So, as I mentioned last time, I am in Italy, and I will probably not do a complete blog post until I return. However, here are a few quick notes about things I’ve been seeing:
- They have some Romanesque churches up in this piece, or perhaps I should say Romanesque-Lombard. I always like to check out an 11th or 12th century church when I see one, and in Britain that’s pretty rare; Cambridge has only a few, and I feel like I know them pretty well. But here they’re everywhere; I think I’ve seen half a dozen so far.
- There was quite a lot of partisan action in the area during WWII — it’s right around here that Mussolini was killed — and there are little memorial plaques to partisans everywhere. There’s a walking trail of notable partisan events, although I haven’t followed it, merely happened on some of its signs. One of the most notable is Teresio Olivelli, a partisan fighter who died in a concentration camp and who, if my Italian is right, they’re trying to get made into a saint. As I understand it, he’s currently “venerable,” which means that the church recognises that he was a person of exceptional (“heroic”) virtue and permits people to pray to him for intercession and see what happens. The statue of him I saw was under a plaque on the side of San Lorenzo church, commemorating its completion in 1934 and therefore giving a nod to Mussolini. Which is a bit awkward, but I like it. History is awkward sometimes.
- I could say something about historical expectations in church architecture and how even the more recent ones around here are sort of generally old-timey, although whether that’s for reasons of ideological symbolism or just aesthetic consistency I couldn’t say. Or both; indeed, aesthetic consistency can be an indicator of ideology.
Anyway, that’s just a few things I’ve noticed and a little thinking out loud. More later.