#9 choosing sites

The project (see post#1) results in a story being physically published in those parts of the town in which the action of the story takes place. Reading begins a process of “walking the story”, marking out the place of Casaprota through this imagined event. I choose the sites for the story as I mapped out the narrative. Some of the sites chosen were distinctive, while others could be interchangeable, where multiple sites were appropriate.

My brief for walking the narrative included that it couldn’t take too long, otherwise people wouldn’t do it; that it couldn’t be confusing; that hopefully the walk would be a loop around the town, and that the map that guides the reader should be easily recognisable. It was most important that the walk began and ended in the social centre of the town, conveniently next to Micarelli’s bar and bar Daff.

So some sites chose themselves: the Piazza del Municipio (1) and the church of San Domenico and San Michele (10), which fronts onto the piazza, and in the centre of the original town (the centro storico), the Palazzo Filippi (5) with its dominant tower, (dating from 1200), was another “must”.

2. Palazzo del Gatto (with cat)

I felt I had to use the Palazzo del Gatto (2), which is the home of the SabinARTi resident artists, and is conveniently located halfway between the Piazza del Municipio and the Palazzo Filippi. That turned out to be a small problem, as the building wasn’t constructed until 1891, well after the period in which the story is set. But behind the palazzo there is another, that existed at the time, so that became my focus. I simply dropped the name “Palazzo del Gatto”.

5. Palazzo Filippi

6. Mario finds Alice…

Leaving the piazza we pass the Palazzo del Gatto, head onto the back entrance of the once productive gardens of the Palazzo Filippi. Halfway through the story we find ourselves in the narrow alleys of the centro storico (5 and 6), we head out again to take in the fabulous views for the denouement (7 and 8), and then head back through the centro storico for one short scene (9) before the tale comes to its conclusion on the steps of the main church, again with some superb vistas.

I couldn’t get a complete loop, shuffling the sites would have upended the narrative flow, but the resultant path is not at all confusing.

7. “The haunted pigsty”

There is only one completely invented site, an abandoned farm building (there are many in the region) that I have imagined as haunted. My original vision was for haunted stables, and there are ruined stables in the gardens of the Palazzo del Gatto and probably elsewhere, but the building I had to choose could never have been imagined as stables, it is on the side of a hill, so it has become a derelict pigsty, the fictional home of terrified pigs.

Walking the route takes me 15 minutes, and reading the story, (it’s about 10,000 words) will take it to an hour plus, I suspect, and that’s fine here, the people of Casaprota are not in a hurry.

1 & 10 The main piazza from the steps of the church