We have been to Norcia before, the land of salami, tartufo and funghi, charming and inviting town. Today wand found it to be ae decided to get out of Ascoli Piceno for the day and drove over to Norcia to check out their weekly mercato. The mercato wasn’t much to get excited about, but we made an interesting discovery while in Norcia.
Norcia is the birthplace of San Benedetto and the Duomo is dedicated to this monastic founder. Next to the Duomo, which is located in Piazza San Benedetto, is a shop that sell products produced by the Benedictine monks who live there, which we hadn’t seen on our last visit. We went inside to see what kinds of goodies they might have, as we consider it a worthy cause to support such groups when possible.
When we entered, there was a brother behind the counter who we exchanged greetings with and then he asked us in very clear English where we were from. It turns out that Brother John is from Detroit. He told us that the brothers in Norcia are all Americans and the head priest is from a seminary in Indiana, St. Meinrad. Brother John told us that despite Norcia being the birthplace of San Benedetto, there had not been a presence of the order there since the time of Napoleon, and they started their community there seven years ago.
You can check out their web-site at www.osbnorcia.org.
So if you visit Norcia be sure to stop by their shop to the left of the Duomo and say “hello” to the brothers.