A European Jerusalem
When, because of an adventurous story, one has to undergo the oppression of tyranny, it is even better to understand how precious the freedom is. Acquapendente, a small town in the province of Viterbo, knows the problem well. It was, in fact, long dominated by the lieutenant of Emperor Federico I Barbarossa who rebelled in mass destroying the castle symbol of imperial power. The place is proud of its independent desire for expression and demonstrates it through an excursus, which starts from the art of the past to embrace the contemporary one.
The uprising against the empire
To begin with, you must visit the Acquapendente Cathedral and the 12th century Romanesque crypt, with the Sanctuary of the Holy Sepulcher, the oldest copy in Europe of the original preserved in Jerusalem. Whether or not the site is rich is impressive. The festival of the Madonna del Fiore (scheduled for the third Sunday of May) is to be considered as a theme. A tribute to Mary - which is repeated every third Sunday of May - whose legend attributes the merit of inspiring the 1166 revolt against the Emperor. It is said that two farmers witnessed the bloom of a cherry tree now dry and interpreted the divine will, infusing in the people a spirit of rivalry that led to the end of imperial regency and the independence of the city. For this occasion a real "contest" is launched that involves the whole territory and for which so-called pugnals are made. These are fifteen great works realized with mosaic technique by groups of artists and citizens who portray, precisely, the theme of flowering and that of freedom. These works, unique in their kind, are exhibited in the streets and squares of the Old Town, pending the proclamation of the six winners, which takes place at the end of the day. The pugnals are then kept throughout the year in the Cathedral.
Urban Vision Festival
Still art, but more modern, for the Urban Vision Festival: two days born from the will to make art, music and gastronomy the main tools for communicating and knowing their territory. For this event, the town of Upper Tuscia hosts photographic, pictorial exhibitions, permanent street art works and live-made panels such as the murals of Eime, Kadmeia, Chekos and Max Petrone visible in the old town of Acquapendente.