Abandoning Paradise

Chapter Three     Crossing Italy

Bussana Vecchia - Art and Anarchy

It was a very steep walk to the top of the mountain where the church was built and it was tremendously moving to be there as Bussana Vecchia was first built somewhere in the 9th Century. Presumably this is when the church was built but most of the buildings were constructed in the 15th Century.

Wiki:  Bussana Vecchia

You can still feel the presence of the people who lived and worshipped here. Even though it is slowly falling down, it's over a thousand years later and still it stands.   Even more amazing is what has become of it. This is a place of deep magic and it’s fairly difficult to get there as it’s at the top of a small mountain. You follow a long windy road with incredibly tight corners and all the while going up you know it’s going to be a major thrill ride going back down.

This part of the community is locked, probably to prevent two kinds of injury.  The first being any possible injury to people from things falling and possibly the second being someone getting artistic with it.

The church isn't, by any means, the entirety of Bussana Vecchia as the church and the surrounding community suffered tremendous damage from an earthquake in the late 19th Century when it was declared too damaged for any further use.  It wasn't until about a hundred years ago that anyone even tried to live there and it was in the sixties that some hippies decided to give it a serious go.  They are still giving it a go as the community of artists grew up from that moment and, despite periodic attempts by the government to run them out, the community is still going strong.

I enjoyed some wonderful time at the Piazzetta Golosa and there I met Simon who had originally lived in The Netherlands but was now a permanent resident of Bussana Vecchia.  I asked him about his art but he said he doesn’t make art, his purpose in being there was to enjoy living.  He's an old hippie and he's very admiring of the anarchy of Bussana Vecchia.  We talked for some while and he was telling me about the community and how it worked.  I was damn tempted to stay and if they had WiFi, it's a definite possibility that I would have done it.

It's not entirely an anarchy here as there is one fellow, I don't know his name, who seems generally to manage it but one thing I definitely know is that he runs a jazz club at the top of the village.  While what I do really isn't jazz, it would be so cool to play there if only I could stream it out to you all. Making a recording to send it to you later isn't enough.

Perhaps the answer now is to go back there.  I must think further as the latter part of the day has unsettled things just a wee bit.  I'm damaged but I'm thinking straight and we will see what is the best move.

Note: I did not photograph anyone's art as I don't believe that would have been appropriate

This one is dedicated to Cat as I never would have known about Bussana Vecchia if she had not told me. Bussana Vecchia has a glorious freedom and they work for it as getting there and getting around there is difficult. They survive on the elements as they battled the government to get water, sewage, electrical connections, etc. Beyond those, it is a world of its own and the way of the people produced by or creating that environment is a privilege to know.

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Bussana Vecchia

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