Start to picture in your mind a a nativity scene during a warm and homey Christmas time. Well, that is the same pleasant feeling I have when I see the lovely village of Falerone. Staring at it is like being in front of a painting, which is there to be contemplated and to release an ancient aura of history and traditions that conserves into itself.
Visiting Falerone is like rewinding the tape of time and getting back to a village of a few centuries ago.
Even today the village hosts numerous historical records. An example is the collection of about 300 archaeological finds collected in the Archaeological Museum “Pompilio Bonvicini”. The building, located in front of the Church of San Fortunato in Piazza della Libertà, offers the opportunity to relive the various historical phases of the area through the exposition of finds ranging from the Picenian period to the Lombard domination.
You will be lucky enought to admire, to name a few, a statue of acephalous Ceres, Greek goddess of earth and fertility, dating back to the Nerva–Antonine dynasty, a sculpture of Heracles, a mighty male torso belonging tothe Hellenistic tradition, and ancient artifacts found in the remote Roman city of Falerio Picenus (which today is the village Piane di Falerone), built after 29 BC at Emperor Augustus’ behest.
Descending down the rural streets you can see the enchanting Church of San Paolino, situated on top of a hill and overlooking the quiet and gracious countryside. Dating back to the 12th century, on its walls symbols are preserved that testify the presence of the Knights Templar in this church. These symbols are the “The Knot of Apocalypse“, representing the four elements (Fire, Water, Earth, Air) and the Triple Druid Precinct, unfortunately cancelled out by the numerous restoration works. It symbolize the “’omphalos” of the area, meaning a central place of physical, telluric, magnetic, and cosmic energies that can be amplified by a group of people tied in a prayer. It is impressive to think that references and symbols of this kind are hidden in a rural church of an anonymous village in the Marches.
Yet the enitire region overflows with history, which can be discovered in all the streets, churches, towers, and finds of the villages of the Marche.
Villages like Falerone, besides their history, also preserve a daily life typical of an age that no longer exists in big cities.
Walking through the countryside, you can see how time seems to have stopped here. The entire environment seems to have remained immune to the progress and technologies that we use everyday. In the distance you can hear a tractor running among the hills. Seated in front of her house, an elderly lady is knitting a woolen blanket, probably a gift for her little granddaughter, while among the tiny streets the old nsarache (tattlers) of the village suddendly become quiet at the sight of a stranger, ready to examine her and then gossip later on.
Everywhere you can relive the atmosphere of another era, unique and traditional as the one that only Marche can donate. And here in Falerone, you can taste it in everyday life, in popular festivals such as the “Contesa della Nzegna“, a re-enactment that celebrates the history and customs of the local community, with typical desserts such as “lu serpe”, and in all the churches and millenary archaeological parks.
It is exactly this atmosphere, this old and pleasant taste of past, that makes Falerone a wonderful pearl worthy of being discovered.
Copyright photos: Giulia Cecchi
Article written by: G. CecchiRedattore
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