Photographer's Note

Hermitage of San Lorenzo - Vallerano (VT)

The so-called settlement occupies a tufaceous ridge about 2 kilometers south of Vignanello, 2.5 kilometers southeast of Vallerano and less than 1 kilometer northeast of Orte, along the route of the current Orte - Amelia provincial road. There is not much historical information about the area, which is now uninhabited.
The settlement perhaps rises on an area of Faliscan necropolis, it is very likely that it was not a cave monastery, but a rural settlement with its church, whose denomination is unknown. Perhaps it refers to a Benedictine community dependent on the abbey of Farfa, in fact in the tenth century the area was included in Farfa's possessions.
The church and the settlement of San Lorenzo are certainly active in the tenth century, but it is not known when they were founded or when they were abandoned.

Along the path to the hermitage there are a series of caves, dug into the tuff wall, which denounce a still recent use and are often cluttered with material. One has a manger dug in the side compartment. A path, recently arranged and secured with a fixed rope, but with no more stable anchors, you need to be careful, it goes down the steep escarpment below and allows you to enter with the help of some steps into a long underground: a corridor connects a succession of rooms, divided by thin tuff walls, each with a large window or a door open on the ditch.
On the lower levels there are other underground rooms, one with a semicircular cavity probably an oven, another in the shape of a square with steps at the entrance, and still a rectangular one larger than the previous one, roughly chiseled with a niche and holes at the back wall. Finally, an even larger room, always rectangular. On the left there are two connected rooms, in one of them, perhaps the church, there are traces of plaster on the walls where, in an unreadable way, you can see a fresco depicting, in the center of the composition, the Madonna enthroned in a front position, which supports the blessing Child on his knees; the caption was read on the sides of the figure. On the sides there are two figures of angels, of which the left one is well preserved, identified by a caption as MI [chael]. The angel on the right, of which he remains part of the garment, is probably identifiable with the archangel Gabriel. At the base of the no longer readable composition, there is an inscription on two lines.
In the lower part of the composition a velarium is painted. To the right there are five rooms, two landslides, two more rectangular ones and a last room overlooking the settlement a chamber tomb with arcosoli superimposed on the three walls. Also to the east you meet another nucleus and going up, along a wall made of blocks of Roman mortar on the tuff,
At the lower level there is a small cavity where you can see a staircase also dug into the tuff, to access the upper level where several niches are visible, ten in number, which make up a small necropolis.
An elementary caution in the movements is required for the proximity of the steep cliff walls and unprotected openings.

Fis2, pierrefonds, johnjmoe, PiotrF, mcmtanyel has marked this note useful

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 18481 W: 130 N: 39176] (210314)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2020-01-10
  • Categories: Architecture
  • Exposure: f/0.1, 30 seconds
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2020-01-15 0:38
Viewed: 202
Points: 34
  • None
Additional Photos by Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 18481 W: 130 N: 39176] (210314)
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