Storm Over Sacred Valley

Uploaded 15 Jun 2011 — 26 favorites
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© Deborah Downes
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

As my sister and her husband and I looked out over Suppentonia Valley from Sanctuary of Maria Santissima ad Rupes in Castel Sant' Elia (near where Fred and I live), the sky darkened and rumbling thunder grew closer. Within that holy place, we’d just climbed the 144 steps originally carved into the tufa rock, begun by hermit Rodio and finished at the end of the eighteenth century, leading to the Sanctuary of Maria Santissima ad Rupes (a pilgrim destination) in which the image of Our Lady, a sixteenth century painting, is venerated. Other sets of stairs head down to the path known as “road of the saints”. That trail winds its way down to the valley floor and ends at the Basilica of Sant’Elia, a Romanesque church constructed in the eighth century by hermit cave dwellers, who embraced the Benedictine Rule and founded the Monastery of St. Elias. It is believed the basilica rose where the Emperor Nerone had erected a temple to Diana the Huntress and where before that Etruscans had built a shrine dedicated to Pico Marzio.

19 responses

  • diana a

    diana a   gave props (15 Jun 2011):

    beautiful shot! it has the look of an old painting!

  • Carol Arntsen Masiak

    Carol Arntsen Masiak gave props (15 Jun 2011):

    wonderful image - agree...very painterly

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham gave props (15 Jun 2011):

    WOW!! It has an old Italian painting feel. Beautiful!!! Did you get wet going back down?

  • Lanis Rossi

    Lanis Rossi gave props (15 Jun 2011):


  • Susan Littlefield

    Susan Littlefield gave props (15 Jun 2011):

    A beautiful photo with wonderful textures. Thank you as always for your informative narrative.

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight gave props (15 Jun 2011):

    Everything! Narrative, edit, image, etc.

  • dp *

    dp * gave props (15 Jun 2011):

    Beautiful, like an oil painting.

  • Christopher J Chalk

    Christopher J Chalk gave props (15 Jun 2011):

    It is looking a bit ominous, great textures and narrative Deb!

  • Leslie Hunziker

    Leslie Hunziker   gave props (15 Jun 2011):

    what a magical shot. I love the texture here. what a glorious view. that looks like snow in the mountains in the background.

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (15 Jun 2011):

    How beautiful...It looks like a painting...The narrative also is outstanding!

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes gave props (15 Jun 2011):

    Thanks so much everyone. Regenia, thankfully our car was parked near where I captured this shot. Got to it before the storm hit. Leslie, no snow on that distant mountain. Can see that peak from our house. It stands wiithin a valley.

  • elfriede fulda

    elfriede fulda (Deleted) gave props (16 Jun 2011):

    I just love this entry, the textures and the whole scene is awesome Deborah !

  • Litz Go

    Litz Go gave props (16 Jun 2011):

    wow, what a capture! Love the narrative, too! wonderful work, Deborah!

  • Sonia Adam Murray

    Sonia Adam Murray gave props (16 Jun 2011):


  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (17 Jun 2011):

    Stormin' JPG's Theme Park

  • eithne mythen

    eithne mythen gave props (17 Jun 2011):

    This is just magnificent Deborah, I love the light, the colour and texture and the comp is wonderful with the wall winding into the picture, love it...

  • Kim Bullock

    Kim Bullock said (17 Jun 2011):

    Very cool! Looks like a vintage postcard or weathered painting.

  • Tori Lindo

    Tori Lindo gave props (17 Jun 2011):

    Beautiful it looks like an old postcard.

  • Yasmina Baggili

    Yasmina Baggili (Deleted) gave props (21 Jun 2011):


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