At 5:30 I went up to Santo Stefano, the church. The last time I was in “our” church was 1957. The church was open for mass. I got there early enough to shoot before mass started. The church is not well taken care of. The frazione– section – Santo Stefano probably lost the most people to immigration and the area is just now beginning to revitalize. (Some of the housing is being bought by young couples and renovated. This is a different process than building new. There has been some new development in the frazione, but the old medieval housing stock has been vacant for many years. Since 2006, I have noticed slow but constant move to revitalize this top of the mountain frazione.)
I shot the things I remembered – the painting of Steven being stoned by the mob, the statue of the Dolorosa, the ceiling. I had totally forgotten about the Dolorosa. This is a classic statue, with Mary in black and in a very sorrowful pose. This image has been in my head forever and I could recognize this statue in the various churches through out Italy, but I never knew where the seminal image came from. It came from the Dolorosa in the church of Santo Stefano.
On leaving the church, there was a group filling bottles from the fountain at the bottom of the church steps. It was my job, as a child, to go up every night to this fountain and fill the jugs so that we would have water for breakfast the next day.
Next I headed down to the Vico, because that church would soon be opened. The Vico is the southern most frazione of Aprigliano. It’s where the train station is. However, it also seems to be the frazione most separated. This is mainly because the Cosenza diocese has assigned a different priest to the Vico church than to the other churches in Aprigliano. This slight change has people talking about the Vico as a separate village. I don’t know if this is true among the people who live in Vico. This also means that the rituals that create the calendar that this area lives by is interrupted and having two different priests managing the church schedules. The Vico group co-ordinates its feast days and its celebrations with the churches on the other side of the valley rather than with the churches of Aprigliano.
The place was a bit intimidating. It’s also the one frazione that no one in my family is associated with. When I got to the piazza to ask directions to the church, a young man insisted on showing me the road, fine. As soon as we got away from the piazza he tried to sell me a lottery ticket. I told him no. When I got to the church, it wasn’t opened and there was a large crowd of children playing soccer in the square in front. It didn’t feel right, so I took pics of the outside and then left.