I have a passion for ancient villages, with their narrow streets and sense of timeless story. I get pulled into the twisting passageways, intrigued by the shuttered windows and crooked doorways, the beautiful fountains and interesting architecture, always imagining the lives of the people who have walked there before me.
We started our morning in Alatri, saying goodbye to our landlady and her lovely B&B, with its unknown Saint, or Pope, gracing the outer wall. Walking out of the walled city to retrieve our car, I was amazed at how familiar the streets seemed after only a couple of days.
We then drove up into the mountains toward the area that was so damaged by the L’Aquila earthquake nearly six years ago. In the village of Tossicia there is a small church with a carved lintel that we wanted to see because of the small labyrinth that is carved on it, next to Mary’s head. It is still visible, though it is now cordoned off as a construction zone, and clearly there is much work still to be done.
As is often the case in these hilltop villages, the church is situated on the highest ground, closest to God. We thoroughly enjoyed our walk up from the car park at the base of the hill, where this fountain stood waiting to welcome visitors and provide them with water before they set off up the hill.
From Tossicia, we drove on to the walled city of Termoli on the east coast of the country… our room for the night overlooks the Adriatic Sea and the protected harbour which made this 7th century city so strategic. Although it was starting to rain by the time we arrived, we couldn’t resist heading out into the elements to explore the streets and buildings.
The storm is raging now, and we’re tucked up early, with good books and warm blankets. Our day has been full as we’ve walked, climbed, and wandered.