Monday, 17 September 2012

Far From The Madding Crowd in Civitella Casanova

A moment of quiet reflection and contemplation is always a good activity, especially when your life is at times dominated by a computer screen of some sort.  In this age of constant distraction that we live in, it is of vital importance to take some quality time out.  To have a glimpse of the past,  can be quite therapeutic and re-energising.

A Chance Encounter
Earlier yesterday I visited a small village in Abruzzo, very near to my home, Civitella Casanova, located less than 10 minutes away by car.  We chanced upon an old pathway as we were walking into the centre towards the market.  I said to K, "Come on, let's see where this leads!"  The thrill of not knowing where this path would take us, was like stepping into a mini adventure.

There was no signpost at the top to indicate what we would find at the bottom of the steps.

 We descended into a quiet haven, a world dating back to the 18th century, leading to two historic fountains, which had been renovated.  We were both amazed that this veritable piece of history was tucked away in a hidden corner of the village. 

 Once there, we spent some time reading the poster board which revealed facts of the renovation work carried out on the fountains by the village authorities.

Flashback to the Past
The image of my grandmother as a young girl walking 10 kilometres from her village to the nearest fountain to collect water for the family, flashed through my mind. She would do so on a regular basis, carrying a big traditional copper water pot called a "conca" on her head.

Below is a detail from a free picture which came with a recent copy of Il Centro, the local Pescara newspaper.  It shows the Fontana Caruso in Roseto degli Abruzzi, in the early 1900s, with the women at the fountain waiting to collect their water.  You can see two of the "concas".

Here is another detail from the same free picture of a woman with a conca on her head.  This could easily have been my grandmother, or my mother and other female relatives..

Below the complete picture given away for free from Il Centro.  I will be putting it in a special frame, as it is a wonderful memory of the past tradition of the "conca" at the fountain.

Formidible Abruzzese Women
 My grandmother's life was hard and she lacked a proper education, but she was a very intelligent woman. She is one of my all-time great heroines in life, and is one of the Formidable Abruzzese Women that I have written about on this blog.

Losing Oneself
The silence in this little area today touched me, and made me realise that quiet contemplation nowadays is not something I do regularly.  I should do this more often.  Lose myself in the past, remember how life used to be, "far from the madding crowd"....


Sammy said...

What a beautiful piece Janet and wonderful old photos, I'll post about it tomorrow on Lia

Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Sammy

Thanks so much for your kind comment here and for showing interest in posting about it in LIA! I'd be honoured if you did so :-))


Brad said...

Lucky you, Janet!

You can get lost in Italy anytime you want ;-)

Fun read. Thanks!

Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Brad

Thanks to you for stopping by! Nice to see you again after your travels / hols!

See you around soon!