East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Halloween with the Baphomet

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So, as you are reading this I am rushing to finish two jobs to hit the deadline, and then I’ll be gearing up for my NENaNoWriMo thing: writing a novella whose tag-line is “Like Dan Brown but lowbrow”.
A story about the secret of the Templar Knights, set here in Nizza Monferrato, jewel of Astigianistan, smack in the middle of the UNESCO Heritage site of the Langhe & Monferrato vineyards.


The Jewel of Astigianistan

To get in the mood (and to break away from a month spent writing eight hours a say, seven days a week) yesterday I took a long and pleasant trip to the town of Saliceto, once a Templar chapter house, now a cheerful and quiet country place.
We (I was with my brother and a few other punters) went on a guided visit of the cat-infested alleys of the Medieval town center, and then visited the ancient churches, and the castle.


And there was a lot of food for thought and inspiration – from a recently discovered Templar (and/or possibly Masonic) chapel that had been walled-in for centuries, to unusual frescoes with Middle-Eastern influences and hermetic meanings…


… to a church filled with anomalous paintings (some of them copies, the originals stolen years ago) and rather un-Christian elements, including a Baphomet.


The day ended in nearby Cerro, a small village that boasts an unusual church and a derelict, spooky, and highly suggestive Napoleonic graveyard.


A nice day, a fun and instructive field trip, and a few good ideas for my not-yet-even-outlined story.
All I know is it will begin with a black-haired woman stepping down a train in a lonely station, late one autumn evening…


I wonder if I should put up one of those word-counter thingies, here in the sidebar.
What do you say?

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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