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mail: Bill Thayer 
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Schoolhouse


[image ALT: A small two-story building of irregular masonry only partly concealed by badly spalling stucco. It is an old schoolhouse in Marcellano, Umbria (central Italy).]
		
[image ALT: A small two-story building of irregular masonry only partly concealed by badly spalling stucco. It is an old schoolhouse in Marcellano, Umbria (central Italy).]

(And, covering all our bases, some of you will want to see the kitty on the doorstep.)

For a few months, I suspected this building of once having been a church, although the interior is a plain rectangular room. It currently sees seasonal use as the main office for the Presepe Vivente, the Christmas pageant for which Marcellano is well known in Umbria, and thanks to the miracle of television, even thruout Italy.

Old-timers in Marcellano, though, remember the building as their school. The village isn't very big, so it very likely also served as a town meeting hall, making it therefore a good place for the World War I memorial plaque — which fortunately has only one name on it, that of Umberto Benvenuti.

Before that, beyond the range of living memory, it may well have been a town hall, since it bears the eagle of Todi, the mass-produced stone "flag" of that warlike medieval city-state, seen in villages thruout the area, usually on their most official building, in castles and over gates. Wherever you see this bird, firmly identified by the cloth it holds in its talons, Todi was asserting her overlordship:

[image ALT: An oval stone cartouche depicting an eagle. It is a symbol of Tudertine suzerainty on the façade of a building, possibly a former church, in Marcellano, Umbria (central Italy).]


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Page updated: 10 Jan 07