Friday, August 26, 2011

Montefalcone and Vittoria

The door to San Taddeo
 On Thursday morning Elise and I hiked up the hill to the ruins of a small farmer's chapel. I'm told it was actually in use right into the 1970's but by then everyone had a car to go to the big church in Force so the priest stop coming to the little chapels.

The roof has mostly caved in and part of the walls are coming down from neglect but it gives  a good idea of past building methods. The walls are around 18-24 inches thick, the middles of the walls are just rubble fill and mud. The beams are tree trunks just barely squared off. There is a trace of painted decoration on the inside. As with most buildings even now there are no window screens, but there were shutters for the windows to help control light and heat during the day and cold during the nights and winter.

San Taddeo

The chapel sits on top of little hill in a copse of trees. Just below the crest the farmers fields begin.

View from San Taddeo

The valley on the side opposite of the Retreat has steeper slopes than below Force.

We sat and painted a bit then went back to the Retreat to freshen up a bit and take off again. Our first stop was Montefalcone, Mountain of the Falcons. The falcons nest in the cliffs here and are protected. The town literally hangs on the edge of the cliff.
Montefalcone from below

13th century tower, Montefalcone

Like most Italian hill towns Montefalcone has a surviving medieval tower. Rebuilt in the 13th century the walls extend through the town and you can see parts of them in other places.  An odd thing to realize too is that in some places there are residences built into the walls then above them is a road.

street in Montefalcone

While quads aren't something you see on the streets every day, you do see one once in awhile.
street in Montefalcone

But you are more likely to see these little 3 wheeled trucks running about. I'm told that mostly the teenagers drive them because they do not require a license to drive one of these.

convent gate, Montefalcone

Fountain, Vittoria
We left Montefalcone and traveled on over to Vittoria. We sat and sketched this cute little fountain. We walked through the gate to a little shop and had a gelato in the street.

street, Vittoria

Vittoria gate going in

Vittoria, gate from the other side


  1. Oh wow, what a photographer ( and artist's) paradise!!! I love the chapel ruins! Thanks for sharing these awesome photos!I wish I was there! Deb

  2. Terrific photographs, so inspirational. Happy PPF, Annette x

  3. Hi Mary,
    I received one of your lovely postcards in the swap. Thank you for sharing the day dreaming kitty with me :)

  4. How wonderful to experience a bit of your trip through your eyes! It looks like a wonderful place to stop and paint for a bit :)