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In the Mountains of Trevi, at the End of the Road

A hamlet of central Umbria, in the comune of Trevi: 42°55.2, 12°47.8E. Altitude: 864 m.

[image ALT: A cluster of not quite a dozen low stone houses in a fold of terrain: in the foreground a meadow leads to them, and immediately behind them the ground rises into a pine-forested hill. It is a view of Ponze, a tiny hamlet in the comune of Trevi, Umbria (central Italy).]

Ponze: a few houses and a church, huddled in a protected fold on the western slopes of Mt. Rozzo, with its summit at 1230 m.

The scene above is all of Ponze. As recently as 1934, the hamlet was a full frazione of Trevi, and there were plans to extend the paved road over the mountain toward Sellano: now, though, it has lost its permanent inhabitants and belongs to the frazione of Manciano; the road stops here, and its houses all serve as vacation homes. I've even noticed one of them available for rent online.

Behind us in this my only shot of the town is a windswept alpine meadow, maybe twice the size of a football field and sloping evenly upward — until the brow of the hill, at 901 m, drops off rather sharply maybe a hundred meters into the void: be careful when you push back that chair.

[image ALT: A small plain one-story stone church, with a flattish double-sloping roof and no belfry. It is the church of S. Lorenzo in Ponze di Trevi, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 1 page, 5 photos ]

S. Lorenzo is the little church you see on the far left in the large photo above. It doesn't look like much — but if you're traveling in Umbria, a word to the wise: never pass up a church, there's always something interesting.

The hill of Ponze (you noticed the red barbecue grill towards the right of the photo) is an excellent place to hold a picnic for a hundred people or so, although I'd watch the kids, and better yet, cordon off a perimeter. That yearly picnic of course is on the Sunday nearest August 10, the feast of S. Lorenzo; about that time every year the Perseid meteors shower the earth with an occasionally wonderful display, and with no pollution or bright city lights to get in the way, "the tears of S. Lorenzo" are the occasion for a dinner and an Appointment with the Shooting Stars, sponsored by Pro Trevi, of course.

The drive back will take us thru about 7 km of relative wilderness to the turn for Manciano, then slowly we reënter civilization, with S. Maria in Valle at about two and a half kilometers further on, and finally Trevi in three more.

[image ALT: In a nondescript bit of stuccoed farmhouse wall, a square wooden door, the wood very weathered, studded with several dozen decorative nails, now rusted. It is a handsome old door in Ponze, in the comune of Trevi, Umbria (central Italy).]

As we leave Ponze, though, a handsome old farm door; worth a closer look.

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Page updated: 8 Aug 11