Called “the village of stone houses” and member of the Prettiest Villages in Italy Club (I Borghi più belli d’Italia), Guardia must be walked through slowly, catching the benevolent looks of women from the doors of their houses, it is not rhetorical to think that when Francesco Rosi came to shoot the sequences of “Christ stopped at Eboli,” he felt that it had a village atmosphere that has been lost elsewhere. A perfect neorealist setting, where the linen hanging between alleys is less careless than the housing materials that have been ruined in a lot of other old towns.
Stone proudly resists in Guardia Perticara. The Gorgoglione stone gives life and importance to its portals, stairs, arches and galleries and marries well with the wrought iron balconies and definitely with the fresh air that carries the smell of woods in the streets without encountering any resistance.
The stone carved by craftsmen and the red brick vaults let visitors know that this village is seriously involved in regaining its identity. This can be seen thanks to its many renovations and, finally, by the new cast iron lighting that revives of the old toponyms and signs. There is still a lot to do but in the meantime slovenliness has been banned.
It´s beautiful going up the stairs that climb to the castle, where it dominates the entire valley of Sauro (700 m height), walking along charming streets, where houses made in stone still have the traditional old bent tiles, the ancient windows frames and the architectural details of a masterly secular building technique.
It is easy to get lost in this stony greyness which is like the emblem of a life that needs to be redeemed, that wants to open new pages in the landscape of the South, finding sense in a community destroyed by emigration and now ready to regain their village.
This village inspires confidence because it´s beautiful, humble and simple.