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  • Molly Scarborough

Sarteano: Monticchiello

All the clocks are broken in Sarteano

It's always 9:40 at Trattoria Tripolitania. Even the public clocks outside are wrong. Almost all of them. The clock tower clock is right though. Thank the lord. Haha.

Today some of us went to Monticchiello.

We visited the museum there.

There is an upside down tree at the very centre of the museum. It is said it is this way up to expose the roots. By exposing the roots the community can discover their roots and celebrate them too.

A stair case curls around the tree leading to the roots of the tree.

Teatro Povero are the community based theatre company here in Monticchiello. And they are said to have put together this museum for the community.

We have visited on an anniversary of an important event to Monticchiello. The Battle of Monticcheiello. However celebrations and commemorations of this event happen on the closest Sunday.

On the 6th April in 1944 a rebellion happened.

Lives were saved that day. The Germans had lined the majority of the Monticchiello population up against a village wall. They were ready to kill them. Ready to shot. They had orders. However a local woman managed to convince the German men not to kill the majority of the village.

"On 6 April of 1944, Giorgio Alberto Chiurco, who was Prefect of Siena under the Fascist Republic, decided to send all the militiamen he had available (around 450) to confront the small but strong group of anti-fascist partisans who were camped in the locality of Monticchiello. After a long battle, the fascist detachment was forced into a rapid retreat. At dawn the following morning, a German platoon arrived in Monticchiello with clear orders to sack the whole area and shoot the inhabitants of the village. The soldiers burst into all the houses, arrested all the people, and lined them up under their machine guns in front of the wall beside the village gate. The massacre was avoided thanks to the intervention of Irma Angheben, the German wife of the principal landlord in Monticchiello, supported by the parish priest Don Marino Torriti." (Taken from the Teatro Povero website)

We also learned about a children's figure here in Monticchellio. An old lady on a broom who delivers sweets to children on 6th January of each year.

After visiting the museum we walked around the village, stayed for dinner and then sat in on Teatro Povero's pitch for their next play.

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