Last Updated on January 22, 2024 by Asfa Rasheed
Nestled in the heart of Italy, the small region of Umbria beckons travelers with its rich artistic heritage, captivating landscapes, and delectable cuisine. Beyond its well-known attractions, Umbria harbors secrets that add an air of mystery to this enchanting destination. Join us on a journey to explore Umbria from a different perspective, where mummies, giant skeletons, and underground wonders await. Are you ready to immerse yourself in the surreal and mystical atmosphere that defines this region?
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Scarzuola: The Enigmatic Ideal City
One of Umbria’s most evocative places is Scarzuola, situated in Montegabbione. Conceived by architect Tommaso Buzzi in 1978, Scarzuola transforms the former convent of St. Francis of Assisi into an ideal city inspired by neo-mannerism and surrealism. Labyrinths, giant statues, and symbolic engravings create a dreamlike atmosphere. Guided by the eccentric nephew of the creator, visitors embark on a journey of self-discovery amidst otherworldly reflections. Scarzuola becomes an allegory of human existence, challenging visitors to unravel its hidden meanings.
The Calamita Cosmica: Bridging Man and Universe
In the deconsecrated church of the Holy Trinity in Foligno, the Calamita Cosmica (Cosmic Magnet) by artist Gino de Dominicis awaits. This contemporary masterpiece features a colossal anthropomorphic supine skeleton, measuring an astonishing 24 meters. The skeleton’s extended golden shaft symbolizes the connection between man and the cosmic world. The sheer grandeur of the artwork and its exploration of the profound link between humanity and the universe leave visitors breathless.
Narni Underground: Ghosts and Coded Messages
Explore the mystical atmosphere of Narni Sotterranea (Narni Underground) in the province of Terni. Discovered in 1979 beneath an ancient Dominican convent, these dungeons reveal ancient Roman cisterns, crypts, and coded messages. The Room of Torments, once the Inquisition Tribunal’s location, showcases enigmatic graffiti filled with Masonic and esoteric symbols. Legend has it that the ghost of Giuseppe Andrea Lombardini, the prisoner responsible for the cryptic messages, still haunts the dungeons.
Campo del Sole: Italy’s Stonehenge
Discover Campo del Sole (Field of the Sun) in Punta Navaccia, overlooking Lake Trasimeno. This open-air museum, often likened to Italy’s Stonehenge, features sculptures-columns arranged in a spiral. Created by renowned artists, the spiral leads to a central table adorned with a solar symbol. Carved from “pietra serena,” a local sandstone, the sculptures invite visitors to meditate. Despite its historical significance as the site of a battle between Hannibal and the Roman army, the interpretation of this artistic ensemble remains a personal endeavor.
The Mummies Museum of Ferentillo: A Glimpse into Time
In Ferentillo, the crypt of the church of Santo Stefano houses the Mummies Museum. Here, the spontaneous mummification of corpses, buried in direct contact with the ground, took place due to chemical processes in the soil. The museum showcases 10 heads, 270 skulls, and 24 mummies, including Napoleonic soldiers and a woman with her fetus. For macabre enthusiasts, visiting the Museum of the Mummies of Ferentillo offers a captivating and eerie experience.
To truly uncover the essence of Umbria, venture beyond the ordinary and embrace the mysteries beneath its surface. Pack your bags, set forth on this intriguing journey, and let the secrets of Umbria ignite your imagination, leaving you with a profound reflection on the intricate relationship between humanity and the universe. If you love yoga and are in Italy, you’ll want to learn about this Italy Yoga Retreat, which takes place in Umbria.