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Abeto - Preci - Umbria
Abeto Preci is a tiny center spot on a spur of rock at 970 m altitude, dominating the valley of the same name, the Western branch of the broader Castoriana Valley, which in turn is a tributary valley, left. Alta Valnerina. In this place, between the tenth and eleventh centuries, a castle was built of triangular plant, which is the oldest part of this settlement. The town's name derives, most likely, the abbot white present in antiquity in these areas. Once here vegetating a grove of fir (Abies alba Miller), probably wreck of a population richer and remained isolated prehistoric times, when the climate was cooler current, within a beech forest that was retreating to higher elevations to the evolution of the climate in the hottest way. It is for this reason that the fortress that was built on the spur of rock, probably equipped with a drawbridge, was called "Castel Fir", and assumed in its emblem the emblem of this tree. Unfortunately this beautiful tree (which also reaching 40 meters high is the highest of the Italian flora) and that is typical of the flora of the Central coniferous (spruce as I was in the Alps) is no longer present in the area : human activity, adding to the evolution of the climate towards higher average temperatures, it has been extinct for centuries. Currently specimens spontaneous closest are those that grow in the beech forests of the eastern slopes of the Monti della Laga. Now the vegetation around Abeto is predominantly made up of coppice of deciduous, among which prevail turkey oak, oak, hornbeam, ash, maple, hazel. At altitudes higher than 1,100 m mixed forest is replaced by beech ceduate; where the forest is absent extend large mountain meadows dotted with juniper, which in spring exhibit extraordinary blooms of carnations spontaneous, of poligale, thyme, orchids of dozens of different species that create an endless patchwork of bright colors.
Abeto is fraction of the Municipality of Preci from which is about ten kilometers. It currently has a stable population of a few dozen inhabitants and in past centuries it was home not more than 300-400 ~
Abeto was born, like most of the mountain villages Italian, around the tenth century as a result of the disaster caused by the incursions of armed bands of various origins (Central European peoples, Saracens, etc.), So frequent in those troubled times. It was founded for reasons of defense, on a spur of limestone raised above the sloping side of the mountain from the top of Mount Saino; the choice was determined, as well as the position in favor of fortification, by the presence of a nearby spring (currently Fonte S. Antonio).
Until the middle of the thirteenth century, Abeto was one of the places from employees' Abbey S. Eutizio. Abeto was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1328, and completely destroyed by that of 1703. By improving the historical conditions the village spread around the primitive fortress (which occupied the position on which now stands the Parish Church of St. Martin). The progressive increase in population led to the construction of houses under the ancient fortress above, beyond, and below, the current construction of Via S. Maria; after earthquakes more ruinous, some houses of the lower part were never rebuilt and remained only a few ruins, hence the belief, still rooted, that Abeto was "built lower down." The main activities have always been those who today call themselves, with a questionable neologism, "agrosiIvopastorali": the inhabitants lived mainly by agriculture and pastoralism. The forests were exploited mainly for local needs. An important aspect of the economy Abetani, also common to the inhabitants of neighboring countries, it was the practice of seasonal migration: in the winter months the men left their families and went in the big cities of Lazio and Tuscany especially when practiced mainly the function of employees at customs. The emigration, mostly to seasonality, undertook the inhabitants during the winter months, even in the traditional slaughter of pork, and it was in Florence that they wore "their job". The "butchers", in addition to being experts in the meat processing, were making often low surgical operations on patients, replacing physicians surgeons. They turned the poorest who could not afford the costs of intervention by an audiologist.
This activity, practiced through the ages, as well as having had a considerable weight in the economy of the country has left a deep imprint in the culture of the inhabitants of Abeto (as well as neighboring countries): footprint that is observed in the works of art that adorn the churches, customs, dialect, while remaining basically an Umbrian dialect, has been enriched by numerous toscanismi.
But the territory of Abeto is rich in historical and archaeological much older. In the nearby town of Fiano di Abeto, in the place where now stands the Church of St. Michael the Archangel, was a temple, probably of Roman, dedicated to Jupiter; a short distance there is an array of artificial caves, dug in Roman times and used for burials; in neighboring Forca d'Ancarano, which falls in the town of Norcia, are the remains of an important necropolis of the IV - Ill century BC; paleoetnologica literature is well known prehistoric site of Abeto (wrongly named "Abeto Norcia"), consisting of an outcrop of flint used repeatedly in prehistoric times as "lithic workshop", which returned more than 400 specimens of stone tools currently on display at the Museum of Prehistory "G. Bellucci" of Perugia.
The country stands out from the other fractions, for the presence of numerous neoclassical buildings that make it unique. At the entrance of the village, in the square Cesqui, in 1884 there was erected a beautiful fountain, with three animal figures, which gives the country a stylish and elegant tone.
In the town there is the parish church dedicated to the saint most popular of the Middle Ages: San Martino. The church, founded in the tenth century, it houses a tempera painting of the painter Blacks of Bicci, Florentine fifteenth century; the work shows the Virgin placed in the center with a choir of angels dropping snow on the neck Esquilino, August 5. In the church of Santa Maria was preserved until some time ago a valuable fragment of altarpiece, Tuscan school of '400, depicting the Madonna and Child, to which the population is very devout. Both works are now housed in the Diocesan Museum of Spoleto.

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Additional Photos by Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 18024 W: 130 N: 37975] (205826)
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