Until 1996

 

These old archival photos show the Church Of The Holy Spirit in the village of Indicatore, a few miles from Arezzo in Tuscany. The religious building, constructed on a plot of land located between the railroad and the State Road n.69, was consecrated in 1965.

 

The church was built to provide a cultural focus for the village of Indicatore. Different from nearby villages, Indicatore didn't have a church because until after WWII the place was similar to what in the past would have been called a coaching inn. The village, located at the crossroads between two main thoroughfares that branched off from the Valdarno (North) to Arezzo (Southwest) and the Valdichiana (Southeast), originally consisted of a few stone houses with small shops on their ground floors and few modest homes in the nearby countryside. In the official documents of the Municipality of Arezzo, the inhabitants were, until the Forties, identified as residents at The Column of the Indicator. The column, also called the Lorreinese Column, consists of a stone block of sandstone with a iron metal indicator on top, and two large directional arrows with the inscriptions "Arezzo" on one side and "Valdichiana" on the other. It is the only historical monument in the village. The directional column was erected where it stands today in the mid XIX c.in accordance with the will of Leopold II of Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany. This was a continuation of the modernisation of the roads of the Grand Duchy, begun fifty years before by the illuminist king Pieter Leopold. 

Starting from the mid XIX c., well before modern road signs and GPS devices appeared, the directional arrows of the Lorreinese column indicated to travelers the directions to the Arezzo valleys.

 

Indicatore began to take the shape of a village in the Fifties. The depopulation of the countryside and migrations from the South of Italy are the two factors that contributed most to the explosion of the population of Indicatore in the decades following WWII. These were the years of the economic boom when people who could find a job were also capable of saving enough money to purchase a house or a condo. In Indicatore there were many plots of land that could be used to build new homes. At first, new shops appeared, providing the residents with the goods they needed. Not long after, there arose a desire to give to the residents a local place of culture. By 1965, when the Church of The Holy Spirit was consecrated, the population had exceded  that of nearby villages.

More recently, in the Nineties, the two first waves of European migration were replaced by migrations from other countries, further contributing to the town's growth. By the 2000s the village numbered over 3000 inhabitants.

The Column of the Indicator

A village needs a church

Indicatore has a recent history as a village and over the decades its residents have endeavored to build a community identity. The church represents a crucial step in this process, helping to foster a sense of community and representing a natural place where people can gather, bring their children and volunteer. Over time, the sense of community has evolved just as people and their ways of spending time together have evolved. The new priest, assigned to the parish in 1996, has felt the need to provide the local community with a place more modern and welcoming. In the mid Nineties, help for this revitalization came unexpectedly from a collaboration between the priest and a young local artist. 

In 1996 in the Church of the Holy Spirit of Indicatore arrived the new priest, Don Santi Chioccioli. The situation he confronted was not very promising.

Aesthetically speaking, the church showed visible signs of decay and any intervention seemed daunting given the sizeable dimensions of the building. 

During the Easter blessing of local houses, Don Santi met with the artist Andreina Giorgia Carpenito. While visiting the house of the artist, the priest was struck by a painting of maternity realized by Andreina. He not only decided to buy the painting but also asked the young woman to plan an altarpiece for the Church of the Holy Spirit. The objective: bring back warmth and color to a cold structure originally dominated by cement and transparent glass. 

This is the first challenge Andreina has faced, many others will follow.

The identity of a community to rebuild

The fellowship between a priest and an artist

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Il Mosaico di Andreina - Loc. Indicatore I n.7 - Arezzo - +39 347 1891946 - e-mail ass.ezechiele@gmail.com