When entering Caprancia, I came upon three distinct styles of buildings; it was as if three separate villages had merged. I later discovered the explanation for Capranica’s three different sections. My other discovery: no tourists and no one speaking English.
To the west of the Porta del Ponte gate stretches the town’s Renaissance section, which is closed off from the newest part of town. This area lies between the medieval walls and the gate of Porta Sant’Antonio, a gate built during the 17th century.
The Etruscans settled in this area, and it became the heartland of the most significant civilization in pre-Roman and early Roman Italy (800-200 BC). As a result, the Etruscans left an abundance of archaeological remains, still visible along the Via Francigena.
Once checked into the pilgrim’s hotel, I noticed that I was the sole guest in the 25-room hotel dating back to the early 1800s. Above the entrance of the hotel is an ancient portal of St. Sebastian’s hospital that dates back to the 12th century and attributed to the Comacine masters of the Middle Ages.
That evening, the village celebrated the Festival of St. Terenziano, the patron saint of Capranica. In honor of St. Terenziano, the townspeople transported the illuminated bust of their saint from the church of Santa Maria to the church of the Madonna del Piano. After the solemn procession passed the Hotel Caprinaca fireworks erupted from the sky, and the village band filled the piazza with music. The next morning, St. Terenziano rested in his home church of the Madonna del Piano.
The next morning, I bid farewell to the empty Hotel Capranica. Soon I was back on the Via Francigena and on my way to the next adventure.