Our next stop is Benevento, a town halfway Napoli and Puglia. I knew of this place that it was the capital of the Longobardan Empire in Southern Italy, and an important place on the Templars route to the Adriatic. But much to our surprise the town had more to offer. During our first walk we find an obelisk that probably comes from a temple of Isis, that was once situated here. Again, it leaves me in awe. Although the ‘offcial’ story starts with the permanence of the Romans, it is clear that there are traces of more ancient Italic civilisations here. Plus traces of the Troians, that we will meet in more of our stops along the road.
In the little time that we can spend here, we visit two important places. First a church dedicated to Santa Sophia, modelled after Hagia Sofia in Constantinopel. It feels like a pure feminine sanctuary, which is underlined by the presence of Monastery of Benedictine nuns next to the Church. But here too we find a beautiful old fresco of S. Michael, as if he wants to make clear that he is guiding us all along the way. We have an amicable meeting with the woman in the bookshop of the church, who is most interested in my story about Matilda di Canossa. She suggests us to go the Ipogeo under the Cathedral of the town.
And what a good advice, again. The Ipogeo houses the tombs of some the Longobardan counts from the end of the first millennium. Matilda must have known of them. But here you also get a flavour of the ancient sanctuary that was once situated here, again far before the Romans arrived. Again we are doing a small ceremony of cleaning and connecting, in order to continue our weaving work. Then, in the small museum next to the crypt, we stand eye in eye with one of the most beautiful Mantle Madonna’s I have ever seen. A clear sign that we have visited an ancient feminine place, and a good stepping stone to continue our journey. Through the two churches we visited we have connected Michael with the Feminine Divine again.