Posts Tagged ‘Private-Italy.com’

Midnight in Umbria’s city of Norcia.

Huge construction lights illuminate the facade of the Basilica of St. Benedict. Behind the facade, ruin.  The loss of this religious and artistic treasure will take decades to restore-if it can ever be restored.

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October 30, 2016 – the aftermath

The basilica was constructed over the site where,  in 480 AD, the founder of the Benedictine order and Sister St. Scolastica were born.

Benedict’s legacy has been plagued with difficulties. The Monastery of Monte Cassino, located close to Rome, was destroyed during the final years of WWII. Though it was rebuilt, the crosses that mark the cost of allied victory dot the cemeteries at the abbey.

Now, the loss of the home church.

PLEASE keep the people of central Italy in your thoughts, meditations and prayers.

In June of 2015, the monks released a CD of their chants, recorded within the nave of the Basilica. As you hear the bells, calling the monks to service, and you hear the echo of their voices as they reflect off of 13th century wall, please remember that the walls exist no more. Now, the ghostly rise of their voices seek the stars . . .

Please click on the album cover below to watch the beautiful and moving video to mark the launch of their album.(Note that if you purchase the CD from their site, a portion of the proceeds go to help those in need.)

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After nearly seventeen years of labor, the new Gotthard Tunnel, which links northern Italy and Switzerland, opened on June 1, 2o16. The tunnel cuts through thirty five miles of the Gotthard massif’s granite core.

The statistics are fascinating:

  • 200,000 Swiss Francs per meter to dig the tunnel
  • 23 Billion Swiss Francs to complete the project
  • Nine lives were lost during construction
  • 152 MPH – App. 250 Km/Hr – top speed for trains in the tunnel
  • 260 Freight trains (the key to repayment, in fees and duties, for the cost of the project) and up to sixty-five passenger trains per day will use the tunnel
  • The train tunnel cuts nearly forty-five minutes from the train journey from Lugano and Zurich
  • Connections into Italy from Switzerland and return are made measurably easier
  • One other tunnel, the Ceneri Base Tunnel, will be completed in 2019, further reducing the travel times between Italy and Switzerland
  • Safety and security measures beyond any previously constructed tunnel of this type anywhere in the world

I defer to this fascinating video from SWI to share with you the scale, even the poetic beauty, of this incredible engineering feat.


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