Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Oropa and the Chapel of the Black Madonna
It took us a long time to drive up to Oropa, to visit the Chapel of the Black Madonna. It was a beautiful day, but as we finally wound up into the crevice of the mountain where the enclave is nestled, clouds covered us. Oropa is a pilgrimage sight, and there were Roman bridges arching over us all along the mountain roads, for those who travelled on their knees. We parked the car, and explored the grounds. On this rainy Tuesday afternoon, the place was mostly deserted, and spooky. We roamed the chapels, looking at the halls and halls of "Gracie Receivuta" prayers for miracles and praise for the Black Madonna made for hundreds of years, and and gazed at the Madonna Nera herself, in all her incarnations. We broke for lunch (which I was very graciously treated to, which was gorgeous, and where I tried everything except the antipasti of tongue) and on our way up to the ristorante, found a beautiful of chapel with the roof caved in. For obvious reasons, we dubbed it capella dei boobies, and made our way home.