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il borgo vive

the village today

The mosaic

mosaico The beautiful floor mosaic is what survives of the ancient Roman baths. It evokes naked bodies revelling in the healthy vapour. They wanted to give the body the utmost pleasure. And they wanted a great artist to create a water world where the mind could lose itself in a dream. Neptune's realm with mermen, sea-horses and other sea creatures. Today we no longer build the like of it. Yet people still want to enjoy themselves. But they need dreams. Only gods don't need dreams to enjoy themselves. The ancient Romans knew it well.

The bells

campanileToday children don't often see glow-worms and they never wake up to the chime of bells. Without glow-worms and bells you grow up just the same, but your life won't be that cheerful. Glow-worms come back here every summer and the pace of life is marked by the chime of the bells.

The people

la gentePeople are special. Always proud. Often ingenious. Sometimes bizarre. In the village there are people with such weird names as: Omero, Temide, Milziade, Elide, Corisma, Desiderio, Elettra, Prisca, Rotilio, Aristeo, Piramo, Artea, Cirano, Irene, Eurialo, Alighiero, Aida, Plinio, Aede, Alcide, Ermete, Leda, Orintia, Eliodoro, Pindaro, Meonia, Venerio, Demetrio, Ulisse, Giulio Cesare, Cleofe, Orazio, Aristide, Tamiride, Placidia, Pilade, Osiride. And there used to be: Socrate etc. You cannot find so many beautiful classical names anywhere else. It is enough to make you understand that there is something to find out here.

The artist

l'artista Gigi, the painter of the valley, lives here. He is well known also outside the region, but people born in Bevagna don't usually want to leave. These places are the scene of his never-ending research into the secrets of light.

Cecco

CeccoAn astonishing water-powered 14th-century machinery is still working thanks to the genius of a person full of love for his land. Every day a kind-hearted man performs the miracle of operating a real medieval paper mill. The fruits of a timeless ritual spring from his hands.

The square

la piazzaThe beautiful square satisfies the eye and the spirit. Some say it makes you want to sleep there so that you can lay your eyes on it as soon as you wake up the following morning. Local people are crazy about the square. In the exciting summer evenings it flaunts its beauty and enhances the fun. But in winter , at dusk, if you are lucky you may find it empty. Empty. For a moment of magic you will never tell anybody about. You would never be able to put it into words.

Folo's secret

FoloHe says his name is Folo Trabalza, but to hide the truth he has made the mistake of using another name "hobbit". So many have become suspicious. In fact it's him, Bilbo Baggins. That's where he had got to, but don't tell anyone because he is fine here. In his tiny tailor's shop, where everything is still as it used to be 50 years ago, he receives important "urban" clients who come to Bevagna to have their suits made by him. Diplomats, doctors, renowned professionals. Sixty years' hard work and never a holiday. His craft is his life. And you can't take a holiday away from life. Between a joke in the local dialect and a loving glance at the square, he takes his clients' measurements, with his eyes rather than a tape measure. Then they leave, some for the U.S.A., where Bilbo sends the suit he has made for them.

The Professor

Il ProfessoreEverybody knows something, one knows everything. Not for nothing is he known as "the Professor". For visitors to Bevagna meeting him is like sleeping on a feather bed, missing this opportunity is like sleeping on an uncomfortable sofa: the morning after the mood and memories won't be the same. He gives out his knowledge to tourists with the politeness of a real gentleman and satisfies their appetite with the skill of a great chef. He throws light on stones and narrates life, because without the colours of life even the stones of history are often as grey as cats in the dark. Then he walks away quietly, turning down the inevitable offers of money with a gentle smile. He would feel as though he were selling his own village, which is his passion. You can't sell passions but you can share them.

The sparkling laughter

La risata gassosaIt echoes around Peppe Strappini's small antique shop which opens onto the main street close to the square. It spreads out just like gas and its rich sound fills the place where the antiques are haphazardly piled up on the old wooden floor and leave room only for the regular visitors. Each of them has his own chair with his name written on the back and their favourite conversation topics are experiences from the past, especially the spicy ones, and each of them lays his brick of nostalgia. So the adventures, exaggerations and infidelities become as big as the breast of the tobacconist in Fellini film. Peppe, a lively storyteller, ends his stories with a laughter. And his sparkling laughter and exaggerated gestures make it necessary to open the door to let out the loud burst. In the end the jaws and abs ache, but a real professional grits his teeth and is ready for another story.