A Village with a Colorful Past ~
Lorraine Carey #OurAuthorGang
The enchanted village of Pacentro, with its colorful past is located in the province of L’Aquila in the Abruzzo region of Italy. It is a fully preserved historic medieval village just 110 miles east of Rome.
It is coined as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, dating back to the ninth century. The Caldora Castle, which towers over the village, was built by the Cantelmo Lords and then occupied by several various feudal lords.
The Caldora family ruled over the village from the late 13th century
until their defeat by the Angevin Kings from Naples in the 15th century. The village was then overtaken by the Orsini family who were allies with the Angevin royalty. Combining the wealth of both families resulted in remodeling the castle and expanding the town.
There are rumors of secret underground chambers and tunnels under the castle that were used by the Knights Templar to hold secret meetings.
Most who visit will admit there really is some residual energy here. My husband and I both experienced this on our visit, and this was the inspiration to write my novel, Beloved Sacrifice. There were whispers in every nook and cranny in this village telling me to do so.
Enjoy reading my account of what took place on my visit there.
The Spirits Were My Travel Agents ~
It was the best vacation of my life. My hubby had surprised me with tickets to Italy for my birthday. I had always wanted to visit the village of Pacentro, where my ancestors came from. This quaint medieval village dates back to the ninth century. What I had looked forward to most was visiting the cemetery to find the graves of my ancestors, and my grandmother’s house.
That day my heart raced with anticipation as we drove up the hill, seeing the Caldora castle tower peeking out of this storybook village.
An Early Morning Encounter~
Our first day entailed an early walk. The one side of the road was thick with trees belonging to the Majella forest. On the other side of the road was a guardrail. I stopped to admire the beautiful view from where I was perched. It felt like I had slipped back into time with the castle, the church, and the stone villas that crammed the tiny walkways. The windowsills were dotted with pots of various vibrant flowers.
My husband and I became startled when the church bells rang three times, which were accompanied by the sound of howling wolves. I locked eyes with him and we both knew something very magical was in the air. I turned to the other side of the road to see a small shrine for the Virgin Mary, with a well of running water falling over the rocks into a pond below. We walked over to the shrine and I was immediately overcome with a feeling of comfort. My husband instructed me to take off my shoes and walk in the pond water. “You’ll feel the connection,” he said. I walked into the pond, closer to the Virgin Mary statue, and noticed the many coins that sparkled down from beneath the water. My feet were picking up a strange and wonderful vibration that coursed all the way up my legs. I looked at him with amazement wondering just how he knew this. And who was supposed to have the connection here? This was the place of my ancestors, yet he knew how I would receive it.
We discussed the sequence of events that had unfolded: three church bells, three howls, and a spiritual site. Something was certainly underfoot.
Locked up and Loving it ~
Later that afternoon, we had finally made it to the old cemetery just before dusk. We parked our car and entered through the majestic black iron gates. I eagerly rushed into the walled area, which housed many graves mounted in the wall. I began searching for my great-grandmother’s grave, first. A loud alarm was set off and we wondered if it was a car alarm. When we heard the final clang, we knew those huge iron gates had just closed. Yes, we were locked in the cemetery and it was only minutes away from getting dark. My husband suggested we waste no time getting out of there. I protested, but to no avail. My husband noticed a large fence covering an area where some construction was taking place. He knocked it down and we looked at the drop-off below. It was at least a thirty-foot drop. He told me to lie down on my belly as he pulled me up the hill and out of the cemetery.
We made it to the car, trying to rehash what had really happened there. A small local restaurant was just up the road, and we were famished. The atmosphere was very seventies and they even played music from the time period. My husband and I both, once again, were feeling like we were in a place that time forgot. I made a run to the restroom while we waited on our food. Trying to emerge, I found myself locked in. I jiggled and pulled at the old doorknob, with no luck. I started banging on the door until the waitress had walked by and heard me. She managed to open it with ease. “No one has ever gotten locked in here!” she joked.
When I returned to our table my husband was sitting there, sipping wine, unaware of my long absence. I told him of my experience. He just looked at me and said, “I think someone wants you to stay here.”
I thought about his words and couldn’t help but wonder if the spirits of my ancestors had planned this most amazing trip.