Collepino and the Aqueduct

“Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Take your son Shear-jashub and go out to meet King Ahaz. You will find him at the end of the aqueduct that feeds water into the upper pool, near the road leading to the field where cloth is washed. Tell him to stop worrying. Isaiah 7:3 NLT

            Collepino, Italy is a small abandoned village above Spello in the Umbrian valley on the side of the mountain. Smugglers have used this town for millennium because of its position overlooking two valleys.  There was a communal oven to bake bread so there were not as many fires in the individual houses.  Less fires, less smugglers are noticed. 

Town Square
Collepino Steps

            The doors in this small town were amazing.  It is still used mostly as a summer retreat for those who own space here passed down from generations.  The hike down the mountain from Collepino to Spello, occurred after navigating the single lane road up in a small bus.  I was glad to walk.

            After a light rain, the stones were slick on the rocky slope down to the olive groves. We walked 3.6 miles on a well-marked trail along a Roman aqueduct that fed Spello from Mount Subasio.  The aqueduct was 18 inches to 2 foot wide in most places.  It was above us, beside us and under us with fountains and turning “snail descent” of brick to slow the water overflow.  

            A muddy Springer Spaniel followed us on the path of terraced fields, red poppies, yellow broom brush and wildflowers.   Cherry trees and olive trees are grown on the farms. Matteo and Sara were are guides amid alternating sun, rain, warm and cold.  

Our Host

            There was a viewpoint with carved seats in logs to sit and look at Spello in the distance. Thunder and dark black clouds were ahead of us over Spello.  The temperature dropped and we had a few minutes to put on rain gear.  It poured. And poured.  And poured the rest of the way.

Spello from Collepino

What do you like about small abandoned villages? How would you like to live in an area with few modern conveniences? 

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