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Commemorative Plaques in Usigni

[image ALT: The stone lintel of a door, carved with a coat of arms bearing a bird standing on three stylized hills, and with the date 1640. It is a detail of the door of the mansion of Fausto Cardinal Poli in the village of Usigni, Umbria (central Italy).]

One of the simpler sights in town, not strictly a commemorative plaque, but which is still a minor mystery to me, very likely because of ignorance, though. These arms and the date 1640 are found over a door of a large house on the main piazza of Usigni, which is said to be the mid‑17c mansion of Cardinal Poli: the only problem is that a bird on three hills is not his arms, rather those of the Mongalli family of Leonessa. If you know what exactly is going on, or what mistake I might be making, please drop me a line, of course.

The items on this page are rather disparate; their only connection is that they can all be seen in the streets of Usigni, and were specifically meant to convey various messages to posterity.

[image ALT: A rectangular concrete plaque deeply carved with a four-line inscription. It commemorates the restoration of the S gate of Usigni, Umbria (central Italy): the text is given on the linked page.]

[ 6/6/05: 1 page, 2 photos ]

The inscription on Usigni's gate looks old — for a few seconds anyway. While the mystery is tougher to crack than the bird we just saw, it's only because I failed to find the perfect source: the person who carved it. (Se sei tu, puoi aiutarmi, grazie per anticipo!)

[image ALT: A zzz. It is zzz in Usigni, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 6/5/05: 1 page, 1 photo (and some close-ups) ]

The war memorial plaque might seem fairly ordinary; except for one curious detail.

And then there's the inevitable plaque commemorating Fausto Poli:

[image ALT: A 20c plaque commemorating Fausto Poli in his hometown of Usigni, Umbria (central Italy): the text is given on this page.]

Fausto Poli
Maggiordomo e Prefetto dei Palazzi Apostolici
Arcivescovo di Amasia in partibus
elevato nel 1643 alla porpora cardinalizia
dal Pontefice Urbano VIII
nel IV centenario della nascita
1581 — 1981

Fausto Poli
Majordomo and Prefect of the Apostolic Palaces
Archbishop of Amasia in partibus
raised in 1643 to the cardinalitial purple
by Pope Urban VIII
in the 4th centennial year of his birth
1581 — 1981

where Amasia is a small town in what is now Turkey, of which Poli, on his consecration as bishop, was made titular, although it is in partibus infidelium, in the lands of the infidels: a standard procedure, even today, when it is wished to make a man bishop without actually appointing him to a see (sometimes merely because no see is vacant). Within a few months though, Fausto Poli was named to the active see of Orvieto, where he died on October 7, 1653. He is buried in the Chapel of the Guardian Angel in S. Crisogono, his titular church in Rome; see his tomb, bust and inscription there.

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Page updated: 13 Jun 05