Is Collecorvino Still There? What a thing to ask. Of course it’s still there.
It may not be as we last saw it but it hasn’t disappeared overnight (or since we were last in Abruzzo). Somebody would have told us.
So why do I bother asking the question. The not very obvious answer is that when we return to Abruzzo we have a few rituals. Some of them are sensible like unpacking and tidying, some of them are sociable like having an aperitivo near Piazza Garibaldi, and some of them, like checking to see if Collecorvino is still there, are downright silly.
In the case of Collecorvino (PE) I’m the silly one. I usually turn to P and say “c’mon, let’s go check on Collecorvino.”
It doesn’t require much effort. It can be accomplished by walking past Emiliana the rather excellent pasticceria on Via Vittorio Veneto (hard for me), walking past the shoe shop Milord (very hard for Paula) and stopping just as the SR151 turns for Penne.
Crossing the road and looking north-east across the valley, unless it’s suddenly has acquired Bridadoon-like qualities you’ll see Collecorvino, no more that 6 km away.
The chiesa di Sant’Andrea Apostolo (church of Saint Andrew) with its distinctive twin square bell-towers is a dead give-away. Originally established in 866 the current building dates from the 18th century.
Collecorvino takes its name from the Lombard nobleman Corbino di Alderamo, who took charge of the hill and the surrounding area in the 9th century, giving us Colle di Corbino.
I suppose these days the chiesa di Sant’Andrea Apostolo has one and a half towers. Soon after the earthquake of April 2009 I looked across from the usual spot and got a shock to see its distinctive form altered. I’ve assumed the tower was damaged in the earthquake and had to be removed. Considering each time I arrive in Loreto Aprutino I ask if Collecorvino is still there, seeing the new tower formation was a bit disconcerting.
Searching through my photos of Collecorvino I was surprised to see that I’ve taken so few since April 2009. In the selection above only the not very sharp final image shows the change to the towers. I’ve plenty taken prior to the earthquake but very few taken after. I don’t think it’s deliberate. At least I don’t think it was a conscious decision.
I’ve visited it, had coffee there and tried to get into the church, but it was closed. There was a period that every church I tried to get into was closed. I know the earthquake had a lot to do with it but I was beginning to feel as though somebody was calling ahead. “He’s on his way, let’s play a joke, lock the doors.”
I consider Collecorvino, Santa Maria in Piano and the Majella to be key landmarks that define the view from Loreto Aprutino.
This summer I plan to give Collecorvino the attention it deserves. My plan (I hope P agrees) is to walk there in the morning, visit the church, have a good wander around the old town (it won’t take long I think), find somewhere to have lunch and then walk back.
It’s a sort of pilgrimage. One I’ve been thinking of doing for a while. It shouldn’t be too hard and it should be possible to stay off the busier roads. I’ve already looked at Google Maps and it tells me that if I give myself about an hour and a half I should be able to get there walking on country lanes.
Maybe we’ll bring a picnic and just stop wherever feels right along the way. Seeing the inside of chiesa di Sant’Andrea Apostolo would be good, as would visiting Chiesa di San Rocco and Chiesa di San Patrignano, a convent with a Baroque façade.
When I’m there I plan to do one very important thing. I’ll find an appropriate spot, look south-west, take a deep breath and see if Loreto Aprutino is still there!
It better be.