Buon giorno and welcome to A Road Retraveled. We continue our Assisi episodes with visits to some off the beaten path places as well as enjoy the Medieval spring festival Calendimaggio that takes place each May in Assisi!
Across from San Rufino Cathedral is St Maria delle Rose that houses “Maria“, a permanent collection by Guido Dettoni della Grazia. This installation inside an Alpha-Omega formation is based on 33 hand-size sculptures representing Mary, the mother of Jesus from wood all over the world, symbolizing Christ’s 33 years on earth. The sculptures also represent Mary during different stages in her life, ending in a dove. The installation is also accompanied by serene music composed especially for Mary by Juan Carlos Garcia.
If the weather is brutal outside, being here really warms up your body and soul.
UPDATE! Guido Dettoni has made some changes to the Maria display. Soon I will return to Assisi to re-visit the collection and create a new Assisi episode with What’s New in Assisi since these episodes were created!
Right near Piazza del Commune is a small gallery owned by artist Raffaele Ariante and it’s the BOMB! Literally.In the video you will see what are bombs doing in a peaceful town like Assisi??
Taverna Time! During the Medieval Spring Festival, Calendimaggio, Taverns open up serving medieval staples like meat, bread and wine. It’s a great alternative to sit down restaurants that you’d normally find year round. If you come to Assisi during Calendimaggio, eat, drink and be merry at any of its Taverns….and the next day, do it all over again because Calendimaggio is 3 days long and the Taverns are open for several days!!
The performers in Calendimaggio are not professional, nor are they paid. They’re all local Assisans, practicing all year for this spectacular event where the Upper Part of Assisi, or parte de sopra, competes against the Lower Part of Assisi, or Parte de Sotto. But as a non-Italian speaking spectator I would’ve never known as I sat and watched both parts singing, dancing and enacting legends and stories from Assisi’s distant past in beautiful authentic costumes and backdrops.
Calendimaggio Medieval Dance Music at night
My friend Attilio plays the Buccina during Calendimaggio musical performances. Before the festivites started, Attilio took me to their music practice at night in front of San Rufino Cathedral. Then off we went to a “secret” location designated only for their team, the Upper Part ofAssisi where music and dancing is practiced. Obviously, it’s night, and it’s pitch dark with no way to videotape….until I discovered this perfect backdrop! WATCH THE VIDEO to see the beauty of and sound of Medieval Assisi
~ RESTAURANTS for honest to goodness Umbrian cuisine you’ll love!
Trattoria Pallotta - Vicolo della Volta Pinta, #2 (just off main Piazza del Commune)
Taverna dei Consoli - Via della Fortezza, #1 (just off main Piazza del Commune)
Trattoria degli Umbri - right in the main Piazza del Commune
Hotel Pallotta – just off the main square Piazza del Commune
Alla Madonna del Piatto Agriturismo for a taste of the countryside - www.incampagna.com
Whether you are staying there or not, be sure to take one of Letizia’s cooking classes. Visit Letizia’s delicious Food BLOG - www.madonnadelpiatto.com