Hermitages, monasteries and villages, record places for the heart

Santa Maria di Pulsano, Monte Sant'Angelo

“The place for the heart”, the most loved by Italians in the last census promoted by the FAI, the Environment Fund, looks like a magical part of Cappadocia, dotted with inaccessible rock-cut gray hermitages, hanging over steep gorges and quiet. Unknown to most Italians, the complex of chapels of the Abbey of Santa Maria di Pulsano, Monte Sant’Angelo is actually in the province of Foggia. And it ended up in first place with 34,118 votes.

A real find. Ranked second with 26,150 votes is the House Desanti Bossi, an extraordinary nineteenth-century villa in a state of total neglect, in the heart of Novara, designed by Alessandro Antonelli (the same one of the Mole). Third, with 19,238 reports, the little eighteenth-century church, closed to the public, of Santa Caterina, in Lucca. Known as the “church of the cigar rollers,” because visited by the women working in the nearby tobacco factory.

“The inventory of places for the heart went with a bang this year – proudly announces Marco Magnifico, executive vice president of FAI. – If the first edition had gained only 20 000 votes and the fourth had got to 140 000 now, with the fifth, we have a record of 450 000 votes. An incredible success, largely related to the lucky portrait of Garibaldi, used this year to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. “Our towns, our castles, our monasteries are the symbol of our national identity which need to be to defended,” warns Ilaria Borletti Buitoni, President of the FAI. While Giulia Maria Mozzoni Crespi, combative honorary chairman, does not cease to denounce the shameful political neglect of our landscape.

A census that lets you discover extraordinary beauty often hidden, ignored or completely forgotten. As the large and imposing ruins of the Angevin Fortress Svevo of Lucera, always in Puglia, in the province of Foggia, ranked fourth with almost 16 000 votes. Or the curious wireless station “Guglielmo Marconi” in the park of San Rossore, near Pisa, which opened in 1911 in the presence of the famous inventor, and where in 1931 the SOS of the Titanic was received.

Among the places for the heart, in large cities, the historic Filadelfia Stadium in Turin, built in 1926. The same one which for over thirty years has hosted the games of Torino Calcio. In Milan, the century-old renovated Pizzigoni School, famous for its original teaching. While in Rome wins, surprisingly, the footer of marble, nicknamed “Big Foot“, an important piece of an abandoned statue of the Roman era.

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