#ARTMOMENT: Celebrating Spring

Griffen

The Sopra griffin sounds the horn in anticipation of this year’s #calendimaggio, the ancient tournament between the two parts of Assisi — Sopra v Sotto.

The origins of “May Day” go back to medieval times and are linked to pagan customs that celebrated the return of the spring season and the renewal of the cycle of life.

In Assisi, the city was divided into “Parte de Sotto” (Lower City) and “Parte de Sopra” (Upper City), ruled respectively by the rival families of the Fiumi and the Nepis. In Ancient times these rivalries would result in deadly clashes; however, the ceremonies now simply reflect a joyful (though still fiercely competitive) event which lasts for several days. To the victors, many honors. To the losers, another year to plot.

#ARTMOMENT: An interpretation of Italian culture and history through the mind of an American.

#ARTMOMENT: Calendimaggio is Coming

Sotto and Sopra

Looking forward to #Calendimaggio, the equivalent to May Day. Historical background to the festival is the long-standing rivalry between the “Upper” and the “Lower” parts of Assisi and bloody feuds for supremacy between the Nepis and the Fiumi families who were the leaders of the two warring factions. The feuding began in the 14 Century and continued unchecked for over 200 years.

#ARTMOMENT: An interpretation of Italian culture and history through the mind of an American.

 

#ARTMOMENT: L’Olio Nuovo

Olio Nuovo

During the month of November, many cities like #Assisi celebrate the arrival of the “New Oil,” the first gentle press of the olive fruit. This first batch has a deep, pungent odor and leaves a sharp aftertaste in the back of your throat. The flavor is exquisite and can be used to complement pasta, mozzarella, and of course just simply poured over bread. #olionuovo

#ARTMOMENT: Durante il mese di Novembre, molti paesi come #Assisi festeggiano l’arrivo dell’olio nuovo; la prima pressattura del frutto dell’olivo. L’olio è pungente e lascia un retrogusto di piccante nella gola. Il sapore è così distinto che può essere utilizzato anche solo per condire la pasta, la mozzarella, oppure semplicemente per fare la bruschetta. #olionuovo

#ARTMOMENT: An interpretation of Italian culture and history through the mind of an American.

#ARTMOMENT: La Rocca Maggiore

La Rocca

#RoccaMaggiore has loomed over Assisi for almost 1,000 years, constituting the most viable fortification for their defense.  In 1198, a 16-year-old St. Francis once participated in storming the fortress during a battle between the citizens and the nobility. It was eventually rebuilt but never to its former glory.

#ARTMOMENT: An interpretation of Italian culture and history through the mind of an American.