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A Frazione of Acquasparta

A town of S central Umbria, a frazione of Acquasparta: 42°40.5N, 12°36.2E. Altitude: 665 m. Population in 2003: 7.

[image ALT: A landscape of oak forest, rising to a small hill about 800 meters from the camera; on its summit, a small clump of maybe fifteen houses with the belfry of a church jutting up from it. It is a view of the village of Macerino, near Acquasparta, Umbria (central Italy).]

The little village in the photo is Macerino, a frazione of the comune of Acquasparta. It's not very big, but I have trouble believing ISTAT's official census figure you read above, that there are only seven inhabitants: for one thing, the village supports a bar; and for another, in my one pass thru town so far, I would have then met more than half of its people: now I may be gregarious, but that didn't happen.

There are two public squares in town; this is the smaller one:

[image ALT: A small public square. It is one of two piazze in the village of Macerino, near Acquasparta, Umbria (central Italy).]
Piazza della Pieve and its well.

There are also two churches:

[image ALT: A small rectangular church of mixed stone masonry, with a square belfry at one end. It is the church of S. Biagio in Macerino, near Acquasparta, Umbria (central Italy).]
The parish church S. Biagio, on the piazza we just saw;
and below, as you walk into town from the main road, the 17c Madonna del Fiore:

[image ALT: A one-room church, almost square. It is stuccoed, and has a single plain rectangular door flanked by two square windows about 50 cm on a side. Above the door, at some distance, a smaller rectangular window. The roof is symmetrical, slightly sloping, and covered in tiles; just over the façade it supports an arch for a bell, no more than 1.20 tall, also roofed and tiled. It is the church of Madonna del Fiore in Macerino, near Acquasparta, Umbria (central Italy).]

S. Biagio was open and I visited it pretty thoroughly, but was not allowed to take photographs. It may house interesting paintings, but since I'm more attracted to stone, what I actually have a record of is a handsome large 16c baptismal font, a Renaissance wall tabernacle for the sacred oil, a medieval capital, two carved medieval blocks formed into the pulpit, and, among the spolia from Carsulae (down the hill only about 5 km from here to the SW) two Roman columns and a Roman column base.

The Madonna del Fiore, on the other hand, is usually closed; and the person with the key was gone for the day, so I just saw what can be glimpsed thru the little square windows:

[image ALT: The inside of a one-room church: we see about a third of it, including the altar, decorated with a fresco or mosaic depicting angles worshipping the Holy Sacrament. Behind the altar, a large fresco, that appears to depict a person in a bed, surrounded by other persons standing round. It is the church of Madonna del Fiore in Macerino, near Acquasparta, Umbria (central Italy).]

The seventeenth-century fresco behind the altar, at least thru the screen window, looks like it may represent the Dormition of the Virgin.

Some of the more informal local flavor of the place can be caught from the Oct. 13, 1997 entry of my diary; with luck, I will get to go back again and photograph what I missed then.

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Page updated: 23 Feb 07