Casperia, the wonderful and amazing medieval village
Roots rooted in rock and myth
What it is and where it is
They used to call it Aspra, but looking at the olive groves, vineyards and woods that stretch at our feet, this land seems as rich, sweet and generous as ever. We are standing on the small panoramic square of the village of Casperia. Its medieval walls rise from the bare rock, and from it they drew the strength that made them impregnable even to Frederick of Montefeltro. Oh yes, this hamlet has some to tell!
Why it is special
To get to this privileged vantage point, we walked through the village's narrow stone streets. They are laid out in concentric circles, perhaps to fit the top of the hill on which they were built, perhaps to stay as close as possible to the center of the village. One of the aspects that make walking here wonderful is the total absence of cars. The entire historic center, in fact, is a pedestrian zone. Let's face it, we would have a hard time imagining cars here, where everything seems to be made on a human scale.
Something about Casperia's history can be guessed from its churches: one, the Romanesque one, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, houses inside a panel painting by Giacomo Siciliano dated 1524 depicting the Baptism of Christ. The other, Baroque, is the Church of the Annunziata and houses the Annunciation by Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato. Two true artistic and architectural gems.
A bit of history
Like many villages, Casperia has a long and articulated history, so much so that it is lost in myth. In fact, it seems that it was one of the first towns in pre-Roman Sabinia, even mentioned by Virgil in the Aeneid. The area was also inhabited by the Romans, as numerous archaeological finds testify. The layout we can see today, however, dates back to the 10th century A.D.when the village bore the name Aspra and was surrounded by walls that are not the ones we see today. These, were built in the 13th century, drawing to Aspra the fame of Impregnable. The name changed to Casperia in recent times: as recently as 1947.
The origins of the name return to discomfort myth. After Virgil and the Aeneid, it is the turn of the universal flood. Indeed, it seems that Casperia derives from a group of exiles from the Caspian Sea area who fled the flood.
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