Maja, the Eagle of Majella


Our eagle Maja carries on exploring the beautiful Majella National Park.

Autumn colors are transforming the Park aspect and during one of its flights to enjoy this spectacle of nature, Maja will discover the story hidden behind the dry-stone tholos huts, present in the territory.

The different shades of green in the woods are taking on tinges of yellow, red and brown. The silence of the valleys is broken by the grazing deer’s bell, gluttonous for the generous gifts of Nature. Waters of rivers and brooks are copious, thanks to the tardy rains of late Summer.

Our friend Maja observes the colors of the nature surrounding the

Hermitage of San Bartolomeo, also changed through the coming Autumn and decides to continue, flying over the Giumentina Valley, filled up with new perfumes and autumn fragrances that stir our eagle’s sense of smell. Under the watchful glance of our eagle, the various dry-stone tholos huts follow one another, belonging to an ancient past, unknown to our young friend.

In the core of Majella Park, there are many places where to observe them and one among the most famous is Colle della Civita.

Right here, Maja meets a group of people, carefully listening to a guide, who is telling their origin and its innate curiosity pushes our eagle to roost on the closest rock.

"Dry-stone tholos huts are the ancient lifestyle proof of people of Abruzzo. When farmers worked the land, they found often big stones that were removed to form pyramidal heaps of stones. These represented the main deposit of material used for building barns, warehouses or simple shelters. Over time, many dry-stone tholos huts were built, some simple and low and others wider and until three floors. Around some of them were erected low walls to protect animals. During the years and after the development of civilization, these buildings were abandoned by farmers, and became shelters for shepherds and their animals. When even shepherds began to abandon them, without the due farmers’ maintenance and subject to the damage caused by the heavy winter weather, structures decayed, as we can see today."

Therefore, when Maja looks better around, discovers that the heaps of stones are actually the remains of tholos huts.

Fortunately, many of them are in good conditions together with their low walls and Maja observes them amazed at their beauty, trying to memorize their form and image, before time can change them forever.

Thank you again for reading this article. As mentioned above, the territory of Majella and of Abruzzo region, offers many examples of tholos still entire and it is worth visiting them with the highest respect and attention, because they have to be preserved for their beauty and because they represent an important symbolic trace of an ancient past.



Collaborator of the farm stay Il Portone, Borgo San Martino

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