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Cascia (Perugia province)

A town of southeastern Umbria: 42°42.5N, 13°01E. Altitude: 653 m. Population in 2003: 3300.

[image ALT: A stone relief carving of a crowned woman holding a flowering branch or wand in her right hand and a snake in her left. It is a representation of the coat of arms of Cascia, a town in Umbria (central Italy).]

A closeup of the town's coat of arms.

Their meaning is utterly unknown, although Furies and other deities were represented this way in Etruscan times (see for example this description by George Dennis of a very similar wall-painting in a tomb of Tarquinia, part of a longer passage about snakes in Etruscan art); and a tantalizing resonance of something involving Umbrian women and snakes appears in the Etymologies by the 7c writer Isidore of Seville, who cites as an example of a portent the Umbrian woman who gave birth to one (Book XI, ch. 3).

Cascia is a rather remote town in the mountainous southeastern corner of Umbria, about 21 km from Norcia on the road to Rieti in the Lazio (63 km).

Cascia's principal claim to fame is as the home of St. Rita, who was born in nearby Roccaporena in 1381 and died there in 1457. After her canonization in 1900, a large shrine was built in the town, which is still an important place of pilgrimage; and the house where she was born may still be visited.

A proper website will eventually appear here, since I've been to Cascia and its surrounding area on a couple of interesting archaeological chases. In the meanwhile, you may find it useful to read the Sept. 1, 2000 and Sept. 21, 2000 entries of my diary: marginally for the town itself, but some of its outlying frazioni are detailed at length, with quite a few more photos. For fuller and more systematic information, see the websites linked in the navigation bar below.

[image ALT: A small room with a plastered low ogival-vaulted ceiling. The main object in which is a stone table with a lace cloth — an altar; the wall behind it is not plastered, and the fabric of the building can be seen: heavily mortared irregular stone masonry. A few small paintings hang on the wall, for example a book-sized reproduction of the icon of the Trinity by Rublev. It is the main space in the church of S. Procolo at Avendita di Cascia, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 4/6/08: 2 churches, 3 photos ]

A very slight placeholder page on the churches of Cascia may still be useful to some.


Sitting as it does in the middle of a remote area of rather high mountains, Cascia is by surface area one of the larger comuni in Umbria, carrying with it from the Middle Ages into modern times a long list of subject towns and hamlets, almost all of which are very small, a few hundred inhabitants if that. As elsewhere in Italy, those that have a certain administrative identity of their own are frazioni of the comune (singular: frazione, literally a "fraction"): a complete list of them follows.

In the summer of 2000, I got a little bee in my bonnet and made a sub-hobby of a small area straddling the comuni of Cascia and Norcia (with my friend Franco Spellani of the Pro Trevi historical association without whose car and driving skills the whole business would have been nearly impossible), so that this site has, or will have, an unexpected amount of information on some few of these frazioni, including a collection of photographs. For now, links are usually to my diary, which may also contain further links — as usual on my site, don't forget to check the navigation bar at the bottom of this page — but eventually more formal pages ought to be forthcoming.

The frazioni then:

Atri • Avendita • Buda • Capanne di Collegiacone • Capanne di Roccaporena • Castel S. Giovanni • Castel S. Maria • Cerasola • Chiavano • Civita • Colforcella • Colle S. Stefano • Collegiacone • Colmotino • Coronella • Fogliano • Fustagna • Giappiedi • Logna • Maltignano • Manigi • Ocosce • Onelli • Opagna • Palmaiolo • Piandoli • Poggio Primocaso • Puro • Roccaporena • S. Trinità • S. Giorgio • S. Anatolia • Sciedi • Serviglio • Tazzo • Trognano • Valdonica • Villa S. Silvestro

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Page updated: 1 Feb 23