Direttore responsabile Maurizio Pizzuto
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mer, 23 ago  2017 
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Cultura - A jewel named Trasimeno! (2)
Roma, 28 lug (Prima Pagina News) By Giancarlo Elia Valori (*) Those missions were aimed at protecting the pilgrims along the roads leading to the holy places, both in the Holy Land against the Muslims, and in the rest of the world from raiders, robbers and marauders. After leaving Jerusalem, in 1127 the Grand Master Hugues de Payens embarked on a recruiting trip to Europe, which lasted three years, setting his stops in such a way as to be in a position to give instructions to the various affiliates, in the various regions, along the way. After a lightning visit to Scotland, at his wife's family, he passed through England, where he proceeded to the designation of the regional "Master", Hugh d'Argentin, and then through other states up to Italy, together with five other knights: the above mentioned Hugh d’Argentin, his brother-in-law Henri de Saint Clair, Count Hugues 1er de Champagne, Gaufridus de Sancto Aldemaro and Archambaud de Saint-Aignan. As recounted by the records, it was in the year 1127 that, in a late morning of the first week of September, the six knights riding West Frisian black horses reached the Trasimeno lake, where they bathed in the cool and clear lake water. Since they were hungry because it was lunch time, they were suddenly attracted by a succulent smell of roast coming from the religious complex nearby: the monastery of San Secondo, run by an abbot and five hard-working and efficient monks. With a view to celebrating the birthday of the abbot, Father Bachisio Mulargia (of clear Sardinian origins), the monks had prepared an enormous roast, including suckling pig and lamb, together with tasty side dishes. The welcome was exceptional and irresistible. They ate plenty of food and drank at least fifteen litres of red wine produced in the monastery. After eating so many delicacies and drinking many litres of wine, all the tablemates, one after the other, overcome by sleep, slept soundly for many hours. They woke up at dinner time and the meal was eaten indulging in revelry until very late at night. The records do not mention the length of their stay at the monastery. As we will see later on, while reporting the other anecdote, the Knights Templar were definitely struck not only by the highly tasty delicacies, but also by the atmosphere of harmony, congeniality, helpfulness and hospitality of the monks, led by Father Bachisio Mulargia, a wholehearted and enthusiastic "big man": a truly impeccable "host". The Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church – On the occasion of the much awaited 16th Jubilee of 1650 under Pope Innocent X, Cardinal Alderano Cybo-Malaspina had been delegated to open the "Holy Door". At that time, in Rome, the very powerful Donna Olimpia Maidalchini, nicknamed Pimpaccia, set the scene and dominated also for her feminine attractiveness. Within the Church, in particular, she had a royal place because she was the spouse of the Pope's late brother, whence her power and influence also on the decision-making process. Unfortunately Cardinal Alderano Cybo-Malaspina was late. In the absence of radio, television, newspapers and even "tam-tam", news spread with the "word of mouth", which had at least two disadvantages. Firstly news arrived systematically with considerable delay; secondly news created concern, suspicion and sometimes even alarm because it was impossible to explain the reasons for impunity. Therefore no one was able to provide an explanation. Somebody had even suggested the possibility of an ambush or an attack. The shrewd Donna Olimpia took advantage of the Cardinal’s delay and, as usual, seized the opportunity and made is favourite grandson (who was just seventeen) be nominated Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, thus solving the problem with even the blessing and gratitude of the Roman Pontiff! What about the Eminent Cardinal Alderano Cybo-Malaspina? He was presented with a fait accompli and had to accept the fact and yield to the evidence. The chronicler noted that he was not upset and, indeed, he thanked God for sparing him the suffering for the consequences - which, of course, he considered incurable and serious – avoided for the providential solution by Donna Olimpia who, being lucky beyond measure, had also the privilege of being thanked by the eminent Cardinal replaced by her young grandson. The reason for the delay deserves - indeed demands - an explanation and a justification. Arrived with a six-horse carriage at the periphery of the Western side of the famous Trasimeno lake, also known as the Lake of Perugia, near the ancient Via Flaminia – currently Giorgi 46, Petrignano del Lago, a village of Castiglion del Lago - the illustrious Cardinal noticed suggestive and stunning vegetation, a naturalistic oasis of green and peace with a charming religious complex: the monastery of San Secondo, run by a prior and four dynamic and versatile Olivetan Benedictine monks, environmentalists ahead of their time. The welcome was exceptional and irresistible. In a blink of an eye, the prior - Father Daniele – prepared one of those lavish meals that usually gourmets define as Lucullean. The Cardinal ate plenty of food and drank rivers of wine produced in the monastery. Between a big goat leg and a glass of wine, he began to feel that he could not keep his eyes open and was about to fall in the arms of Morpheus for a deep - and ultimately also deserved - sleep. The prior realized it and made immediately prepare a goose-feather bed complete with a purple rose canopy. No one is able to tell how long the eminent Cardinal slept and snored. But for grace received and thanks to the direct testimony of a prince of the Church, everyone knows that from that day on, it has been decided to build a beautiful accommodation structure on the ruins of the original monastery, which still retains its period architecture soberly and elegantly designed for hosting many guests and ensuring their well-being. The two historical traces immediately focus the attention on the old refectory - so dear both to the Knights Templar and Cardinal Alderano Cybo-Malaspina - where now there is one of the most renowned restaurants in the region, located within the charming Country House complex "Le Torri di Porsenna" (telephone: 075 832679 - 075 9528338 - Fax 075 8352244 - Mobile: 335 1253525; info@countryhouseletorridiporsenna.com - letorridiporsenna@gmail.com - www.countryhouseletorridiporsenna. com). A stop in this place is an experience of which you and your taste buds will always cherish the memory and which, as if by magic, turns into poignant and moving nostalgia. Here Culinary Art (with capital “C” and capital “A”) has the magic of a mystery to be unravelled. And much more besides! With all its splendour and charm it keeps on proposing itself as an "oasis" of relaxation and pleasure managed with modern versatility by Bruno and Marisella, smart and brilliant entrepreneurs who become, at first glance, irresistibly nice and hospitable. Then, what they "propose" and offer does the rest. And the miracle inevitably occurs - as happened in the case of the two illustrious people of the past. The attractive "mystery" of this charming Country House – immersed in the countryside characterized by enchanting and unspoilt nature where you spontaneously feel the desire to relax, refresh, smell aromas and taste unique delicacies – lies also in the fact of being "involved" in this charming experience. Furthermore the setting, the atmosphere, the service, the cleanliness, the welcome and the cost are absolutely superlative ingredients. The high professionalism of the staff is masterfully highlighted by the daily example of the excellent cook Mary, who must be credited for stirring the customers’ "unbridled curiosity" to savour the "delicacies" she promotes and imposes, sure of being rewarded by a standing ovation. Bruno and Marisella are worth being praised and encouraged for their proactive dynamism thanks to which the Trasimeno region can be certain of becoming one of the most charming national and international tourist destination - to the benefit and promotion of the Umbria region. Speaking of this lovely region, both the Grand Master Hugues de Payens and Cardinal Alderano Cybo-Malaspina used to say: "when you know it is easy to love it!". It sounds like a slogan. Indeed, it is also a slogan. But it is mainly a musical phrase written and performed by these two great personages. In the name and on behalf of past and current Umbria, but particularly of future Umbria – forever. (*) 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  19:05