“Andiamo, Let’s Go!”
Heading toward Spoleto, there is a mountain road that leads to “sacred woods”. Old growth forest rewards you after many harrowing hairpin curves in a tour bus. It is quiet. Moss is growing on trees and the paths have wooden cross fences. It is raining lightly.
Our guide was from Spoleto and has memories of coming here for picnics with her grandmother.
A ‘translator rock’ sits in the middle of the woods similar to the Rosetta stone.
There are grottos in the hills. Grottos are no more than holes in a cave in the rocks. Several saints have lived here in keeping with St. Francis teachings of poverty.
“The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.” Hebrews 11:38-39 NIV
Love the bathroom sign.
A hermitage dedicated to St. Francis was the highlight of the Sacred Woods. Listen. You may hear the ten Franciscan monks at choir practice in the restored hermitage behind the closed doors
The cells where they sleep are holes with wooden beds and a wood pillow. There are jars for water available. A simple and uncomplicated life in the Convent Primitiva, built in 1218.
How would you cope with being in a quiet secluded place with a few other people? Would you miss the modern conveniences of running water, toilets and soft beds? What would you like?