Italy

Calcata, Hippies & Cats


[Continuing]

So, as I anticipated in my previous post, there is something about Calcata that makes it so special.

One of the most beautiful medieval towns I have ever seen… If you look from far away, Calcata looks like a little drum of rocks. Nature, history, and a town that worships cats. Seriously, cats everywhere!
The town is filled with little alleys in a constant latch shape, often colored by naïf windows and curtains, theater masks, statues on the balconies, and flowers everywhere. In few words, it is the place that you reach by chance or because someone told you about it.

History finds the origins Calcata from around the year 1200 B.C., with first evidences dated by the establishment of Narce, located behind the village of Calcata, which documents already in the thirteenth century BC, while the area was under the control of the Falisci ( exonym for an Italic people who lived in what was then known as Etruria). Then it was with Pope Adriano I (years 772-795 AD) that the name Calcata appeared for the first time. In late thirteen century, Calcata was owned a noble family from Anguillara which built its high walls.

Also, after 1527 AD, the Holy Prepuce of Jesus was kept here in Calcata until late 1800’s where it mysteriously disappeared.

Now there are only few people living there, no more than 70 in fact, and since the rocks where this lovely town is perched on is crumbling away, from the 1960s people moved to new settlement downstream of Parco Valle della Treja.

The entrance the town is this big arch

Entrance Calcata stanito

© Stanito, 2013

After World War II, as it happened in many mountain villages, people left to bigger cities. As of 1970’s though, tourists, hippies and foreigners felt attracted by the isolated beauty of Calcata and so it was that hippies found their dimension, right here.

Pink store Calcata stanito
© Stanito, 2013

“Flower Power” and “Peace & Love” is all over the place.

streets of calcata stanito
© Stanito, 2013

The center of the town is reachable only by walk.

Calcata medieval town stanito© Stanito, 2013

Latteria del gatto calcata stanito© Stanito, 2013

You can’t miss the elders checking on passing people and making comments about them.

© Stanito, 2013

Town musicians

© Stanito, 2013

Teeny tiny doors with mail-boxes

© Stanito, 2013

Dressed up trees

© Stanito, 2013

And cats realm, starting with this little restaurant

© Stanito, 2013

Inside the Latteria, a whole gallery of cats

                                        © Minube.it

la-latteria-del-gatto-nero_1164711

After lunch I entered this store and it was filled with cat-like objetcs. I took a smal cat-like cushion that seemed to have a function, so I asked the seller:
“Hi, excuse me, what is this?” and she replied:”That is a cat”. I could visibly see that I it was a cat, so, ok …

© Stanito, 2013

Romeo, the real owner of the store, whom obviously doesn’t appreciate dogs’ presence

© Stanito, 2013

Spooky-cat decorations

© Stanito, 2013

Now here is something I’ve never seen before.

Below is a door I found in an alley leading to the river Treja, but the door…

Mysterious Calcata door stanito
© Stanito, 2013

… leads nowhere… I tried to take a nice view of it so that you could see that beyond the door there’s nothing but a nice cliff that leads to the river. This is because  during the Resistance many partisans escaped the Nazis and found refuge in the area. Those who reached Calcata made it through this Secret Door that led their persecutors right to a precipice to the valley. That is a nice way to get rid of cartoon enemies. Clever! 🙂

© Stanito, 2013

And then the town church which can host no more than…

© Stanito, 2013

… six people inside

© Stanito, 2013

More lovely home entrances

© Stanito, 2013

Quiete corners where you can play cards or else watching people staring at you (in a friendly way, of course, some of them even opened their house doors to have some food)

© Stanito, 2013

Bancarella or stand.

© Stanito, 2013

© Stanito, 2013

And finally, a fun bike race

© Stanito, 2013

I think this is attractive enough to entice to visit Calcata dear reader.

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16 replies »

  1. Stanito, since Rome is my point of reference for everything in Italy, how far is this from Rome? Calcata seems like a fun town to visit… And what camera are you using? The pictures are very crisp.

    Oh, and I like your boots too…

    • My dear Ames, if Calcata sounds fun to you, you’ll go crazy for Civita di Bagnoreggio, the most bizarre town so far (under process at the moment..)
      Calcata is no more than 60km from Rome, by car it took about 1 hour and half. Because that day we visited 3 other towns, I didn’t have time to visit the valley Treja, which I hope you will if you go there. It’s stunning.
      The camera is the one I bought with you, the super Canon! Very good camera.

      I like my boots too 🙂

      • Riccio needs to get her act together and take me to these towns…

        I’m impressed by the quality of the pictures from your camera, I am glad it is serving you well.

        • My dear, I’ll make sure she get’s the adequate training and preparation (trattorie and osterie included).

    • At Hippies? I thought this time I would catch your eye on “dressed up trees” 🙂 hehe
      Good reading from you.

  2. I see not a whole lot has not changed in near 40 years since I was there. Yes, the people are gracious, helpful, and sharing. This brought back the memory of a “hang-over-of-a-time” and great food. Thanks for the church pic. Somewhere in storage I have a simalar one, or close to it. Thanks again.

    • Thank you for your comment Len, wow, 40 years ago! Amazing how not much changed, and very grateful I guess too. It would be a shame that towns such as this one lose their beauty. Anytime please do share your experience in Calcata, I’ll love to hear it.

    • Hi Davide, thanks for your comment 🙂 when I went to Calcata wasn’t too crowded, I don’t know how it would look like with many people.

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