Over the last few years Sant’Angelo di Roccalvecce, in the province of Viterbo, has been populated by many characters from fairy tales who have found a home on the walls and facades of its houses and buildings. Though, the most fairy-tale character is Concilia, an elderly lady who prepares cherry jams and delicious biscuits to give to visitors who wander around the village admiring these enormous fantastic representations.
Concilia’s in Wonderland
No one ever talks about Concilia, and perhaps no one has ever written about this story. To come across her is always a casual and fantastic encounter. Fantastic in the truest sense of the word. Like a child in a fairy tale, you can come across Concilia and receive a giant, crumbly biscuit with a heart of exquisite jam as a gift. You can take the cookie straight from her hands as she offers it with a big smile and a touching gaze.
But why does Concilia strive to carry out so much work? What is it that drives her to get up early in the morning to knead and bake delicious pastries to distribute to distracted strangers? Does she want to pamper travelers so that they return to visit her remote village?
Streets of Fairy Tales
Alice in Wonderland; the Little Match Girl; Little Red Riding Hood; Pinocchio; The Fairies of Avalon; Peter Pan; Ali Babà and the 40 Thieves; Don Quixote of La Mancha; Hansel and Gretel; Puss in Boots; The Sword in the Stone; The Little Prince; The Ugly Duckling; Sleeping Beauty; Cinderella; and Concilia. They are all there in the village.
And yes Concilia, because among the characters of fairy tales that color the streets of the village, is the most fairy tale of all. She is the almost unreal representation of an imaginary world in which we all would like to live. Concilia is the good fairy who puts love in the shortbread and the antagonist of the wicked witch who puts poison in the apple. She is the most moving and imaginative character of all fairy tales, yet she is the only real one.
Sant’Angelo di Roccalvecce is Magical!
On the other hand, in Sant’Angelo di Roccalvecce everything has become magical and imaginative since an enchanting idea came to the minds of a group of residents to save this hamlet from decline and abandonment. Nobody calls this village by its original name anymore, it is now the Fairy Tales village for everyone. It was transformed by an ambitious project that involves the cultural association ACAS chaired by Gianluca Chiovelli; the residents; and many talented street artists. The central core of this artistic redevelopment focuses on the idea of reviving the small village through the characters of fairy tales known all over the world and bearers of universal messages.
Instead of building new palaces or monuments to beautify the village, they thought of painting walls and houses to recover and enhance what already existed. Sant’Angelo di Roccalvecce, or rather the Fairy Tales Village. With a stroke of the wand, it was transformed into an open-air museum of popular art. Next to majestic murals stand out installations; sculptures; bas-reliefs; and mosaics — always dedicated to fairy tales, myths, and legends.
However, the real magic of this project lies in the bond that unites the generous inhabitants and the artists. In fact, the murals were largely funded by the locals while many artists donated their work.
A Real Wonderland By Locals and Artists
Sant’Angelo di Roccalvecce is therefore a real Wonderland where generosity, solidarity, and imagination have merged together to create a magical place ready to welcome visitors from all over the world.
And Concilia? The elderly lady who gives her cookies to unknown passers-by is the most enchanting protagonist of all fairy tales. The most enchanting character of all the wonders!
All photos and video provided by © Giulia Marchetti.