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Poggio Lavarino (TR)

A town of S central Umbria, a frazione of Terni: 42°38.3N, 12°39.1E. Altitude: 362 m. Population in 2003: 67.

[image ALT: A small clump of stone houses, no more maybe than five or six, on a low hill with a much taller hill in the background about a kilometer away. A square tower juts out above the houses. It is the village of Poggio Lavarino, Umbria (central Italy).]

Poggio Lavarino is a small place, but when you travel by train from Rome into Umbria on your way to Spoleto and Assisi, for a short stretch you'll track the Serra valley upstream from Terni; and by day or floodlit night, sunshine or fog, this numinous clump of houses appearing to your right, crowned by its tower, is a beautiful sight and finally becomes an irresistible one. After a few train trips back and forth past the town like this, I just had to stop and visit — and it was made easier by a train station less than a mile away, at Giuncano Scalo: if we were in a city, that would only be eight city blocks.

The village is old and compact. You'll be rewarded by a tiny piazza, crossed in six or seven steps and thus more of a breathing space than a public square really, around which the medieval watchtower and the church and the rectory are tightly clustered.

[image ALT: A detail of a painting of the Virgin Mary holding Baby Jesus in her arms, against a background of sunlit clouds. The painting is in the church of Poggio Lavarino, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 1 page, 4 photos ]

The parish church of S. Bernardino is a miniature recapitulation of Umbria: ancient Roman, seventeenth thru the nineteenth centuries.

I've since learned that as small as this place is, I may have missed some of her sights! and then I never actually got inside the tower. Stay posted, then: maybe next trip.

[image ALT: A stone sculpture, about 30 cm tall, of the bust of a woman, with her arms crossed in an attitude of prayer. It is a madonnina, or wayside shrine to the Virgin Mary, in Poggio Lavarino, Umbria (central Italy).]

A madonnina over the front door of the rectory.

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Page updated: 23 Feb 07