Piazza del Gesu, in Viterbo, is a great place for me to draw, full of history and interest, but until this year, nothing had worked out. Time after time, I'd pass through and find that the sun or shade were in the wrong place. Or, I'd find that the piazza was filled with vehicles or temporary structures, blocking things worth capturing. Yet, time and time again, I circled the place, looking high and low, before inevitably moving on to draw somewhere else. All good drawings come from enthusiasm. If I don't feel enthused, I keep walking.
Finally, this year, the piazza posed for me as I wished. It was a quiet time with just a few boys kicking a soccer ball at each other, and against the wall of the very old church of San Silvestro (to the left). They shouted and challenged each other to juggle the ball with their feet, without letting it touch the ground. One boy recorded the rivalry with his cell phone.
Long before, on March 12, 1271, a rivalry of a more serious consequence took place at this church. Two brothers, Guy and Simon de Monfort, attacked Henry of Cornwall, the cousin of the King of England. Guy killed Henry at the foot of the altar, where he had run for cover. The crime took place during a religious service, and the priest who tried to intervene was killed as well. Another priest was badly wounded. The Monfort brothers were revenging the death of their father, the Earl of Leicester, who had been put to death by the King following a revolt.
This incident could not, of course, be recorded on a cell phone, but it was recorded by Dante Alighieri, in his famous Inferno, in which Guy de Monfort was forever immersed in boiling blood.