Vignoni Alto

There are only two and a half kilometers to be covered on foot if possible, calmly and without haste, leaving the bathrobe and cap in the room and wearing a cloak of pure freedom. From the hotel you go down the road that leads to Cassia and after a few hundred meters you turn left, following directions complete with a sign, and start climbing up the dirt road. The landscape that you discover step by step is nothing short of sublime, but once you reach Vignoni Alto the surprise is more than amazing. To greet you, there is the keep of what remains of the ancient castle dating back to the 11th century. But it is the small village, so neat and gentle, that surprises and amazes. Not to mention the church of San Biagio, of Romanesque origin although heavily remodeled inside, which has a single nave that draws consensus, applause and silence. Grace and simplicity as philosophical presuppositions or postulates. Inside, on loop, Gregorian chants that invite you to meditate, stimulating even the most atheistic soul. Then just go out and stick your nose out further to admire the whole Val d’Orcia complete with Leopardian infinity. Of course, Italy is crazy in its schizophrenia: we live on screams, spite, unprecedented boldness, havoc, collapses and devastation and we lose the vital essence that can corroborate our existence. If you have a modicum of sensitivity left, don’t hesitate to walk to enjoy, discover and possess a moment of rare beauty. After all, if you are here, in Bagno Vignoni, there must be a reason, right?

Ps. Saint Biagio was a doctor and bishop of Sebaste in Armenia and his martyrdom occurred during the persecutions of Christians, around 316, during the conflicts between the emperors Constantine (West) and Lycinus (East). Captured by the Romans, he was beaten and flayed alive with iron combs, those used to card wool, and finally beheaded for refusing to renounce his faith in Christ. He is a Saint known and venerated both in the West and in the East. His cult is widespread in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. In other words, the thickness of the walls can be very thin and that all of us are or descend from migrant men and women. Amen.