Direttore responsabile Maurizio Pizzuto
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mar, 22 ago  2017 
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Cultura - A jewel named Trasimeno! (1)
Roma, 28 lug (Prima Pagina News)  By Giancarlo Elia Valori (*) Mother Nature, generous beyond all limits, jealously preserves among its historical, cultural and artistic treasures a "jewel" having an attractive name: the Trasimeno lake! This lake is named after Prince Trasimeno, the son of king Tirreno, the mythical founding founder of the Etruscan civilization. The legend has it that, in order to beat the summer heat, the prince decided to bathe in the cool water of the lake. When the nymph Agilla saw the young and handsome prince, she was so impressed by his beauty that she felt deeply in love with him and decided to seduce him. She attracted him with her lovely song in the middle of the lake. He was so taken by her sweet and unexpected melody that he felt asleep and drowned. A sad story, indeed, but that is how the legend tells the lake has taken the name of this lovelorn prince. It is told that, in the warm evenings of August, when the gentle breeze blows over the clear water of the lake, you can still hear the melancholic mournful laments of the nymph Agilla, crying while eternally searching for her long lost love. A territory in which mythology blends seamlessly with history The Trasimeno lake was and still is a true gift of God! A "jewel" with shores characterized by stunning and varied landscape, enriched by a natural environment which is worth visiting in its entirety, so as to discover the views of one of the most beautiful areas in Italy and one of the most famous cultural and tourist destinations. It is located between the regions of Umbria and Tuscany, along the ancient Via Flaminia - a sort of natural thoroughfare. Over the centuries, the area near the lake has been the scene of clashes between peoples and civilizations and has been inhabited since ancient times. In fact, this landscape rich in history and art is also characterized by the significant presence of many fortification systems. Its genuine heritage, which has survived the swing of time, has been preserved, with all its priceless and timeless charm. Today the Trasimeno lake is mainly an oasis of peace where you can be enraptured by the enchantment of the various views plunged into the mystery of a soft and never blinding light, into the subtle magic of ancient Etruscan and Roman civilizations, as well as in memorable events closely interwoven with many exciting episodes revitalizing its historic fabric. A place blessed by God! The Trasimeno is not only the region of the Etruscan-Roman civilization, but also the region which witnessed the adventures of the condottieri, including the Knights Templar, and the genius of great artists. It is the region of hospitality, warmth, spirituality and, last but not least, the region of a unique food and wine gourmet supply. The taste and flavours shaped by an enviable pure and uncontaminated microclimate remind us of the "old" hearth and home and the log crackling and spitting in the fireplace which, for those who come from far away, always convey the joy of a family not broken up by the vagaries of modernism, often stifling the pleasures which keep on giving to everyday life the impression of being opposed to the sterile philosophy of "carpe diem"! Reverting to the ancient civilizations, it is worth recalling that this region came into the history of Rome with the battle of 217 BC, where Hannibal's army annihilated the legions of Consul Caio Flaminio Neponte and 16,000 soldiers died on the hills of Tuoro sul Trasimeno and along the shores of the Trasimeno lake. Furthermore, the surrounding area is also related to the Kingdom of the Etruscans who, under King Porsenna in 510 BC, even challenged the power of imperial Rome. Nevertheless, at a later stage, the Roman Empire left in the Trasimeno the mark of his great hydraulic science, by building the first outlet intended to stabilize the water level and prevent floods, thus anticipating a technology used again by Fortebraccio and many others until current times. The scenic views you can admire from the shores of the lake and the surrounding hills are the same as the valuable backgrounds of the paintings by famous artists, including Pietro Vannucci, known as Perugino, the master of Mannerism in late fifteenth century, who set most of his splendid masterpieces in the mainland around the Trasimeno lake. In the past, in the surrounding area, where everything speaks of hospitality and warmth, some emblematic people left indelible and lasting traces as bright examples of a deep feeling of love, peace and spirituality. Not surprisingly its monasteries and shrines are like pages to be read to hear again the distant echo of an act of faith recited in chorus. In fact, for the sacredness of these places, the Trasimeno region is considered the centre of a route connecting the many sites of St. Francis, whose Franciscan movement had a large following. And right here he made many converts. Among these, one of the first, was the explorer and missionary Friar Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, who went down in history for his long journey of 1245 - anticipating by some years Marco Polo - from France to the current Mongolia, to deliver a message of peace by Pope Innocent IV to the Great Khan. From the religious viewpoint, the Trasimeno region also gave birth to Margaret of Cortona, a courageous woman of incomparable inner strength, proclaimed Saint in 1728 by Pope Benedict XIII. Hence Margaret became a glory of the Franciscan Order and the patron saint of Cortona, which for seven centuries has been preserving her body incorrupt. All this offers to the many visitors and tourists many opportunities to be seized and appears as a novel of irresistible emotions: it can be read from cover to cover, without a pause, in one go until the last page which is still unwritten and no one will ever write. Many gems are embedded in this attractive diadem, which show a territory of high environmental value, hosting many treasures - a widespread network of castles, monasteries, shrines, villages, historic houses with their clean streets which intertwine in a wonderful game of light and shadow, as in the tales of the grandmothers of old times – so difficult to find elsewhere. Some hilarious anecdotes The long history of the Trasimeno region is woven with many anecdotes which underlie the period, the customs, the traditions and specificities which characterized the habitat and way of life of this charming area. Since the anecdotes are and will be not only the salt of the greed for knowledge of scholars, but also of all human beings, I wish to recall two hilarious anecdotes which, in a time span of 523 years, saw as protagonists Hugues de Payens, the first Grand Master of the Knights Templar, and Cardinal Alderano Cybo-Malaspina. Both anecdotes - dated 1127 and 1650 respectively - happened to take place in Giorgi 46, Petrignano del Lago, a village of Castiglion del Lago, which is today home to the Country House "Le Torri di Porsenna". Why did the Templars make their first stop right along the Trasimeno lake? Because its territory was strategically located along the routes (the Via Flaminia and stretches of the Vie Cassia, Salaria, Muccia, Loreto and Francisca) which lead to the holy city of Rome, or from Rome to the ports of the Adriatic Sea where you could embark for the Holy Land. That stop of the first Grand Master of the Knights Templar witnessed their presence in vast areas of the region. Let us come to the facts, in chronological order. The Knights Templar - Hugues de Payens, a native of the small town in the French Champagne bearing the same name, together with his brother in arms Godfrey of Saint-Omer and seven other Knights, decided to found the original core of the Templar Order, by giving himself the task of ensuring the safety of the many pilgrims who kept on visiting Jerusalem. The first Grand Master was married to Catherine of Saint Clair, a Scottish woman of Norman descent, and founded the first community of Templars out of the Holy Land precisely in Scotland, on the land owned by the family of his wife. Those Knights were in effect monks, who had to dress simply and have short hair, as well as long beard and moustache. Their pure white coat, as a symbol, was to become an emblem of purity and at the same time a "shield" defending all professed Knights: in fact, only after 1147 did the Templars take the red Cross on the left shoulder. They were held in high esteem by the medieval peoples, who saw them as the "Cavalry of Christ", and embodied the true spirit of chivalry which, Bernard of Clairvaux, contributed to enhance and glorify with his writings and enterprises, which inflamed the crowds and, above all, the monarchs. (*) President of the merchant bank “La Centrale Finanziaria Generale S.p.A.” President of the “Chair for studies on peace, security and international development at the Faculty for International Relations of the Peking University, as well as “extraordinary Professor” of international economy and politics at the same University. Honorable of the Académie des Sciences of the Institut de France.

(PPN) 28 lug 2015  19:02