Ghost Town of Monterano: Part 4

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Welcome to Psychic Archaeology’s part 4 of the Ghost Town of Monterano visit.

This is the final episode of the long history of Monterano that spanned thousands of years and many ancient civilizations and era. In this episode we discover what caused Monterano’s final demise…what famous films where created here, and goes on in the Ghost Town of Monterano today!

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In 1770 a far more serious scourge befell Monterano: Malaria – the mosquito-borne infectious disease. Its once vibrant population was reduced to just a few dozen villagers.

The etymology of “malaria” derives from the Italian medieval term for “Bad Air”, due to the belief that the disease was caused by the stench coming from wetlands. And the climate of Monterano is one that’s been quite humid of course.

Incidentally, the first doctor to connect Malaria to mosquitoes was the Italian physician from Rome, Giovanni Maria Lancisi, born in 1654.

Obviously with a population dwindling to a few dozen, the local prison fell in disuse and in disrepair.

This was not the end of Monterano though…the final blow has yet to come, and it amounted to one simple decision…..a decision that sealed the fate of Monterano and it’s inhabitants forever.

Late 1770’s saw also the invasion of Napoleon’s French army into Italy. In February 1798, Napoleon’s army invaded Rome and took control of the Papal States, declaring them The Roman Republic, a client republic under the French Directory.

Pope Pius VI was exiled to France where he died soon after. Rome had no pope. This control was short lived as the Papal States were restored a year later after the Naples army intervened.

However, what happened during this short period of French occupation changed everything.

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Ghost town of Monterano in Ruins

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The French controlled this region, including the neighboring village of Tolfa. Following a bloody insurgency against the French, the Tolfetani found themselves without a grinding wheel to grind their grains to to feed their people…which now also included the occupying French army.

So they came to ask the Monterano villagers if they can help.

The Monteranesi, trying to maintain a neutral position in fear of retaliation by those who were against the French, refused to help the Tolfetani.  This decision, and their underestimation of the French proved lethal.

The Tolfetani returned home and reported the refusal to the French commander. The French, feeling entitled to their daily bread, ordered the Tolfetani to return to Monterano, this time with military escort.

The Monteranesi, seeing the Tolfetani approaching with the French army beside them, quickly fled the village and went into hiding. When the French army penetrated the city walls, they found nobody there.  None the less….the French retaliated with unprecedented force destroying everything in sight and setting fire to the village.

After the troops had left, the Monteranesi returned to assess the damage done to their village and homes. The damage was beyond repair, at least not at a huge expense that the villagers could not sustain.

And thus, Monterano was abandoned as the inhabitants salvaged whatever they could from doors and roofs to furnishings necessary to rebuild and moved to nearby towns of Canale and Montevirginio leaving  behind the ruined village and 2 reluctant friars who did not want to abandon the San Bonaventura convent.

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Lonely monk in the ghost town of Monterano

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The friars’ desperate pleas to the Altieri family to restore the village failed…and so they too were forced to leave the convent in year 1800.

From here on, Monterano, became an abandoned ghost town.

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Sandie’s Remote Visit Report on Monterano:

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Has there been documentaries created here? I feel like people were were here with cameras relaying the history, taking videos and pictures that are interspersed. I “know” this place has been filmed a million times, it feels like it, but it feels like a something special was filmed here, like after further information was discovered about this place and then it was refilmed.

 

Our Physical Visit in Monterano:

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Ghost Town of Monterano

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Monterano may have been lost, but not forgotten!  Surprisingly over 100 films were shot here since the 1950’s….and requests continue to be placed with the management of the Reserve.

Among the most notable movies filmed here is the 1959 Ben Hur, with a scene filmed by the river….and the Italian all time favorite The Machese of Grillo. Documentaries too have been filmed here, mostly in Italian.

Ah…what would a Ghost Town be without Ghosts?

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Sandie’s Remote Visit Report on Monterano:

 
If this is a tourist area, the spirits are just not happy that the tourists come to visit. In fact, they get really irritates when the “gates open”, and they go hide in a place where the tourists cannot come and visit. And then they feel real happy when the tourists leave and the “gates are closed” and they can enjoy their own spaces.

 

Our Physical Visit in Monterano

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The ghost town of Monterano, as well as the natural reserve, are continuously visited by  thousands tourists and locals who wish to visit the ancient town, as well as hike or bike through the natural reserve.  You’ll find helpful visitor information on my website.

To enter the park you will find 2 sets of Gates: the large double door iron gate….and a small wooden gate to the side for average pedestrian use.

Unfortunately for us, there are some areas of the ghost town that the public cannot enter or access, including inside the church of San Bonaventura which is corded off and can only be viewed from outside the doorway….. and the Ducal Place does not permit visitors to climb up the side stairway or enter in any way…. even the small church of San Rocco is corded off.

I wonder if the Spirits Sandie mentioned are hiding inside these ruins…..possibly a great place for any ghost hunters out there?

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This marks the end of Sandie’s remove visit, as well as our physical visit to the Ghost town of Monterano.

I think I was able to pretty much identify all the places that Sandie “saw” metaphysically in her visit ….and I found documentation for the places and objects that are NOT possible to physically visit or are no longer around.

It’s been a very interesting journey through this evocative ghost town and through its extensive and fascinating history.

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Ghost town of Monterano entrance

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Come and visit Monterano yourself….put on your comfy shoes, and immerse yourself in a journey through time…3,000 years of history belonging to the ghost town of Monterano….and much more belonging to this extraordinary landscape with volcanic beginnings that shaped this dramatic panorama of undulating hills, wide river valleys, canyons and lush vegetation to name a few.  Monterano waits for you to come and visit it yourself.

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