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Today sitting with this painting on full display in the duomo of San Martino in Pietrasanta.

I wonder at how such a symbolic painting stands in the centre of such an important place, truly a message ‘hidden in plain sight’… and it hangs as a sacred icon holding a powerful energy (vortex / portal even) in this very place for a reason…. this is truly a place of the Magdalene.

Her towers are littered all over Tuscany on hilltops, with many clues including the bridge that Empress Mathilde had built and named after her. I have had many sacred visions in various areas of Tuscany.

And here today I share about Pietrasanta, where I have been sitting.

Pietrasanta, a very holy place, and one of the most beautiful indeed, and still today a centre for the arts. Meaning ‘Holy Stone’ or ‘Sacred Rock’ some say after the local marble, but stone can refer to many things indeed. Home to many over a rich and interesting history, including the ancient civilisation of the Etruscans. The origins of the town being the ancient fortress behind it called Rocca di Sala (sala meaning important room or hall / temple). This is the sacred home of the sacred temple or rock. Sala is on the pilgrim path of the via Francigena.

La Rocca pallazo is a square shape, on the corners there are towers and in the centre there was a main tower with lanterns and a bell.

Many ‘important’ people in European politics, such as kings (including Charles viii and Charles v - Habsburg) have passed through and stayed here.

Florence and the Medici family took ‘ownership’ of this sacred place in 1513, supposedly sending the one they call Michelangelo in 1518 where he sourced his marble for the facade of Florence’s San Lorenzo, and other works of art.

The duomo in Pietrasanta has bullet holes from ww2 in the walls outside, in front of which today stands a modern sculpture of the last Empress Zita de Bourbon-Parme, the last (deposed & exiled) Queen of Austria-Hungary and Bohemia, born nearby and named after Saint Zita. Reading her life story, it seems fairly symbolic how she stands before bullet holes in the walls of this duomo.

So there is a presence and a history of Habsburgs in this sacred place of the holy temple, where hangs this most important painting.

I am interested in the root, the original roots of this place, and why so many ‘important’ people (players on both sides of the ancient cosmic wars) have such a presence here or even took ownership... and why this painting hangs here.

In nearby Lucca (the star fort city built on water) there is another Zita who is famed which is no coincidence. (She is called Sitha in England). The original Saint Zita (who this afore mentioned last empress zita was named after, as ‘french royalty reigning in italy’) was supposedly a simple country girl who made her way to nearby Lucca, where she spent much time in the in the Basilica di San Frediano in Lucca. (named after the Irish monk who built it) as householder, hence often painted holding many keys (of course, symbolic for much…)

Zita is known for many miracles oft including loafs of bread she gave to the poor (and were miraculously replenished). In fact she has 150 miracles attributed to her, including a star that appeared above her when she passed. Her body was exhumed in 1580, and it was discovered to be ‘incorrupt'and is currently on display in the same Basilica of the Irish monk.

Dante refers to the town of Lucca as the town of St Zita. There is also the sarcophagus of an English King Richard from 700s in this same church, who died in lucca whilst on pilgrimage and was sainted. Lucca also houses a Black Madonna, as well as the black sacred icon of the Christ that supposedly appeared here miraculously - and some English kings took oaths ‘By the Holy Face of Lucca’. On the walls of the St Martino in Lucca there is an ancient carved labyrinth.

So we have 2 important 'St Martinos' - in Lucca and Pietrasanta.

San Martino (saint martin) is most commonly known for the following story.

“On a cold winter day he saw a beggar shivering outside the dates. He cut his own cloak in two and gave half to the beggar. That night he saw Christ in a dream, wearing the half cloak and saying "Martin, still a catechumen, has covered me with his garment." He immediately sought Baptism. An episode when he asked to leave the army, since as "a soldier of Christ" it was no longer lawful for him to fight for the empire, led to a brief imprisonment on a charge of cowardice, but he was released …then journeyed through the Alps, escaping bandits and robbers to his homeland and encouraged his mother and others, though not his father to become Christians. After this he journeyed to Milan…”

…and an anecdote about Rocca di Sala in Pietrasanta “On the 20th of March 1324, having considered that it was good to fortify and garrison the land of Pietra Santa, very fertile and populated and with a beautiful site by the sea, he went there with practical men, and brought his son Enrico there, who wanted foundations cast the first stone; above which he placed a beautiful sapphire bound in gold, in a cup full of water and wine: and this was under the door, called the ghibelline, and in the postern; placing in each of these places a gold florin (also in cups filled with water and wine) which was one of those that he had minted: and said Rocca had it called Arrighina for the name of his son”

Despite the attempts to own & control this sacred place through a long and rich history, there is no doubt about it, it certainly holds a very beautiful and sacred presence. That is what draws me. And this is what draws me to place it on the Goddess ‘map’ as a ‘portal’ by sharing about it here on these pages publicly.

Pietra santa… Rocca di Sala... holy stone, sacred temple….what secrets do you hold in your sacred rock?


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