|selling flowers in front of San Martino abbey
Eleanor Herman, author of a fascinating biography of Olimpia, "Mistress of the Vatican, tells the story her life as "the secret female pope".
|portrait bust of Olimpia by A. Algardi, circa 1650
|interior of Abbey church
|row houses of San Martino al Cimino
|series of photo-paintings by local artist
Her wealth and power did not keep the plague away, and today her tomb can be admired in the apse of the huge church.
A perfect weekend outing just outside Viterbo, San Martino is known for its chestnuts and each October a festival is held to honor this local crop.
|roasting chestnuts in huge "swing"
The festival , now in its 24th year, sees market stalls in the historic center of San Martino which has been denoted a natural shopping center .
|vigili urbani and panorama of the Sagra
|colorful bags by B. Coluccia
|Barbara Coluccia's handknitted hats and scarves
|entrance to the Cantinone, Palazzo Doria Pamphili
|Alessandro's leather bags
|Gioia Carpino makes jewelery
|antipasto misto, mushroom soup, polenta, beans and steak
followed by roast chestnuts and biscott
Autumn dishes served during the Sagra include zuppa di ceci e castagne (soup of chickpeas and chestnuts), porcini mushrooms, sausages , grilled meats and suckling pig (maialino).
The Sagra continues on 29, 30,31 October and l November. ..rain or shine....