The “borgo” of Sensano
Small and surrounded by cypresses
An old parish church from the 12th century is located in the rural “borgo” of Sensano. It follows a Romanesque style and is dedicated to Saints Ippolito and Cassiano. From here, one has a stunning view over the countryside and its cypresses, which aren’t just pieces of decoration, but they help to stabilize the ground. The trees’ roots go deep in the ground, similarly to concrete piling, which are able to contain even the most uneven ground or, more commonly, the sides of the roads.
At the end of the 1500s, the “borgo” was part of Belisario Vinta’s patronage. He was an important secretary to the Grand Duke, which explains the coat of arms over the entrance to the church.
The name Belisario Vinta is linked to an odd story that inspired Pasquale Festa Campanile’s movie from the 60’s “A Maiden for a Prince”, starring Vittorio Gassman. In 1583, the duke of Mantova wanted to marry Eleonora, the daughter of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. In order to marry her, he had to prove his virility with a virgin girl in front of other people, to refute the rumour that he was impotent. Belisario Vinta, a trusted friend of the Grand Duke, was appointed with the task to witness the fact, and the two ended up getting married afterwards.