I Love Tuscia, Salvatore Fosci

Salvatore Fosci, 47 years old, born in Bomarzo, where the essence of his whole life is collected in a large rock of peperino. He lived for some time in South Tyrol and for about 6 years he has returned to his origins. Since he returned home to Bomarzo, he has dedicated himself to agriculture. A job that allows him to get to know the land up close, have direct contact with what he grows and produces, have even more respect for the environment that surrounds him.

“Producing wine, oil, gardening is something that makes you understand the past. The woods of Tuscia contain traces and testimonies that our relative ancestors have given us with their knowledge of these wonderful places. Those boulders of peperino that the cimino volcano gave us gave us the possibility to shape the stone to our liking, houses, pestarole to produce wine, tombs, cinerary urns, pyramidal altars, preacher's stones. Our territories have been able to preserve this and much more and today it is up to us to know and protect them".

Salvatore is that man who, equipped with the will to do and shears, in 2008 he began to cut away the thick vegetation that covered the Etruscan pyramid of Bomarzo. It was he who brought to light the majestic rock monument that was once called Sasso del Predicatore.

“In 2008 I was still working in South Tyrol but having several winter holidays available, I was able to give a face to the Etruscan pyramid. I have always had an interest and passion for the woods and for the history of our country since I was a child, and the cleaning operation that I carried out as a simple enthusiast in February 2008 was a return to the past for me. It was an indescribable emotion to see this majestic rock monument emerge from the dense vegetation, with a shovel, an ax and a reinforced hoe and the utmost respect for that sacred place.
A lot of sweat fell out of it, but the desire to see the altar clean was too strong. The weed roots that hid under the layer of earth near the two rooms were of large diameter, but piece by piece I managed to remove them managing to secure and give visibility to the monument.
Mine was a rediscovery of the monument from the vegetation and the rediscovery of the old pass, called Passo della Finestraccia, which leads into an environment carved into the rock with two windows from which the name derives. Although I knew it as a child thanks to my father, the archaeological discovery of the pyramid took place between the 80s and 90s, first by local researchers who had created a group called Gap, the Polimartium Archaeological Group, which today has joined Archeotuscia of Viterbo where i'm part.
In 2000 Proferento, Archeotuscia and the local archaeologist described the pyramid, but the photos did not show the face it offers today after my cleaning, also appreciated by the cultural assets".

Before the rediscovery few people knew about the pyramid. They called it, as already mentioned, Sasso del Predicatore. The first written testimonies dealing with the pyramid date back to 2000 and began to intrigue. Some enthusiast or scholar went in search of it, with negative results, as it was not easy to find it, the paths were not clean and it was necessary to make space among the brambles. Today the paths are passable thanks to the work of Salvatore.

“Even today, there are no signs to get to the pyramid, but I made the paths practicable, and for those who don't know the place, it becomes a challenge, with the risk of getting lost. One day they asked my father that he was walking in the woods where the pyramid was. Amazed, he was unable to give any indications as he knows it as Sasso del Preadicatore or stone with stairs. Then one day I explained to him that the pyramid was just his stone with the stairs. He smiled, because all this interest in this boulder, when they frequented it in past times with poverty and hunger, of researchers and tourists had never been seen ”.

It was precisely the stories of his grandfather and his father that helped Salvatore in the rediscovery of the ancient pyramid, a place to which the whole essence of his life is linked.

“I believe that the history of these places comes to us thanks to the knowledge of our elders. My great-grandfather, born on April 1 like me, had been the forest ranger of Bomarzo, my father and other villagers have always frequented those woods. The various paths were then transited, where they passed with the cattle and reached the various springs that emerged abundantly in the gorges, between the Santa Cecilia pyramid, Fosso Castello and Cagnemora.

Since I cleaned the pyramid I began to rediscover the true paths and, again thanks to my father, today I understood that when I'm looking for an ancient path in the thick vegetation, you have to observe the stones and their wear. Sometimes you notice boulders where the shape of the foot has worn the stone, then it means that it is the right direction. Knowing how to quarry stones, build huts with sorghum, weave ropes with hemp. Being a shepherd meant sacrifice, my father was a shepherd, as indeed were his many friends. They slept where it happened, many times they exploited the rock dwellings and tombs carved into the rock, present throughout our territory. At night a look at the stars was enough and during the day a shadow of a tree was enough to know what time it was.
Those rituals of making cheese or killing a lamb with the utmost respect make it clear that they represent the book of secrets of the past, therefore the mystery of the pyramid did not exist for our elders and for my father. He calls the pyramid the stone with the stairs but he has always brought respect to the place. As long as our peasants and shepherds frequented those woods, no one took the liberty of removing a stone from a low wall, the whole area was in order. Their abandonment meant degradation and looting of the various archaeological finds".

Salvatore feels the pyramid within himself, as a creation of him.

“Since the day I touched that boulder of peperino, that boulder has never let go of me. Now I feel his smell of the past inside me. I'm almost ashamed to say it but sometimes I find myself discussing and reasoning with it about why it's used.
I know every centimetre, every drain, every step, I have seen every type of workmanship it has undergone, the changes that from a more ancient time have given way to more recent workmanship, a monument for pagan rites that is also respected in the Christian world. He really hides many secrets, I gave my vision as a simple enthusiast.
The work I have done has served to make our territory and the inhabitants of Bomarzo better known, a bit skeptical of my initial cleaning, who said to me who makes you do it, today I see them interested and they appreciate the work I have done carried out".

After the 2008 cleanup of the site and the paths leading to the pyramid, interest in the monument has grown. Today many groups arrive accompanied by guides, fortunately they are responsible groups who do not leave various dirt in the woods. But in any case, for Salvatore, an additional protection to the various monuments must be imposed.
“An example, going up and down the ladder of the pyramid means consumption of the stairs themselves, which has not happened in the centuries of their sacred use, therefore a solution to the problem should be found. When I cleaned the pyramid, I didn't think that all these people could arrive, so we are thinking of implementing rules with the various bodies, superintendence, cooperatives and local associations to ensure that visitors are brought in safely and responsibly".

The countless visits to the pyramid are a source of pride for Salvatore.
“Visitors are a source of pride for me. The pyramid of Bomarzo represents my origins and I want the work I have done not to be forgotten today. Knowledge of our past is something that everyone must know, our origins will serve future generations to better understand that our territory needs to be defended.
I am happy to leave this testimony. In the years following the rediscovery of the pyramid, I had the opportunity to have been contacted by various sites, newspapers and television programs that gave space to my story. If my word reaches others through those involved in information, this word will become stronger, and will help us defend our history scattered in those woods".

In addition to the pyramid of Bomarzo, Salvatore managed to discover many other testimonies of the past in the area, almost all surrounded by vegetation.
“In recent years we have carried out excavations with the superintendent of Southern Etruria and other excavations will be carried out soon. It was a beautiful experience of knowledge, every fragment that emerges from that land, bricks, tiles and bricks, is part of a story to be told. Knowing how to make wine with pestarole, where the vine is still present near these stone artifacts, testifying that the rushes that were used to filter the must, the broom or sorghum for the construction of huts, are still alive among those used to use them in the past. The forest deserves respect and protection. Other discoveries have recently been made by local enthusiasts, in the Cagnemora valley, and new very interesting itineraries are opening up, among Etruscan tombs, cinerary urns, ancient tanneries and dovecotes.

As soon as the paths are open to the public, we will give notice so, in addition to the already known Etruscan pyramid, the Bomarzo wood will offer visitors other testimonies of the past".

TO VISIT THE PYRAMID, CALL SALVATORE AT 340.0556480 OR SEND AN EMAIL TO Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.