When Andrea De Carlo was writing “Windshift”, he must have been inspired by this place, I thought to
myself. He lives nearby, indeed, even though this is not where he was born.
I drove for miles, I don’t know how many. I passed through Sant’Angelo in Vado, the city where the young
Federico da Montefeltro used to live. He would have later become the famous Renaissance leader and
maker of Palazzo Ducale in Urbino.
This was the land of the families Montefeltro, Brancaleone, Ubaldini della Carda. A land of ancient history,
filled with fascination.
As long as I was driving uphill I felt something was leaving me. I was immersed in the woods, and the
several bends of the road were leading me into a lonely and completely new dimension. I believe it is
definitely not unknown to me, but I lost it somehow, somewhere. It felt like finding order from chaos.
I finally got there. At the gates, and still a path going slightly uphill. Pieve dei Graticcioli appeared in its
stateliness of a Romanesque building, a real witness of the past eleven centuries, that keeps in its entirety
and integrity the architectural and human history.
Here is the church, the boundary wall, the little monastery, the outdoor flight of stairs leading you to
comfortable rooms. Then slowly, but all of a sudden, I glanced over the surroundings. Where was I? Who
arrived here so many centuries ago, and why? My primitive instinct tells me, it must be because of the
water. I watched those monks looking for water, and there they found it. “There is a natural spring”,
confirms who dwells here now, “and I also use tanks to keep the water”. Just like I imagined, indeed. That
was the reason why.
In the meantime I looked around on the horizon, turning in a full circle. I couldn’t see any building, but only
green hills, woods on the infinite: the space, the world. This place gave shelter to the monks who first
came, looking for a place faraway from the world, at the times of the invasions, the sackings, and chaos.
Here they found order, and they funded one. Human history has not at all changed, we would also like to
take shelter from the world. And arriving here, you can feel that need.
The big church has not yet been restored, and this makes the place even more magical. But all the rest has
been very recently transformed into several comfortable apartments, many tasteful bedrooms, living
rooms, bathrooms, und kitchens. Even indoors, it seems like you might get lost because of all those
different views, corners, archs, paths and flights of stairs.
What is more charming, is the silence. It overtakes you and warms you inside. You may speak softly up
here. Maybe there is not even the need to speak, gestures and glances are enough. The sound of our
footsteps echoing on the outdoor vault, makes a bird fly away, an eaglet maybe. So I stop and listen to the
wind. Instinctively. I would like to be alone here. I sit for a moment, even though time has left. Then I stand
up but I feel like I’m still sitting. It feels like all that I’m doing is an echo of what I did before, a succession of
images going through my mind, as if in a movie I’m filming myself. This is again a new dimension. I get that
feeling, I’m not a stranger to it, and I have already been there before, it’s only that I can’t remember when.
As I was leaving, as we were leaving - Ciro and I - we took that feeling with us all day long, on the way back,
on the tar plains, on the highway. We felt space and time could be neverending, and we had only spent
there one hour of our earthly dimension and time.
This is what happens in magical places, I said to myself.