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S. Giovanni del Pantano
A Frazione of Perugia

A town of central Umbria, a frazione of Perugia: 43°13.4N, 12°19.7E. Altitude: 585 m. Population in 2001: 87.

[image ALT: A village, sited at the approach to a pass between a low hill on the left and a steeper, taller rock cliff on the right; it has about 12 three- and four-story buildings, including a brick church with a square belfry. It is S. Giovanni del Pantano, near Perugia, Umbria (central Italy).]

You are looking roughly E; that narrow road on the right leads thru the pass to Antognolla, Ascagnano, and eventually Pierantonio on the railroad line between Perugia and Umbertide.

San Giovanni del Pantano is small. In the photograph above we see pretty much all of it, and enough to explain the name of the village; pantano is the word for "marsh", which must often apply to the fields here when rains run down the mountain. The name goes back, however, to the early Middle Ages when it was swampier still: the clearly defined basin you see here is underlain by springs over impermeable karstic formations that prevented runoff, until finally a drainage canal was cut carrying all that water into the Caina, a nearby creek.

[image ALT: A two-story stone church with a three-story square belfry, at the foot of a low hill, next to a group of three cypresses and a pine tree. It is the church of S. Giovanni del Pantano, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 1 page, 4 photos ]

As more often than not in small places on weekdays, in my two passes thru the area I saw only the outside of the church of S. Giovanni Battista that gives its name to the village; inscriptions, mostly.

[image ALT: A pit about a meter and a half deep in the woods, carpeted with dead leaves. It is bounded on the left and right by low walls of irregular stone masonry, leading to a stone structure, about the size and ship of a phone booth and entered by a pivoting stone door. It is an Etruscan tomb at Faggeto, near S. Giovanni del Pantano, Perugia province, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 3 pages, 15 photos ]

In the forest W of town on the other hand — behind us as we look at the scene above — is an Etruscan tomb of more than usual interest, that I got a good look at.

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The local sitting place: by better weather and at a better time of day, I might've got to meet some of the inhabitants.

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Page updated: 15 Nov 07