“What good is a road if it doesn’t lead to a church?

Repentance, Dengiz Abuladze 1987

Sacred shrines are scattered along the streets. 

They appear as silent guardians of faith, witnesses of a past that has a strong link with the nature of these places. 

Today they seem to be immobile guardians in a changing world, historical testimony of ancient popular devotions.

Ex voto and votive frescoes depict nature, livestock, crops, the mountains. Vow symbols for grace received.

A religiosity linked to the harsh living conditions of the mountain inhabitants, in search of protection from the adverse events of nature. 

In the villages, however, there are always churches, present even in the smallest hamlets.

Churches that are often locked and that are rarely opened, sometimes only on the occasion of the patron saint's day. By now they seem stripped of their main function of meeting place and place of prayer. They remain witnesses and symbols of the divine presence.

The statues of Mary have long guarded the valley from its highest points.

My research in Valle Grana, Italy focuses on these signs and traces of faith and their relationship with the alpine territory, trying to understand the roots of this religiosity and its role in the contemporary world.

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