S.P. Torre Alfina Km 1,200 - 01021 Acquapendente (VT)

Aperto dal Lunedì al Venerdì dalle 08,00 alle 12,30 e dalle 15,00 alle 18,00

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LA TUSCIA - History, localization and traditions of an ancient land ...

According to tradition, the ancient Etruscan populations who lived in the villages of northern Lazio, around the current Viterbo, were called the Tusci.
Their refined civilization is testified by precious archaeological finds (gathered in various museums) and extensive necropolis. Tuscia Viterbese is therefore the literary and tourist name of this province north of Rome, in the heart of Italy, between Umbria, Tuscany and the Tyrrhenian Sea. The countries that belong to it, custodians of a thousand stories and legends, almost always draw on primitive strategic settlements, marked by unmistakable traces of fortresses and castles.



The Tuscia Viterbese is divided into three areas, which correspond to as many environmental and urban features: to the west, along the Tyrrhenian coast, overlook Tarquinia and Montalto di Castro in front of the Maremma expanses of Canino, Tuscania and Monteromano; the wooded hills of Mount Rufeno, Volsini and Cimini (Lake Bolsena, Lake Vico and Viterbo itself) thicken in the middle; to the east the Tiber valley flows, marked by clay pours (gullies) on which ancient historical centers wobble, one of which, Civita di Bagnoregio, of incredible seduction.



From the highway of the Sun the access doors open to the toll booths of Orvieto, Attigliano, Orte and Magliano Sabina.
Convenient and fast the Orte-Viterbo motorway junction that runs in about twenty minutes. From the Gran Raccordo di Roma, the consular Aurelia, Cassia and Flaminia head towards the Viterbo area. In the Orte railway station the lines for Viterbo, Florence, Rome and Ancona cross.



There are many itineraries to offer, because there are so many times that make these places to be discovered. Historical itineraries can be followed by following the footsteps of the first human garrisons, of the Etruscans, of the Romans, of the events of the medieval and renaissance period, of which significant testimonies remain. There are historical-religious itineraries, such as that of the Via Francigena, marked by sanctuaries, monasteries, ancient bases of Knights Templars, hospices of warriors and pilgrims, places of worship celebrated in memory of miraculous events.
There can be Naturalistic Routes, in the Natural Reserve of Monte Rufeno or along the Lake of Bolsena. You can retrace the places wrought by the brigands or those from the Ascetics who retreated to the hermiters along the Fiora River. And then, in order not to lose sight of the gastronomic specialties of the territory, there are Eno-Gastronomic itineraries.



Pugnaloni are large panels (260 x 360 cm) apparently paintings, but instead made with natural elements: according to an original construction technique a mosaic of flower petals, dry and green leaves, pine needles, walnut inflorescences and others are obtained materials of plant origin.
According to tradition, the Pugnaloni were born as a tribute to the Madonna del Fiore, following the miracle that led to the liberation of the people of Acquapendente in 1166: the sudden flowering of a dry cherry tree was interpreted as a sign of divine protection, thanks to which Aquesians found the courage to rise up against the tyrannical governor of Barbarossa.

As a sign of devotion to Our Lady, thanks to the grace received, a large half-length party was established, which culminated with a solemn procession to which the liberated peasants participated with the "prods", adorned with flowers. These were wooden sticks with an iron tip, used to stimulate the oxen during plowing, which were perhaps also used as weapons during the insurrection (therefore the sting - dagger - stabnalon assonance).
The "prods" have undergone various transformations over the centuries until they became, in the early nineteenth century, the current Pugnaloni. It is in those years, in fact, that we have the first news of a floral mosaic created for Pope Pio VII. Until 1970 the theme of the miraculous liberation of 1166 together with Marian images inspired the realization of the Pugnaloni. Then the theme has widened to the more general one of freedom from every form of oppression.
Originally the Pugnaloni were technically very complex and larger works than the current ones and were made by local artisans, carpenters and painters, assisted by civil and religious authorities.

Today, however, they are made by young people associated in "groups" of more or less recent constitution. Young people work during the 15 days preceding the third Sunday of May, in makeshift workshops scattered throughout the country. First of all the panels of the previous year are cleaned, stored in the cathedral, then the panel is painted according to the sketch prepared in April by a local artist. Finally we proceed to glue the plant materials, according to an established order: first the most resistant elements, in the days following the green leaves, and finally, the last night, the petals of the freshest and most delicate flowers. On the day of the feast, the Pugnaloni are displayed in the Piazza del Duomo, and parade through the streets of the town following the procession of the Madonna del Fiore. After sunset from the loggia of the town hall the winning group is proclaimed which has made the most beautiful Pugnalone.