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
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.
“Flower Power” and “Peace & Love” is all over the place.
The center of the town is reachable only by walk.
You can’t miss the elders checking on passing people and making comments about them.
Teeny tiny doors with mail-boxes
Dressed up trees
And cats realm, starting with this little restaurant
Inside the Latteria, a whole gallery of cats
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 …
Romeo, the real owner of the store, whom obviously doesn’t appreciate dogs’ presence
© 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…
… 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! 🙂
And then the town church which can host no more than…
… six people inside
More lovely home entrances
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)
Bancarella or stand.
And finally, a fun bike race
I think this is attractive enough to entice to visit Calcata dear reader.