volcanic stone from which the giants of Rapa Nui were made, with which to build an Italian Moai. Vitorchiano, home of the peperino stone, was identified as the ideal place to realise the work, and the Atan family the right craftsmen.

What the Moai of Vitorchiano looks like

After months of work, the Atans created an original Moai by working the stone with the same ancient techniques used on Easter Island for the construction of the original Maoi. From an artistic point of view, the Moai of Vitorchiano is a testimony to the skill and mastery of the sculptors. Faithful to the originals, the statue has deep grooves, hard, simple and linear features, and fine details such as the long ears, the emphasised navel and the tapered hands clinging to the belly. To this day, the Moai of Vitorchiano represents the only Moai stone sculpture of original size found outside Easter Island.

Where the Moai of Vitorchiano is located

The Moai statue has gone through various locations over the years. First located in the centre of Piazzale Umberto I, in 2007 it was temporarily transferred to Sardinia to be displayed in an exhibition of pre-Columbian art. Returning to Vitorchiano after nine months, the statue found its definitive location on Largo Padre Ettore Salimbeni, in the municipality's camper van area that overlooks the suggestive belvedere of the 'Borgo Sospeso'.

The Moai of Vitorchiano, with its imposing presence and fascinating history, stands as an icon of one of Italy's most beautiful villages, representing a unique link between the millenary history of Easter Island and the timeless beauty of Vitorchiano, the suspended village of Tuscia.

christmas 2023

Christmas in the Medieval Villages: Lighting the Magic of Christmas 2023

Christmas has arrived and among the alleyways of the picturesque villages around the Torre Alfina Castle, the magic is kindled with a series of unique and engaging events for the entire community.
Table of contents:
  1. Tradition in Torre Alfina
  2. Trevinano for young and old
  3. Markets and street artists in Acquapendente

Christmas 2023: Tradition in Torre Alfina

Let's start close up, from the magnificent village of Alfina Tower. On Tuesday, 26 December, at 9pm, at the former Agraria hall in Piazzale Sant'Angelo, Tombolata 2023 is scheduled, a fun occasion to share moments of joy and conviviality with fellow citizens and anyone else who would like to participate. Delicious refreshments will also be provided.
On Friday 29 December, again at 21:00, the former Agraria hall will come alive with a Karaoke Evening and entertainment provided by 'Louis Song'. An opportunity to test your singing skills and spend a carefree evening in the company of others.

Games for young and old in Trevinano

Twenty-five kilometres from Torre Alfina, the village of Trevinano dresses up for the holidays with many events for young and old. On Saturday 23 December at 15:00, the streets of the village will be animated by the "Grinch" show designed for the little ones, followed by the suggestive arrival of the pipers at 16:00. At 18:30, another show, "Eklissi", will involve adults and children in the streets of the village.
On Tuesday, 26 December, at 9 p.m., the parish church will host the Trasimeno Gospel Choir, for a concert that will provide a unique and engaging atmosphere.
On 30 December, at 5 p.m., it will be the turn of a magic and illusionism show, accompanied by a photographic exhibition telling the tradition and history of Trevinano. All this will take place at the Sala Polivalente of Trevinano.

Markets and artists in Acquapendente

The Christmas 2023 programme of Acquapendente is particularly rich in events. It starts on Sunday, 17 December from 4 p.m., when Acquapendente will be transformed into a real Christmas village. Artistic craft markets and street artists will animate the streets of the town. There will also be a Father Christmas House, attractions for children, inflatables, the Christmas merry-go-round, and projections and laser shows on the town hall. At 5.30 p.m. there will be a performance by the Acquapendente band.
It continues with an appointment on Tuesday 19 December at 21:00, when the Junior Band will perform an exciting Christmas concert. A week later, on Tuesday 26 December at 17:30, the stage is set for a concert by the Municipal School of Music of Acquapendente.
On New Year's Eve, starting at 23:00, the square will come alive with DJ sets to celebrate the arrival of 2024.
Finally, on 6 January, from 4 p.m., the artistic handicraft markets will once again animate the streets of Acquapendente, and at 5 p.m. there will be the traditional descent of the Befana from the Palazzo Comunale.

These are just some of the events not to be missed during the Christmas 2023 celebrations. Picturesque villages and the warmth of Christmas magic will provide an opportunity to experience the joy of the festivities in an authentic atmosphere rich in tradition.


Journey into the Surreal: The Monster Park of Bomarzo between Imagination and Chaos

areIn the heart of Tuscia Laziale, lies an enchanted and surreal place that defies logic and captures the imagination of those who dare to cross its boundaries. The Park of the Monsters of Bomarzo, also known as the Sacred Wood, is a unique masterpiece, a forest where imagination and fears take shape, turning into extraordinary stone sculptures.
Table of contents:
  1. The birth of the monster park
  2. Imagination and primordial chaos discovered in 1911
  3. The creatures of the park
  4. The legacy of the Bomarzo Park

The Roots of the Mystery of Bomarzo

The history of this enigmatic place began in 1552, when the Italian nobleman Pier Francesco Orsinialso known as Vicino Orsini, commissioned the architect Pirro Ligorio to transforming his Bomarzo estate into something extraordinary. He wanted to create a place where art, philosophy and emotional expression merged into a unique experience. He wanted to push visitors on an 'initiatory path', a journey face to face with the most hidden self and one's fears. The motivation behind the creation of this unusual garden seems to have been the his personal response to the grief caused by the death of his wifeGiulia Farnese.

Imagination and Chaos

The Monster Park of Bomarzo is one of the many fascinating places of the Tuscia territory. It is populated by mythological creatures, mysterious figures and fantastic animalsall carved in stone with craftsmanship. The statues, arranged in a seemingly random manner, offer a surprising spectacle to anyone who ventures among the park's ancient trees. Everything seems to represent primordial chaos, connected to the human soul in times of difficulty or mental instability. The phrase carved on one of the two sphinxes at the entrance is a invitation to those who venture there. “You, who enter here, put your mind from side to side, and then tell me if so many marvels are made by deception or also by art“.

Extravagant Creatures and Constructions

In the heart of the forest stands theOrca large stone face with its mouth wide open, on whose lips is written 'Every thought flies'. It is a chamber excavated in tuff which is accessed by means of some steps. The internal shape of the room means that voices and sounds bounce off the walls creating an echo with a frightening effect. And again the majestic Hercules and Cacustwo giants fighting each other, the Turtle with a human head, the Fury with a dragon's tail and wings. There are also fascinating constructions, such as the Organ Fountaina unique structure that emits harmonic sounds when water flows through it. Finally, the famous Leaning House that fascinated Salvador Dali during one of his visits to the park.

Legacy of the Monster Park

After the death of Vicino Orsini in 1584, the Monster Park fell into relative oblivion, shrouded in mystery and the obscurity of its centuries-old trees. It was only in the 20th century that the site has fortunately been revalued thanks to a wave of attention and interest from the public and intellectuals. Famous visits by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mario Praz and Salvator Dali. It seems that the latter was inspired here for his triptych 'The Temptations of St. Anthony'. Today, the Sacred Wood of Bomarzo is visited by thousands of visitors and continues to influence literary, film and artistic works, making this place a benchmark for human creativity.

The Monster Park of Bomarzo remains a hidden treasure, a place where art, myth and emotional expression come together in a surreal experience. Through its enigmatic sculptures and fascinating history, the park offers aunique opportunity to immerse oneself in a realm of wonder, mystery and introspection. A journey through ancient trees and mythological creatures is an invitation to explore human creativity.

Etruscan pyramid

The Etruscan Pyramid in the Heart of the Sacred Wood of Bomarzo

The small town of Bomarzo in the province of Viterbo is famous for its Parco dei Mostri, a magical and enigmatic place that attracts visitors from every corner of the world. But among the foliage of the thick vegetation that surrounds the park hides an even more mysterious and fascinating secret: the Etruscan Pyramid of Bomarzo, also known as the 'Preacher's Stone'.
Table of contents:
  1. The glorious Etruscan civilisation
  2. Discovery in 1911
  3. Hero Salvatore Fosci
  4. A walk in nature

Clear traces of the Etruscan civilisation

Nestled in the woods of Tuscia, in the Tacchiolo area, the Etruscan Pyramid can be reached from the Park of the Monsters of Bomarzo. It is located in a context rich in artefacts from the Etruscan and prehistoric eraenveloped by what is called the Sacred Forest. Walking along paths that wind between cave dwellings, megalithic rocks, altars and places of worshipone is confronted with an authentic oasis of history and mystery. Even a ancient early Christian cemetery lurks nearby, adding further layers of fascination and enigma to this region steeped in thousands of years of history.

The Discovery of the Etruscan Pyramid

Discovered back in 1911, this extraordinary pyramid has long remained in the shadows, escaping the attention of official archaeology. It is a  imposing structure, approximately 10 metres highwith its steps that ifmends ascending towards the sky. Its truncated pyramid shape is reminiscent of the religious altars of the Maya culture. But its dating, like its true nature, remains shrouded in mystery. Its original function is still the subject of speculation and theories that fascinate fans of history, and archaeology. But the thrill of seeing it emerge from the shadows of the forest is indescribable, as if time stood still before this tangible testimony to a past yet to be revealed.

The Past Comes to Light

From the day of its discovery, for a long time the Etruscan Pyramid remained in a state of total abandonment. Only since 2008 has the pyramid tbrought to light thanks to the dedication of a local resident, Salvatore Fosci. For years, Salvatore has dedicated himself to cleaning the vegetation and maintaining the paths leading to this mysterious place, while also activating a ambitious promotional work to publicise the Pyramid of Bomarzo to the whole world. Thanks to him, it is now possible to visit this masterpiece carved in peperino stone that has spanned more than two millennia of history to make us feel part of the civilisations that preceded us.

Route through nature

The route to the Etruscan Pyramid is anything but easy, but it is full of charm and adventure. These are the site coordinates: 42° 30′ 17″ North and 12° 15′ 60″ East. The main entrance to La tagliata delle Rocchette is the starting point, and from there, through woods and paths, you walk for about 400 metres until you reach the double uphill signpost in the trees. It is here that the Etruscan Pyramid unveils its grandeurwith its two flights of stairs leading up to the high altar, where the Etruscan priest perhaps once offered rites to the gods of the underworld.

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