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The Colubraia Oratory, a border and contemplating place

If, from the village of Figgiano you start to climb higher, reaching the crest through the comfortable gravel road or the path that crosses the forest, you come near the stones that once marked the border between the Tuscan Grand Dukedom and the Pontifical State.

Today those stones divide the Marche region from Tuscany and right here, at an altitude of 1000 meters, not far from an impressive  iron cross, is located the Colubraia  Oratory, a small church along the borders.

It is so borderline that a commission of deputies from the Pontifical State and the Tuscan Dominion met in 1787 and established that the church was in the Pontifical State while the adjoining room (now used as a hiking hut ) belonged to the Tuscan Grand Dukedom.

This particular location of the Colubraia, in the past made it a place to give vent to the not exactly good-neighbourly relations between people of the Marche and people of Tuscany, who met here on every August 5 to celebrate the Madonna della Neve and on every Pentecost Sunday.

The Tuscan Grand Dukedom had to issue an ordinance that forbade to wear "any kind of weapon, both firearms and blades” and to sell food, especially wine, as it gave rise to brawls, murders and serious disappointments.

Today the Colubraia is obviously a much quieter place, of peaceful and contemplation. Inside the church you can see the frescoes by Bruno Radicioni, a famous Fano native artist whose paintings are exhibited in New York, Toronto, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Milan and Montreal airport. In a particular period of his life, Radicioni felt the need to retire here in Figgiano and painted a very particular Christ with the Saints: all the faces of the apostles are taken fom charcoal burners, woodcutters and inhabitants of the village.

In addition to the frescoes, in the Colubraia Oratory, there are more of his works that demostrate his love for these places  They can find hanging on the walls of the Il Ginepro farmhouse and the small church of Santa Lucia.

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