0489 The cliffs of Tagliacozzo (Ita 014—new)

Tagliacozzo Travel Blog

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My next city is another real gem… The old town snakes its way up the steep slopes flanked by a cliff on one side and forest on the other.  As I make my way up the seemingly endless stairs to the top of the town, I think “there’s no way a 21st century Italian is going to hike up and down this hill on a daily basis.”


Sure enough, Italians have worked out a compromise between convenience and a desire to preserve their history:  A road winds its way around the old town to the very top, you can live in the old town and still drive to work or to the store…


At the top I take a little break at a little plaza in front of a chapel, then head on down… The view is amazing--  but it’s still hard to really do Tagliacozzo justice with a single photograph.



Halfway down it starts pouring down rain. I find shelter in a tunnel/gateway to the old town and decide to wait out the rain.  I’m soon joined by a guy on a scooter and we chat a little bit.  I find I can communicate pretty well just by kind of Italianizing my Spanish... It would be a really fun language to learn--  especially since most of the words I can recognize already with French and Spanish.

Finally it stops raining and a head back down to the valley and walk down a rather boring modern part of town.  I’m about to leave, when a narrow street catches my eye--  I check it out and to my surprise… I’d totally missed the city center!   I’d just assumed that the Old Town was the city center…

So I take some more time to explore a pretty little plaza and more back alleys with picturesque houses with flowery balconies overlooking a rushing mountains stream…


Around town there are more plaques proudly telling of the heroic battles against the Pope’s army…


I find this all very intriguing.

  I’d never realized that despite their Catholic faith, for much of their history, most folks here in Italy had desperately fought to not be ruled by the pope… It’s definitely something I want to look into further… I find that to be one of the big ironies of Italian history… Another one being the fact that the seat of the great Roman Empire ended up being one of the most fragmented regions of Europe

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photo by: nathanphil