The spiritual journey of Santa Restituta

restitutaHe was under the mountain disarmed before its majesty, in the bay of San Montano. His feet were tired, aligned and plunged into the water while the grains of sand was studying tactics between current and sea ebbs to finally attack the pillars of a body of flesh and bones and make winning treasure. It was hot in the early afternoon of May 18. He wondered how he got there, there, on the beach, but almost immediately realized that it was useless to ask himself why the amount

of emotion with which he was charged the previous day occupied every corner of his soul and perhaps had been to the engine that had pushed back to that place. He was on vacation and was at Lacco Ameno for the celebration of the patron saint of the town and the island of Ischia, Santa Restituta, of whom he had heard from a friend a few years earlier. The story of that story that was repeated a year after year was stamped as the notes of a symphony on a tape instilling in him the desire to satisfy a curiosity which seemed a bottomless pit. Knowledge and understanding had become the object of a desire then not so hidden.
The important thing, however, at that time, was to remain still, motionless, prey of the sun reflecting on the water for the hotly face left. Therefore, declaring once and for all the unconditional surrender in Sabaoth, the God of the Universe or the Sanctus of Catholics he had read something years before, he liked to think would be the most sensible thing to do at that time. With the pride of a general on horseback stood in front of the memories of the night before and in a moment passed them in review with the sensations that had connected there. He did not know how and if try to describe them.

Each seemed to have shining armor in which he could hide anything he would like to investigate and learn. However, they seemed larger and unmanageable than usual giving it, at the same time, a sense of happiness mixed with fear. Suddenly, with a flick of its tail, thinking he was kidnapped by mysticism carried by a light pul of breeze and was led nowhere, always there but in a place that seemed different. And perhaps it was. He found himself projected during the process and the arrival of Santa Restituta on the coast of Lacco Ameno in a distant time. He thought it was 1967, the year of the first performance. It was evening. he Holy lily The dusk blooming lilies bloomed by magic from small desert dunes and accompanied his curious eyes intent on observing every movement perceptible by the boat on the sea that, according to tradition, brought the dead but intact body of Restituta. Soon, the boat would be burned in order to remember to the audience the anguish of a death foretold that no one could resist. In the background hovered the angel who, for fifty years, has the duty to advise young Lucina imminent arrival of Santa on the coast of Ischia. He thought of the texts, the words, the music, and he seemed to hear them again.

A shiver shook him. He tried to dwell on the scent of a faraway land that is invariably confused with those of a contemplative and surreal mind. His mind, however, was lucid and liked to draw the composition of the natural scenery that now was printed somewhere in his imagination and that of law, every time on May 17, becomes meeting between tradition and people’s sense of devotion and feeds of myth, religion and faith that the people have placed in Restituta of Lacco Ameno, the Santa, who came from Tunisia. How to mimic the flight of a hummingbird, the direction of which is difficult to predict at that now suspended and magical place, he changed the trajectory of his reflections and started to think about work and the mobilization of an entire country, witnessed in the first days of her arrival. He knew, as knowledge infused with who knows what natural force, that the tradition brings the passion and this flows in the blood of the inhabitants of the old Phitecusae who have never made any secret. The time in Lacco Ameno, from May 8, had noticed, slows the residents, such as ants, crumb after crumb, and help with participation in the reconstruction of a fascinating and fantastic story.

The “machine” of the celebrationHis progress on the path of the past remembers the images of the first actors playing the part of Roman centurions, the maids, merchants and on inevitable role of Restituta which was given to girls by physical features similar to those of the martyr. Every man for himself is dedicated to the realization of your costume complete and in detail. Fabrics, leather shoes, coats, everything followed a rigid process so that nothing is likely diverged from the idea of what happens. He seemed to slide between the joy of the holidays, printed on the faces of the industrious people in worship and careful to transmit life to the symbols that tell of the death of Restituta in 304 A.D. He paused in front of the boat manufacturing that from February until May occupied a small group of artisans. The same would eventually be burned in the middle of the bay. «Burn the profane», these imposing and anxious words that echoed in his head and recalled the culmination of a past whose roots were brought to light by the inventor of what in half a century had assumed the characteristics of a real open-air show. Sexton Cristoforo Pascale was able to convince the priest and archaeologist Don Pietro Monti to stage the landing of the remains of Restituta.

He was present, body and soul, and witness of the lively exchange between the two. Don Pietro had to think again in front of the opera’s success in San Montano, to which rushed everyone, including tourists. The direction was entrusted inspired and creative Rino Gamboni. Ideally, later, at the end, he shook his hand for making it part of something that, he knew, would still kidnapped for a long time even if, now, he did not know how to come back.

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Info on Ischia island

  • Surface: 46 Kmq
  • Hight: 789 mt
  • Lat.: 40° 44',82 N
  • Long.: 13° 56',58 E
  • Periplus: 18 miglia
  • Coasts: 51.2 Km
  • Cities: 6
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