[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
mail: Bill Thayer 
[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]

Sunday 27 August 2000

[image ALT: A low stone church in the countryside, rectangular in plan with a pitched roof, an arched central door with a small round window above it, and a 5‑story belfry. It is the church of S. Maria extra Moenia near Antrodoco in the Lazio (central Italy).]
Antrodoco: the church of S. Maria extra Moenia.
Notice the forest fire in the background.

L'Aquila, about 9:15 A.M.: breakfast at a bar under the arcades at the corner of the two Corsos: Corso Umberto Io and Corso Vittorio Emanuele.

[image ALT: A Roman inscription in the Porta S. Anna, a gate in Antrodoco, Lazio (central Italy); it is transcribed, and commented, in the text of this webpage.]

VI · COS · . . . · VIS
[LAPS?]A . . . · MONTIS·

Yesterday after what I hope was a pretty thorough visit of S. Maria extra Moenia, I walked Antrodoco, with a quick peek at three churches and a longer stop at a medieval gate in which the town has kept an inscription of Trajan's; he repaired something, but what exactly I was unable to figure out: the top of the inscription is in great shape, but of course it's only his titulature — the rest seems to be "[. . .] VIS / STRVCTIONEM · CON / [LAPS?]A[M? . . .] MONTIS · /FECIT".

I also found the Pro Loco, but they were of zero help in visiting the town: no map, no information other than what was on a regional pamphlet (a list of six bare dotpoints, which did not include the Roman inscription), no booklet on the town, no knowledge of whether one might exist or not: "You ought to try looking in some bookstore" and no volunteering where a bookstore might be; and finally, no they don't have a website — when I found a URL on a printed sheet, "Oh. We don't have a computer." This last response rather frequent: of course whether they have a computer or not is totally immaterial to whether they have a site — Anyway, Antrodoco's APT (it's not a Pro Loco, oops) is useless, and irritatingly so.

The town itself is pretty pleasant, with a nice central square, and a splendid backdrop of little mountains; one of which was burning at the time: I'd seen it from the train from miles off, had marked it, faute de mieux, in my photo log "behind Antrodoco" and this turned out to be exactly right; a helicopter diving a big red bucket into the river behind the Piazza Interocrea, then S‑curving up the hill for the drop then back again: several dozen people watching. All Italy seems to be burning, and the news media have been utterly irresponsible, giving this the widest publicity, which of course is exactly what the arsonists want.

Train at 1750 to L'Aquila where I arrived just under an hour later — and here I'll stop writing and go exploring while there's light.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 7 Dec 20