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yuliangpang Morlupo - A travel report by yuliang
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Morlupo,  Italy - flag Italy
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yuliangpang's travel reports

My 6th Report on Via Flaminia

  10 votes
Page: 1 2
I kept travelling along Via Flaminia and visited several towns just last weekend, Morlupo, Rignao Flaminio, Sant'Oreste, Otricoli, and I would like to present to you together just in one report. They are quite small and share great similarities.

The doors in Morlupo
The doors in Morlupo
Before I started with my report, I would to have a few words about the travelling plan. For some reasons, I could not visit the towns along via Flaminia one by one, I had to skip some and keep them for the right time based on the following reasons. First one is timing, I could only travel on the weekends, other times I had to work, as you all did. The second factor was the weather, as you all know Italy is entering in a raining season, I have to plan my trip according to the the weather very carefully. But do not worry, I will give you a very clear route map at my final report, you will know the exact locations of the towns that I am reporting to you.

1. Morlupo

Morlupo is a very small town immediately after Castelnuovo di Porto (see my third travel report on Via Flaminia). Like its neighbor, the historic part of Morlupo is hiding in the valley and a little bit far from Via Flaminia, but the fancy and modern buildings have already spread to Via Flaminia. The historic center of Morlupo was built on a big tufa and you might see the lower valley at its foot. But the historic town was quite small, all resolved around one enclosed main square, Piazza Giovanni XXIII, where it houses the "duomo" of the town, Chiesa di S. Giovanni Battista. When I got there, a mass was being giving and there were very few people, but they were all old people. Italy is facing the challenge that less and less people practice religious activities, I don't know whether it can be considered as a religion crisis or not, but definitely the religion is losing its power, less and less people do not feel any attachment to it.

The dilapidated door as the picture shows is around almost every corner of the town, and it can be the best proof to justify the situation of the town. It is addding the atmosphere of being abandoned, like the religious belief which used to be so powerful in our daily life. But now who cares!


Favourite spots:
the door to the Italian's Si He Yuan
the door to the Italian's Si He Yuan
There was still something quite enticing, around the right corner of the main square, you might find a quite interesting world. There was a door and a few stairs. Followed the stairs, you may enter in a courtyard, which houses 5 or 6 households. The architecture is really like the old Chinese buildings in ancient Beijing, we call it Si He Yuan. But Italian's Si He Yuan is much spacious and well organized than Chinese's one. With the radip development of Beijing, you will see less and less Si He Yuan, but Italians keeps their own. Maybe one day in the near future, the Chinese will have to come to Italian to see their traditional buildings.

I still quite well remembered what my chinese collegues told me about their impression on Italy, "old and ill-organized", my colleagues even made a brave presumption: if we let Japanese manage Rome, It would be totally different. But I do not agree with collegue at all. For me, just look at the corner of the town, you will know how good italian are.

What's really great:
abandoned houses in Rignano Flaminio
abandoned houses in Rignano Flaminio

For me, every Italian is the best designer in this world, they know better how to use the spaces and how to organize their life and world, but the problem is that they are too individual, paying a little less attention to others. But anyway, I love their attitudes toward life, look at the door stairs as well as the balcony always with flowers, you may know how romantic they are!

2. Rignano Flaminio

Heading a little bit north, you will reach Rignano Flaminio. I would say it is a modern town rather than an ancient one, but there are very few historic buildings remain. But if you search on the website, you would find that the history of the town could be traced back to 5th/4th centuries BC. A billboard along via Flaminia, marking the historic sites of the town. One is a bell tower, maybe called la Bombarda, standing together with a few big wastebins. Besides, It is a huge building, la rocca del Valentino, but it was under renovation, I could not see it at all.


Overlooking from Sant'oreste
Overlooking from Sant'oreste
There are an old fountain with delicate relieves and a small church with great painting from Perugino School. But what really impressed me was a small street behind the town. It seems to be abandoned, there is no body living in the houses any more, but looking back, just a few step aways, it would be the new buildings, there was a clear distinction between the old and new road. There was a white-painted building nearby, where it housed the most important thing for our human beings, water. You may find a cistern full of water. It is still in use and there are some old people coming for water.

3. Sant'Oreste

The town is not along Via Flaminia, therefore it was not in my itinery at the outset, but it was so impressive that I could not afford to miss it. Not like all the other towns hiding in the valley, Sant'Oreste is perching on the hill and can be seen mile aways. The mountain Sorrate looks like a turtle, Sant'Oreste is just standing on its head.


Abandoned farmhouse in Sant'oreste
Abandoned farmhouse in Sant'oreste
Sant'oreste is a good place to feel Italy as well as the ordinary life of Italians, especially the old people. Like any other walled hilltop towns, Sant'oreste has its own world and life, which to some extent attribute to the cultivation of Italians' belief:"more attached to their hometowns than their country". The town is quite small, and there are three doorways, Porta Valle, the principal entrance to the town, Porta Costa and Porta la Dentro. But the most interesting thing could be found at Porta Costa, where you might see many abandoned farmhouses built with limestones. You might better appreciate the whole settings where the mountain overlooks, it is simply wonderful! The mountain looks so solitary, and the abandoned farmhouses overhung reinforced this atmosphere. World is changing quickly, but you could not appreciate it here, and you might ask yourself who cares about the world outside of the town.


food exhibition, Sant'oreste
food exhibition, Sant'oreste
Sant'oreste is running all around the mountain where it occupies. The buildings are made of small sheds of white limestones, they are so small, I am wondering how many pieces a big buildings need? and How long it will take to put them together? You might well appreciate how sophisticated the ancient architecture before the high bastions at both sides of Porta Costa. As I said earlier, every italian was born to be a good desinger and this runs from its long tradition. At the main square, Piazza dei Cavalieri Caccia, you will find a fation Sant'oreste, where an exhition was held inside the buildings. Nice food, white wedding dress, shining glasses and red wine, ross in blossom, soft candle light, all make you at home!

4. Otricoli

Otricoli used to be a important oil port along Via Flaminia, but with Tiber changing its course, so does its own fate. Wekipedia says that Otricoli was anciently named Ocriculum and the modern village lies on the site of the ancient town about 2 km north of the Roman relocation, which was moved down from the defensible position probably at the end of the Republican era, in order to be closer to the curve of the Tiber and the Via Flaminia, which crossed the river here to enter Umbria.

The town has a very impressive gateway with a round tower (see the picture), but the historic town itself is very small, two main streets running through. You may find the "duomo" a few steps away and then another gateway at the end of the road. There are some big archaeological excavations here, and some finding are kept in Vatican Museum.

Abandoned House, Otricoli
Abandoned House, Otricoli

The ancient Via Flaminia in this part from Riano (Lazio Region) to Otricoli (the first town heading for Umbria) becomes a modern pavement, nothing remains, but all the towns along it keep their historic center which are usually stepping away somehow from Via Flaminia. But now things are changing, all the modern towns are spreading to both sides of Via Flaminia, and now this ancient road is almost running through all the towns. This ancient road is still living now and contributing to the economic development.

Other recommendations:
View from Sant'oreste
View from Sant'oreste
Very brief recommendations:

1. Better off to visit those small towns by your own transport, there are either no train service at all or no direct line from major cities.

2. If you love big cities where you may find interesting things more, you may skip those small towns. You may finish each of them in hours, but they are good places to feel Italy and better understand the ordinary life of its people.

3. In order to let you better understand this report, I am going to build up an album, please look at them together.

Published on Tuesday December 16th, 2008

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Tue, Jan 06 2009 - 07:57 AM rating by davidx

I can't add much to the two comments you have already. i agree with them totally.

Tue, Dec 16 2008 - 10:35 AM rating by jorgesanchez

I think that everybody in Globo wants to travel to Via Flaminia after reading your pleasant reports.

Tue, Dec 16 2008 - 05:40 AM rating by pesu

Okay, Yuliang, let me be the first again ;-) I enjoy to follow the Via Flaminia by reading your reports a lot – nice to hear more about your attitude towards Italians. Thanks for sharing!

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