Friday, December 9, 2011

Orvieto: Umbria, Italy.

The Umbrian town of Orvieto is perched atop a volcanic plug.

A quaint town dominated by the large 14th century cathedral.

Josie and I found ourselves a lunch in the Square before setting off to
explore the cathedral.
The freshest, most delicious bread. 

The striped cathedral is eye catching, but the Gothic facade is amazingly beautiful

with bas-reliefs telling stories from the Old and New Testaments,

statues and fabulous glittering mosaics.

Inside the cathedral there was much to see.
The chapel with the Corporal of Bolsena,

and the beautiful frescoes.
Fra Angelico was one of the famous artists.
Growing up a Catholic child in far away New Zealand
we always had a Columban Calendar in our home, with reproductions of religious art.
I am often astonished at how familiar the religious art in Europe is to me.
I get a sense of coming home,
that this is part of my heritage.
It is truly astonishing.

How astonishing these huge cathedrals
must have appeared to the simple peasants of the 14th century.

I especially loved this Madonna.
She is the Madonna dei Raccomandati..
Madonna of the Recommended?
I recommended myself to her, and all those dear to me.
I liked the idea of being sheltered in her cloak.

How I could forget Orvieto I do not know.
As I study my photos
I remember.

I remember how I sent a wish and a prayer home
for all my horse loving nieces in New Zealand,
as I gazed at the unicorn standing guard outside the Cathedral of Orvieto.

Now that I have recorded my memories here.. I promise I will never forget you again
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  1. Although not a Catholic, I still love walking through cathedrals and this one is most astonishing. Simply beautiful! Love the frescoes and I always say a prayer, light a candle for certain people or situations, also, when I visit them. Nothing like this one. Orvieto sounds like a wonderful place to visit.

  2. Orvieto! How I wish I could be there, Joan, and how fortunate I am to see it through your eyes. I imagine it must be overwhelming to take it all in. Can you imagine building it?

  3. What a treat to see these details of Orvieto. I love the Madonna of the Recommended - she looks all-embracing.