CORNELLA - InTarquinia
…TI TROVI A CORNETO
you are in Corneto
Se fossi arrivato nel periodo intercorrente:
If you had visited this town in the period:
tra il IX secolo e il 22 settembre 1872
ti saresti trovato a Corneto;
Between the IX century and the 22nd
of September 1872 you would have been in Corneto;
tra il 23 settembre 1872 ed il 23 aprile 1922
ti saresti trovato a Corneto-Tarquinia;
Between the 23rd of September 1872 and the 23rd
of April 1922 you would have been in Corneto-Tarquinia;
siccome sei arrivato dopo il 23 aprile 1922
ti trovi a Tarquinia.
But since you arrived after the 23rd of April 1922
you are in Tarquinia.
Freely taken from some articles written by Anna Alfieri
with whom I had the pleasure and the honour
of rivisiting and summerising them.
I want to thank her for the kind availability shown.
| in Corneto name |
For a thousand years Corneto fed the fantasy of travellers crossing the “Maremma Laziale” remaining forever in their memories thanks to something that nowadays it is still possible to admire: the majesty of its towers and steeples, the still intact city walls, never conquered over the centuries, the bright grace of its churches and palaces, the fame of its fighters and men of faith, the doctrine of the monks in the monasteries and last but not least, the vastness of its cultivated wheat fields and the unique singularity of its allusive and indomitable name.
Unfortunately however, when the town became part of the Sabaudian Italy, It incredibly turned out that many other Corneto or Cornedo, whose lexical origins come from the extraordinary and very ancient plant called Corniolo, were widespread across the peninsula.
Thus it happened that the Cornetani (to distinguish their town name from the other municipalities), chose to add to its original name the royal one of the ancient Etruscan Tarquinia, built on the rear hillside, far from the Medieval Corneto, settling for the name Corneto-Tarquinia.
If in 1872 the change had be imposed by necessity, after a historic geopolitical reorganisation, in 1922 the name “Corneto” was cancelled forever from the geographic map by the unanimous and very firm popular will.
It had happened that some years before, a foreigner had arrived in Corneto-Tarquinia in order to inaugurate a cultural association and while drinking a glass of wine he had said that for centuries: “the unfortunate name of Corneto, reminding of the marital horns, had given a ridiculous meaning to this pretty town of “Maremma”.
Worsening the situation, hiding behind the mysterious pseudonym of Tir, he had then filled the very popular pages of “La Tribuna”, (the Italian most read weekly newspaper at the time), with the hideous news that Corneto-Cornuto, (even since Boccaccio’s day), had been universally considered a town of wanton women and that everywhere – distorting Dante’s name of Rinieri from Corneto – it was common to make fun of the misfortunes of a certain Cornieri from Corneto, a very unlucky man in love.
In this ruthless way the good inhabitants of the defamed place, opening their favorite newspaper on a beautiful spring morning, had read that they were not living, as they had always wanted to believe, in a bristling forest of hard dogwoods but, as perhaps they had secretly already suspected, in a thick forest of bovine horns! Their humiliation and disgrace had been so strong that they had decided to cancel forever the memory and shameful reputation to be mockingly called Cornetani, preferring the only denomination of Tarquinia. The bureaucratic process ended on the 23rd of April 1922. After a thousand years of glorious history, the end of the beautiful and martial name of the haughty Corneto was officially declared vanishing forever.
However, Tarquinia, you know, is a bizarre, contradictory town, even still incomplete which, after rejecting its old name that was too rustic for its Etruscan nobility, was not able to tear from its heart and mind the simple image of the wild plant that had inspired its old name and that still stands, officially acknowledged by law, in the middle of its municipal coat of arms.
On the other hand the sublime poet Vincenzo Cardarelli loved the old name of his wild native land, and to those in Rome who dared to mischievously call him the Cornetan, he used to reply in this way: “To have a nice pair of horns does not necessarily mean that one was born in Corneto; in my town, we are so little scared of horns to keep them as ornament over the cupboards!!!” But it wasn’t enough to save the ancient name of Corneto. The Hotel “IN TARQUINIA”, and the Restaurant “I PRIORI”- the lost taste, inspired by the principles of advancement and social solidarity, aim to recover, enhance, promote and safeguard the dogwood since the fruit itself was very important for the community in the past giving the city its name Corneto, the current Tarquinia.
Stemma: di rosso alla croce piana d’argento caricata in palo e fascia di un corniolo al naturale radicato, fogliato e fruttifero di rosso
| Characteristics of the fruit |
Dogberries are drupes similar to small long-shaped cherries, green at first, then scarlet red when ripe. They have an acidulous taste but when mature, they become pleasant, refreshing and with a slight astringent effect.
| Utilization |
Apart from being eaten fresh, dogberries are highly sought after for the preparation of excellent jams, jellies, preserves and for flavouring liqueurs.
Mostard is excellent in combination with cheese, boiled meat and dishes prepared with venison. They are also stored in alcohol (in the same way as cherries) and in brine, as is the case for olives.
| Nutritional properties |
Dogberries are very rich in vitamins, carotenes, pectins, tannins, mucilages, fructose and organic acids (maleic, Gallic and oxalic acid). In particular, they contain high amounts of vitamin C, more than double in comparison to citrus fruits!
| Oddities about “corniolo” |
A widespread legend in Crimea tells that the Devil asked Allah to have the “Corniolo” tree all for himself, because seeing it blooming before all the others, between the end of winter and the beginning of spring, he thought. He could thus eat berries before everybody else. But “Corniolo” is such a very late and slow maturing species that the devil got so upset, sick and tired of waiting, to spit on the plant giving it to humankind, who nowadays happily gathers it in late autumn. “Corniolo” (Cornus mas) owes its name to the wood hardness characterizing the bark of this fruit tree. Indeed, the name “Corniolo” comes from the term “cornus” which means “corno” (horn). According to legend, the Trojan horse was built precisely in “Corniolo” wood as well as the spear used by Romolo to draw the borders of Rome. The Romans used the wood of this plant to manufacture the spokes of the wagon wheels and the wedges to split wood logs in order to make spears and darts, thanks to its strength. It is said that even Robin Hood’s arch was made of “Corniolo” wood. The Serbian-orthodox community considers “Corniolo” a sacred plant: a popular Serbian and Italian saying says: “as healthy as Corniolo”.