I am writing this at home after the eventful course in Mazzano. My mind still lingers back to the sunny medieval village and its narrow streets. Best part of the whole thing though, was the interaction with the local people in both Mazzano and Faleria. I’ve visited different cities and villages in Italy, but this was the first time that I felt like I was absorbed into the social culture of the place. It felt like I was a part of the community, not just observing it – and I loved it! All the meetings and short chats were cheerful and joyous, even though the message sometimes was lost in translation. Read more “Understandings and misunderstandings”
Mazzano in the beginning of June. Since the rainy May, the greenery around the town is still uncommonly strong and vital. The vegetation covers the earth with a soft, moist and shady rug of life, offering the variety of local animals a place to play and breed. Together the beings fill the thick humid air with miscellaneous scents, crackle, hum and chirp. Read more “The Mazzanian Ensemble “
Staying in a room with a balcony overlooking roofs of outer circle of onion-like topography surrounded by the valley of Treja has been a multisensory and mind-expanding experience. The symbiosis of built environment of medieval Mazzano Romano, Castello, with its relaxed small town life, and wild nature almost all around it can perhaps best be observed and experienced from the balcony. Castello easily starts to feel like home even for short time visitors because of its small and exceptionally welcoming international community. What is most particular here, though, is a multileveled connection to the place – one feels like becoming part of the community, but also of the whole symbiosis. Read more “Thoughts from a Balcony of Roberta’s Place”
The workshop in Mazzano Romano inspired me to search for answers to many questions that had risen or were re-discovered. My reflection is a collage of feelings, information about the history and cultural life of the town, expressions of people. Read more “Mazzano oldtown vibes”
Lights. Partly Mazzano is light up like a football field. Sometimes blue, sometimes yellow light dazzles your eyes. Instead of tender soft night you feel like standing at the gas station at the truck headlights. Romantic church ruin has been changed to Coliseum, historic cripple that is constantly under surveillance. We tried to enjoy the night sitting peacefully at the ruins and drink wine in balmy night. It would have been cosier at the roadside or at the display window. But probably that’s what ruins are, just a display window of history. Read more “Mazzano by night”
In the beginning of June a group of students coming from different universities, different backgrounds but with shared passion for Italy, travelled from the North to Mazzano Romano. Upon the first arrival, the tiny village seemed to be a definition of idyll – what are we going to fix there, I asked myself, while climbing up a hill to the old Castello. The historical town standing majestically on top of a cliff, drowning in a possessive jungle, a wild greenery as far as I could see with a promise of Treja river getting lost underneath. Read more “Searching for Mazzano”
Calcata is a medieval town in Viterbo north of Rome. The dense habitat is topping a steep hill. It is only accessible through one city gate. We spent a few hours in Calcata saturday morning. The visit gave an impression of great attention to detail and a common care for the medieval townscape by the inhabitants. The narrow streets, small scale entrances and steep stairs were in impressive contrast to the dramatic placement of the town.
(In Mazzano June 6th, Niina Svartström.) Read more “Calcata – See, Touch, Smell and Taste”
We (Maili and Mari) took a closer look (and taste, of course) at the delicate and delicious cakes that our stay in Mazzano Romano brought to our attention.
It all started with this nice little peach cake. It was day 2 of the workshop and after drawing and sketching around town, we met up for lunch at the Three Sisters (well, officially it is Novella Bar). After finishing the tasty pasta, there it was! Waiting for us on the counter, funny looking delicious little thing. Fluffy, sweet and melting in the mouth, it reminded us that Italy is among other things famous for its sweets and cakes and we have lots of tasting to do to get to know all other mouthwatering cakes around us. Read more “Cakes of Mazzano Romano”
As a cat enthusiast I was immediately drawn to observing the lives of Mazzano’s feline population. Architecturally the village’s medieval town structure is an absolute paradise for them, cats tend to naturally be drawn to irregular shaped rooms and spaces which the town offers them plenty. In fact I remember reading about a study which concluded that cats seem to be most uncomfortable in square or round spaces where there is no obvious spatial hierarchy to draw them towards a certain spot. The different street levels and rooftops also offer a perfect environment for climbing and jumping while certain door frames seem to work as unintentional scratching posts. A hole punched through a door offers an ideal play spot to stick your paws through. A certain sunny part of a rooftop next to our flat seems to be the place to be for afternoon naps with all the kitties hanging around the small square squeezing themselves in between the roof tiles in uncomfortable looking poses. Other popular napping spots include the bins around he village where we have often found our fluffy friends in the mornings. Read more “Cats and architecture”
At the day we were visiting Calcata, I also had the chance to see some of the main sites of the Treja Valley Park and get some fresh air after the musty odour, flocks of pigeons and hippie shops of Calcata. Our Italian contact Orlando was driving me around and also explaining the sites so I could get some insights to the park and archeological sites of Faliscan origin in its area.
The first one of the archaeological sites we visited was the temple site of Monte Li Sante. The site actually consists of both sacred and secular functions, but only the sacred part has been excavated. First thing you see, is the massive steel roof structure that is protecting the excavated site from the elements. I wonder if it’s slightly too heavy for the eye and if a wooden structure would have been more pleasant, but apparently the structure needs to be sturdy in case of seismic vibrations. The site itself is very nice and it was surprising to hear that some people come there to do some sort of pagan worshipping as can be seen from some small stones being moved around so it has some relevance as a present cult site also.
The second site that I had the possibility to visit was the excavated necropolis of Cavone Monte Li Sante. The consisted of three tombs and a quarry beside it where some stone material had been taken to build the tombs. The place used for cremating the bodies can also be seen. There are many tombs in the area beside the excavated ones, but sadly all the valuables have been looted from them.
The nature on the Treja Valley park is very nice, but poor road maintenance, vegetation blocking all the nice views and confusing signs take some edge from it. I also got to visit the Monte Gelato and saw three different info signs from different times when the older ones could have simply been removed!?! With some service design and small interventions the Treja Valley Park could be reached more easily which would allow more people to enjoy the natural park and it’s beautiful sites and also hope this is what the future will bring. Read more “Into the Wilderness”