THE 10 “CAPITELLI”
THE 10 “CAPITELLI”
A season is not enough to capture the color of a place, nor the luck that welcomes you as a flower in a field, not even the intelligence it contains within has the evocative power of a man dedicated to the devotion of the Sacred. Well, the votive shrines or “Capitelli”, the crosses, and the tabernacles that we find hiking in the historic area of Soave, evoke devotion to Saints, Our Lady or Christ, and indicate the sense of sacred tied inextricably to nature, as our ancestors worked the land. The birth of a peasant shrine, a small brick building, is a slow path, which ripens in the light of the sun and the stars, day after day, season after season.
The tradition here is extraordinary and widespread, and leaves a distinctive, positive presence on the landscape. Along the paths, the streets, near hidden and inaccessible places, sacred images, alters and icons have been erected. The earth is a constant, as the peasant farmers seek divine intervention.
The route begins in Piazza di Monteforte. Dirt roads flanked by vineyards lead you into the hills of the Soave Classico.
The 10 “Capitelli” represented hard work, popular devotion, but also hopes and dreams. The first shrine, an unpretentious Mary with Jesus, is on the edge of the road that connects the Val Ponsara with the Valle dell’Acqua after Piazza Silvio Venturi.
Close by, is a pine-shaded cottage. Take a left and the road begins to rise into the hills until a plateau is reached. As the road curves, the St. Peter shrine appears, represented as a simple sailboat. Here there is a nice view of the Valle dell’Acqua, the Tramenalto, and the peaks of Calvarina to the North.
Walk further on and then to the left, as the road curves, the shrine of Foscarin dedicated to the Holy Family appears, surrounded by hillside vineyards. Returning to the path, keep left as you make a deep descent to the 4th shrine, where the Madonna awaits us with child, with a view over the Tramigna valley. Further on, you take the road that leads to Soave and the landscape changes: villages appear on the plains and hillsides, with the castle dominating in the distance. Instead of heading towards Soave, take a left towards Monteforte and continue the ascent to the 5th shrine San Vincenzo Ferreri, protector of the vineyards against hail, which is symbolically protected by a solitary and vigilant cypress. Here you are in the cru vineyards Pigno. The journey continues along a ridge. A short detour takes you you to the 6th shrine, “Bassanella”. In the niche, a vaguely naive painting depicts Our Lady, to whom a specific invocation is addressed: “Please bless the fruit of our work “.
Continuing along the slope that faces Soave, we reach “piazza scheeti “, a sort of open balcony overlooking the Po Valley. Here it is worth stopping for the breadth and richness of the panorama. Often the horizon fades into the mist, but on wind-blown days you can see the blue profile of the Apennines, almost a fringe embroidered with sky. Slightly to the right you can spot the Illasi castle and on the opposite side the tip of our bell tower.
At the end of the detour, you return to the ridge road, passing the borders of Monteforte and Soave to arrive at the 7th shrine.