Thursday, October 4, 2018

Finding Treasure

For us, finding Spello 20 years ago was like finding treasure.  This small beautifully preserved hill town in Umbria, has one road in that is the same road out...truth be told I've driven the wrong way on this one way street a few times, but that's another story. 
On Wednesday, Dr. C. and I had some errands to run, one was dropping off our laundry with the laundress to take care of , giving us some extra time to wander, and we decided to take a peek into the new exhibition at the bottom of the hill in Spello called La Villa dei Mosaici
Some years ago the local workers were digging a new parking lot at the bottom of the hill, when they discovered mosaics.  Since we have been coming here so long, we remembered the construction (which always seems to go on forever) and then the stoppage, so we couldn't park our car in the lot.  Grumble, grumble. 
The next year there was a protective structure over the parking lot, and we couldn't figure out what it was.  Subsequent years saw different structures, and this year the museum is open, and it was worth waiting for. 
Dating from 27 BC, the mosaics are incredibly well preserved.  This was a beautiful villa, with large rooms, and beautiful marble.  When you think how old these mosaics are it's mind blowing, and the fact that so many have been preserved is even more astonishing. Many homeowners here, when doing renovations will come upon mosaics, or other Roman artifacts, and will cover them up, rather than wait for the historic preservation council to come and take a look and stop construction.  Others like Enoteca Properzio Uno will cover the historic finds with glass so that all can enjoy them. 

floor plan

Not a checker board

Fragments from the outside walls

I used to say that there were only 2 reasons to come to Spello:  Enoteca Properzio, and the Pinturicchio frescoes in the cathedral, but now there is a third reason, this amazing museum.  Spello is a beautiful jewel in Umbria, but if you are looking for bright lights, and lots of action, then go to Perugia and Assisi.  What we love about Spello is its timelessness and it's why we come back.  Ciao for now.

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