Thursday, June 26, 2008

Iconicelle (which means as much as small, lovely icons) are en expression of simple popular faith. You see them all over the place in old Italian towns, and sometimes I wonder if there are also modern versions of it.

They are holy images and symbols placed in all places visited by many people: usually at crossroads, under arches. The idea used to be that people, on their way to work, could say a small silent prayer or cross themselves to invoke protection for their businesses and journeys.

Here a few of them, all pictures were made by Antonio Di Maggio.

This Madonna, not very visible from behind the protecting grate, is in Ofena:

These fresco's were partially deleted when the house was renovated. Pity. They can be found in Ofena, in via dell'Ospedale.

In via dell'Ospedale, a bit higher, they also placed this votive lamp. No wonder, as being there a hospital people needed some moral support when walking that street.

Not only Ofena has lots of iconicelle. Here a couple from Fontecchio. As the name of this village already suggests, In Fontecchio they had a beatiful Fountain, and this Madonna is placed just above the washing basin. The stone ornament on the right side is a details of the decorative fountain.

Another iconicella in Fontecchio is this one:

Most of this images are quite worn out because of age, traffic fumes, weather, light. This is inherent to their function of road altars.

Other were saved and protected in museums, which is all very well for the art works, but pity for the passers-by.

Still other were placed in cripts, as this one:

But many more can be found in the "institutional" places: churches, abbeys, monasteries, cemeteries. God knows if we lack any of these in Abruzzo.

Still in need of spiritual inspiration? Come and see by yourelf.

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