To me the Valnerina is Umbria’s greenest heart. The wild and rugged scenery in the Nera River Park, the tiny hilltop villages, the open views, the grazing cows on the fields and the green forests. This area is incomparable with other parts of Umbria.
Unfortunately I don’t visit the Valnerina area enough, even though I love the Sibillini Mountains and hiking in the Nera River Park.
Ferentillo is a small hilltop hamlet in the Valnerina and has a very unexpected museum: a mummy museum! Years ago I’ve been here. This time I decided to visit it again and to write a blog about it.
The entrance is 3,00 Euro. Before you enter the museum they give you a guide in English or in Italian. It is forbidden to take pictures inside. Pictures of the mummies are not supposed to circulate on the web.
The museum is located in the Romanesque crypt below the sixteenth century church of St. Stephen.
In 1804-1806 under the marble floor of St. Stephens church, the well preserved bodies buried here were found. Some are still dressed in their clothes. Some still possess their hair, skin, beard, nails and teeth.
The mummification of the bodies was due to the air beneath the church containing a type of micro-organism that was solely responsible for mummification. This in combination with the minerals in the earth, a micro-fungus and the air that travels through the crypt from openings along the wall made sure that the bodies were well preserved in a natural way.
The Mummy museum is interesting. You should go there when you’re in this area. For more information visit the website.
At the entrance one can read this:
“Oggi a me, domani a te. Io fui quel che tu sei, tu sarai quel che io sono. Pensa mortal, che il tuo fine è questo, e pensa pur che ciò sarà ben presto”.
Today me, tomorrow you. I was what you are and you will be what I am. Mind mortal soul, that your end is this and consider also that it will be quite soon.
A true verse….
-post by Sylvia van der male-