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Sunday 11 October

[image ALT: An upside-down Corinthian column in the crypt of the church of S. Ponziano in Spoleto.]
	Friday we went to Spoleto: I thought James should see S. Pietro; he liked it, altho' not the inside, to my surprise. Also to my surprise, the walk from S. Pietro back into town via the aqueduct was very pleasant and not a long one; a quick stop at the Duomo, the façade of which now descaffolded, then down to S. Ponziano which neither one of us'd seen.

We expected to float thru S. Ponziano rather quickly (even the local guidebook plays it down): we didn't. I thought the Pontian was the 3c pope: he wasn't; rather a 17‑year‑old martyr, 175AD, represented nude with underdeveloped genitals and an escutcheon involving several different instruments of torture: he was martyred seven times — don't know what finally killed him. At any rate, as soon as we got within spitting distance of the church an old man popped up out of nowhere with an armful of postcards, from everyone who'd ever written him in relation to the church — the custode — a sort of living website, he'd "link" to a postcard of Mainz or Holland in illustration of his spiel on the church, which turns out to be chock full of frescoes, inscriptions (including a curious one in the floor that he held to be obscene, I a graffito, James a serifed official inscription, seemingly FVIqVI), and two curious biconical columns said to be the poles of the spina of Spoleto's circus — also a Corinthian column planted in the crypt upside-down on its capital: fascinating place.

A 5:45 dash to S. Salvatore — fortunately so to speak not so rich, although late 4c - early 5c AD with reuse of whole sections of a Roman temple, a very curious but attractive physical space the altar surrounded by mostly Corinthian columns (more John Monkus in mind while I was actually there) —

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Spoleto: antique capital in the church of S. Salvatore (4c)

they close, enclosed in the cemetery, nominally at 6 P.M. if in fact we left a few minutes later. From there to the train station and home and a meal of everything that might if uneaten go to waste: tomatoes, zucchini with garlic, yogurt —

Lunch in Spoleto at a little restaurant, off the main areas, La Pecchiarda: pleasant under a rather solid garden pavilion — sweetest best-mannered little white puppy about 3 months old — with a totally negligible red wine, local: alcohol content maybe 10° but color and flavor a slightly fizzy coolade, a sort of nominal wine; also a nominal grappa di casa, but the meal pretty good. James did his strongozzi number again, this time tomato: and apparently in Spoleto strongozzi are flatter (just like last year at La Barcaccia) than in Spello — Spoletina already nearing Lazio involving tomato, no longer quite as Umbrian.

Weather nice —

Yesterday Saturday at risk of frittering the day we grabbed the quickest train out, and did a thorough visit of the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, which I'd never done. In fact, there's a good deal more than the Porziuncola: a "rose garden", the Cappella del Transito, a museum of sorts, a chapel over St. Francis's hut, frescoes by Tiberio d'Assisi of Monte­falco fame (formula painter);​a then at noonish — we caught our 1311h train at the last minute — an excellent largish meal at a "gastronomic" tavola calda, various pizze, the pastry slightly less good but I bought an almond-paste (and -extract. . .) torta, to carry with us for the evening.

Back to Spello arriving at the apartment ca. 1330h, train to leave for Orte thence change to Orvieto around 1430h so half an hour time to pack etc. — perfect — sunny day so laundry dry (polo shirts laundered on waking); at Orvieto Scalo, funicular with 10‑minute wait around 5:50 P.M. a few minutes past schedule — Then up to the center and finally checked into a hotel, Grande Albergo Italia where the clerk seemed either none too bright or a bit crooked or both (we asked if this was the as we later learned nearby Grand' Albergo Reale, she said with a half-second pause yes, flat not true) —

Later Note:

a How opinions change in a year's time! The reference is to what I was calling the "attractive chapel" in the cloister of S. Fortunato near Monte­falco.

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