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Santo Stefano di Sessanio: The Village and What to Visit


(Photo by Marco Rotellini)

 

Going down from the high lands of the Campo Imperatore's Upland, a white burgh overlooked by a beautiful tower, charms the traveler as an ancient music arising from a long past time, through the mists of centuries... 

Built with white calcareous stone, made dull by the time, the village is an artwork on the top of a small hill, in the middle of a valley.
Its fourteenth-century cylindrical tower is the symbol of this lovely medieval miniature. Named "The Medici's Tower" for the Tuscan Medici family, the tower was built during the medieval age, when the village was an important sightseeing point of the Carapelle Calvisio's Baronage.
Unfortunately, the earthquake on 6th April 2009 ruined it. However the rebuilding has already started and it will be finished within two years.

Medici's Tower (photo by Andrea Morelli)


The entrance of the village, on the south-east side, is the Medici's Door, on the top of which is the symbol of the Seigniory of Florence, who left several traces in the medieval architecture of this small and wonderful burgh.

Santo Stefano di Sessanio is a labyrinth of narrow stone streets, arches and galleries, charming the visitor, giving him the feeling of security, and the charm and magic which bring him back to times past, to a medieval age which can be lived again in the burghs of the Baronage's Lands (Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Castel del Monte, Rocca Calascio, Carapelle Calvisio).
Each narrow street leads to the top of the village, where the tower dominates the buildings.
Walking through the narrow stone streets of the burgh, the visitor can admire the beautiful fifteenth-century houses, the most important of which is the Captain's House, close to the tower. The name comes from when it was occupied by the fascist army during the Second World War.

The loggias of the Captain's House were made by the master stonecutters from Florence. The same stonecutters built the wonderful royal palace, the Palace of the Loggias.

All the Santo Stefano's burgh is ringed by the famous "wall-houses", which are very high houses with thick walls and small windows, from which it was easy to defend the village.
The "wall-houses" or "tower-houses" are the peculiarity of some burghs of the Baronage's Lands, like Castel del Monte, but only in Santo Stefano di Sessanio are there  the famous "Buscella", a narrow hole in the walls, where, as the ancient stories tell, the young lovers met up to kiss.

The name of Santo Stefano di Sessanio comes from the church of its saint patron, the Santo Stefano Protomartire's Church, built between the XIV and XV century in the cemetery of the village. 
But the church that charms the visitor is the Madonna del Lago's Church, built in the XVII century. Outside of the walls of the village, on the green pastures, the church is mirrored in the water of the lake.

The Madonna del Lago's Church


 




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