Noe welcomed us as well

Marino v sončnem zahodu
Another sunset in Marino

We’re still in Marino, but we’ll be leaving soon. On Monday, we are boarding on an Ark (Ark community), where we will be staying for about a month. Prior to this, we would like to share some insights to this wonderful town, because we truly became very fond of it.

Charming Italian towns

Marino Italia
Silva was fond of these mailboxes, noticing them along the way to Lago Albano lake.

We have been writing about Marino in our previous posts here and here, but not focused on a town itself. These kind of small Italian towns are often not familiar even to Italians (We met a man from Rome that did not know about Marino, although living merely 25 km away.). These towns are so charming, that one could stay there forever (Stroncone is one such town as well).


The city has 43,000 inhabitants and, like many other cities in Umbria and Lazio, was built on a hill. This of course means that from the local train station to the city center one should go upwards and make some effort. But the view is much better though.

Castel De Paolis: San Nilo
San Nilo wine. IT was a gift from Dmitrij, our host in Marino.

Vino di Marino

The city is known for its vineyards, excellent grapes and white wine – well known in the entire province under a name vino di Marino. While experts do not value it highly, it is of a greatest taste – telling you this form firsthand experience. 🙂

Living on a volcano

Otherwise, the town lies on the hills of Albano, which is in fact an extinct volcano (last time it erupted somewhere between 36,000 and 39,000 years ago). Therefore, we can say that currently we live in one of the volcanic craters. No, we do not fear for volcano to erupt right now…

Something healthy

Apparently a volcanic area has some advantages. Tap water is extremely rich in minerals and even people from other Italian cities come to ‘filling’ bottles. Moreover, the soil is healthy, fertile, overgrown with trees and forests.

Castel Gandolfo
A view over pope’s summer residency

Pope’s summer residency

From our apartment, we have a beautiful view of the medieval castles (Castelli Romani). Behind the castles there is Castell Gandolfo, where popes spend their summer breaks.

Locals can tell you all about Pope John Paul II, has been spending every summer here for his vacation, occasionally Pope Benedict XVI as well and current Pope Francis also comes to visit the place. The territory of the residence (and a few areas adjacent to it), is owned by the Vatican rather than Italy.

Lago Albano

One afternoon, we went to one of the lakes, a natural attraction of this district. Let the pictures speak for themselves.

I could talk about Marino for ages, but some space should be given for the first community that will host us from Monday onward.

Bording to the Ark

I will write about Ark community more in detail in our following article. Now, I want to share with you that after two unsuccessful attempts, we finally managed to schedule an appointment. We had the opportunity to present the Operando’s mission to Mr Mark Veronezi (the head of the community) and to Marinella who is responsible for the volunteers. After the meeting we had a joined meal together.

Attention – uncurable virus!

It is really interesting how Ark’s charisma (and the one of its founder Jean Vanier) reflects through each Ark community. I myself have spent two years in Slovenian Ark community – Barka (one year as an assistant in the house and second year as a workshop assistant) and three months in Italian Ark in Bologna.

Warmth, joy and close friendships between persons with disabilities and assistants can be felt instantly. It is something contagious, and is quite difficult to explain. It is best to feel and experience the Ark in ‘live’ mode.

I admit that I caught the ‘Ark virus’ myself and still often think of intense times spent together with the ‘arkers’.

The Ark & Cottolengo, here we come!

Following two months, we will be therefore reporting directly from the Ark community and from the Cottolengo hospital in Turin.

If you would like to share your views, experience or just some thoughts, do leave a comment below this article. Silva has also published a new prayer When I was a stranger, so that we may remain spiritually connected. 

God is working indeed – right now! Operando.


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