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We live in Italy,Campania,in province of Salerno.This is not far from places you hear from your childhood about:Neaples,Pompei,Vesuvio,Capri,Sorrento…On this page you'll find stories about this country.

Italy.Your trip begins here

Salerno

Salerno.Seafront

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Castles of Campania

March 1st, 2007

If you don’t know, Campania is a Region of Italy. Nord of Sud )) Were you want to put your feet here, you find meters and meters of history under you. Prehistorical settlements, all sorts of travellers and occupants,medieval towns … and unbelievable quantity of castles and churches.

You are surprised when you see them every step praticaly. Castles you see in this post I photographed on my way from Camerelle (Nocera Superiore) to Caserta -about 50 km. And this is what you see from the motorway. There are many others in the inner land.One man in Castel San Giorgio said me, he had photos of 12 castles situating near his town. I could not find the precise number of how much castels are there in province of Salerno or Neaples, but there are 25 only in Matese (nothern part of province of Caserta).

This castle is not far from my house.It’s owners wanted to create a dancing place there, but had not success with this idea. Many owners try to do something to maintain their property. It costs too much to be owner of a castle. So you can find castles-museums, -hotels, -restaurants and others in Italy.

Castle of Lanzara is probably one of the 15 build here by Arechi I. He needed them mostly for supervision of conquered territory.

Sarno. Castle of Arechi II. You can see the difensive plan very clear here.

San Felice a Castello. Other Longobard castle. What is interesting: people finished to build castles because they were not efficient to protect them from cannons and firearms. But they were in use by germans and americans during the second world war (this castle too).

I asked the director of Archeological Group, why italians need sooo many churches and he said me: you go out in the morning and enter in a church for remission of sinns. But in the street is it unpossible not to sinn. So you enter immediately in an other church and remiss what you did. And so all day long.

The truth is probably this: forces that controlled the region changed very frequently during all italian history. Thenew governments had to be tollerant to previous uses of the population. And the second reason is every rich men wanted to buy good place in the paradise( this you find written on the door of the Dome of Salerno,for example). That is why they built their own churches or monasteries.

Medieval castles were born from the death of Roman Empire. There were not more central institutions to protect people, and the country was full of bandits and military troups,that were not very different from bandits.

And then it was a period of “famine, war terror, flood, plague and hunger”, says one document in archive of Castel S.G.

So the first castles were wooden towers posted to protect a farm or to control important ways. The good known italian mafia was born from the necessity to protect the farms too.

Sometimes there was not only a tower, called mastio or maschio. This castle could have a yard and a wooden wall. The head of this group of men became a great person because all paesants called him to protect them. The castle became a residence for the head and his family, members of the group and their families. In this period the tower contains the room for banquet and privat rooms of the leader’s family. At the end of the XII century began to expand castles of stones. This is what you find in the books about history, but castles on the photos are from the times of Arechi I ( VII century) and Arechi II ( VIII c). People prefere to build their houses of stones that were more accessible then wood even in that period. I think.

During the Middle Ages all towns, rural districts, ownres built their own castles.So I found an interesting word that characterizes that period “incastellamento”. Close in the castles.

In the second part of the Middle Ages castles become what we are inured to see in films. Inside them live not only the owner’s family and the families of the troup, but everybody can be useful for them. Entire towns praticaly. In our zone castles are in inacessible places and owners have palaces in the towns and the fortresses on the rock.

From 1500 cannons and firearms make castles not efficient protection and their building usless.

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Castles (2)

March 2nd, 2007

Here I want to post some new photos.Two castles: Lanzara-c. (I wrote about it in the 1 post) seen from other point and the castle of Nocera. You can clearly see the difference from “modern” castle of Nocera and Longobard castles of the first post.

Lanzara

Nocera

This castle was a residence with very long story that I’ll tell you next time. Now I wanted only to add these photos to complete my first story. After this weekend I hope to add here the most important castel of the province, the castle of Salerno.

Now I wanted to show you other photos. This is Baptistry of Nocera Superiore (that took part of the unique Nocera). You can see how many meters under modern street-level is situated this building of VI cent. On the right from the baptistry entrance you see a hole. Archeologists found mosaic floors of roman houses (first centuries) there. I’m sure if they would see under these floors, they’ll find other centuries of story. From IX bC,the foundation,maybe.

 

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Campi Flegrei

February 27th, 2007

this article I found today in the physorg.com

Geologists are reporting the ground at the Campi Flegrei caldera, near Naples, Italy, is undergoing renewed uplift.

Researchers at Italy’s Geophysical National Institute and Volcanology Observatory report the volcanic area, which had its last eruption in 1538, started a new uplift episode in November 2004. That uplift began at a low rate but has slowly and steadily increased

According to previous studies, the 16th-century eruption occurred after decades of uplift coupled with brief periods of subsidence. Within the past 40 years, the caldera experienced a huge uplift phase until 1985. The new data indicate a subsequent period of subsidence has now ended.

… the uplift is associated with input of magma from a shallow chamber.

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This is the article.And it will be true.

But I remember about a year after I came to live here (1996-97, I think) there was a great story in this zone of Campania. They said, there were movements of ground there that arrived to 1 meter a year. This maybe is an urban legend because I tell you what we listened here about it. I know the region government wanted the residents go to live in other places but nobody left their houses.

This zone is very interesting to visit. Not only you can enter in the alive crater of Solfatara and to see an underwater-city from a boat, it was one of the most popular recreational places in the Roman time. There are too many places to visit there. And the other interesting thing,when you turn back to Neaples you can see clearly Neaples is situated on different craters.

I post here only this info and the article today.Later I’ll describe this place and post some photos.

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What do you know about Nocera?

(an article from “Diary“)

When I come to live here,this zone was in a terrible condition but in last years it become as a flower that comes out in spring.The other flower in this bouquet is Salerno -beautiful,very quiet city,where you can walk through the streets in the night too.I love Salerno.It’s mayor did great job and now it’s a jewel.Salerno was founded by Roman veterans.In it’s center the Archeological Group preserves Roman treasure in a little church of Longobards…Every step you do, there are many layers of history under your feet there.

You are right.I tell you about Nocera and post photos of Salerno.Unfortunately the weather is not good and I can post only something old now.So here you see the only way from Nocera to Salerno.Why “the only”?There are mountins on the right (you see them) and on the left too.So all the ways passed millenniums ago and pass today only here,in the middle.
Where finish the earth (on the photo) begins the Sea.

And from sea came in the vale of Nocera interesting people named Pelasgi, that settled near one of the rivers.Today you see sewers on it’s place (seems, somebody begin to understand it too),but 3 millenniums ago it was a big and beautiful river.In memory of their motherland pelasgi called it Sarno and themself Sarrasti.

Why leave this people their home?Somebody says it was the way to free their motherlands from excessive population.Greeks gave a vessel to a group of young man born in the same year and sent them to explore new places for colonies,Sannits sent those groups behind a sacred animal…Others think those goups had to look for metals for motherland.Others more tell about pirates and criminals catched from their earth…Maybe all these opinions are true.And we have the result:about 1 millennium befor Christ the vale of Nocera was populated by Pelasgi.

Have you ever thought about the sense of words? I know not many use to do it.
It’s sooooo incredibly interesting! Where come this or that word from? Words very often conserve memories from our ancestral roots.Nobody remembers, only some word can reveal the secret…if there is one,who can understand what that word hides.Science, studies it, is called etymology.But when we speak about more then 3 millenniums ago even etymology hardly can help us too much.So we have to use immagination too.

Where came these persons from?Nobody knows it,clear.We can immagin Pelasgi liked travel very much.They rounded the world and rested their steps,memory of their motherland, in all places they had reached.
Crio (Macedonia),Creusa (Acaia),Crium (Creta),Cria (Licia)…
Nu-Kria(”new” Kria)…Nu-ceria…Nocera -today.

We are romantic ,our specie.We can’t feel happy if stay at home, but we are nostalgic when we are far from our house….

And Sarrasti? They controlled the vale of Nocera about 300 years and then gave up to other adventurers.

( review of “Storia di Nocera de’Pagani”,G.Orlando,1884)

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Carnival in Italy

There are 2 great carnival feasts in the world,brasilian and Venetian.Everybody knows about them and if you think to visit a carnival you think only about this two.

 

Not all of you know every town and village in Italy has it’s own carnival and some of them are very interesting too.

 

The most popular is the Orange Battle in Ivrea.The carts with assailants full of oranges enter in the town to conquist it and the defenders have to drive them back.

You can partecipate on this spectacle when you buy oranges,but you have to know,the battle can provoke real wounds. That is why assailants have helmits on the heads, there are emergency-cars in the near streets and all visitors are behind the columns.But not only.Your clothes can be damaged by the orange-paste that arrives sometimes till your knies…

There are other interesting places to visit.

 

In Fano during the carnival-manifestation come all visitors with umbrella.They open and turn them to catch sweetes that fall from the window on their heads.

 

Liguria is faithful to their car-sculptures and scenes.More popular is the procession of flower-sculptures that takes place some weeks befor carnival, but it’s beautiful to see too.

 

Interesting tradition can you find in Sardenia.The masks are orrible here, the dancers are not so numerous and they dress goat-hides and bells.Nobody knows where comes this usage from, so old is it.

 

Did you know that “carnival” comes from “carne”-”meat” and meens last meal with meat befor Great fast?

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Vesuvio

There are no doubts,this is the most known volcano in the world.Scientists have an incredible quantity of their devices there,they study it day and night and are sure,know everything about it.

 

I’ll tell you a little story in this contest.


 

Some years ago one of the volcanologists become a minister.And he spoke different times to population,telling all,they have not to be afraid about Vesuvius.There is no other volcano we know so good as this,said minister.

 

I can’t explain you how was it possible - was the same Vesuvius angree with scientists or maybe the mother-nature wanted to show them they have not to be too sure of their knowleges about her -but some days after one of these speeches happens a little eathquake.Just enough to catch out of their houses all residents of one of the villages situating on this mount.It was in winter in the night,people jumped out from their beds and remain till morning clothing their pijamas or what they wore that night in streets waiting for second shake.

 

Next morning there was no one person in Italy that did not ask that minister:why? And the poor volcanologo could say nothing only “It’s unpossible,because…is unpossible”

 

If you have seen other mountains,you can’t be impressed seeing Vesuvio. It’s not so high. One crater is only 1281 meters high,other 1133 m. You can visit them.

 

But when you remember the passed times and scientists that promise eruption in the next 15-20 years, you can’t understand people building houses here. There are on 700 m hight.Then, this zone is the most populated in Europe with 13000 persons on 1 km quadr. The streets are too strict and there is no possibility to save if the eruption really happens. It will be great tragedy.

 

During it’s life Vesuvio leaved signs in all directions.Last eruption of 1944 covered with 2 m of ashes Salerno distant about 30 km, I think. Those are not ashes from your oven,but real stones.

 

Vesuvio is the most famous but not only and not most interesting volcanic place to visit here.The same Neaples is situating on many craters.Inside one of them you can go for a walk.

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