I happened to visit this small XII century church near Pontremoli a few weeks ago and I was surprised how easily you can find historic gems that are not well known. There are too many. This millenary building is built on a pre-romanic site in a valley along the main roads of communication through the mountains. The first document about the parish dates to 1148. It was built with stones and cobbled paving coming from the banks of a nearby stream. Its X-century Romanesque layout has remained unchanged. Its inside has been changed and only recent restorations have revealed the ancient Medieval decorative frescoes under the plaster-work and some sculptures. A perfectly preserved pre-Christian idol is also kept in the church. The area of Sorano was settled in Prehistory. Many stelae-statues have been found in the area. These carved stones confirm the presence of settlements since the Bronze Age. As civilizations alternated through centuries, new structures were built over the remains of previous buildings and settlements. However, the signs of past cultures manage to survive until today. Services are still attended daily in this consecrated church. This is probably the reason why the church is so well preserved. It is fascinating how through wars and dramatic changes it was passed on from one generation to the next in exceptionally good condition.

Italy is for sure a place full with history and culture. The artistic and architectural heritage is immense. They are not just "old stones" from dead civilizations. They are part of our ordinary and daily life. They are living testimonies of where we come from and who we are. They help us understand how we got here. They enrich us every day when we visit our "open air" museums. We proudly preserve this patrimony because we feel it is our home. With these ideas and values in mind, Italians will navigate these turbulent times.





Speak your mind


Resources & Links