Narrator: Mario Olimpieri – local historian

Some places look alike. The Tuscia territory is littered with caves. Natural caves or caves dug by men and then used for centuries after. What makes them unique are the stories that took place in their vicinity. Doesn’t matter if the stories are real or not. What matters is that they’re being told. Stories have the power to shape people’s imagination.

The mercareccia cave also known as Tiburzi’s cave was probably a natural cave that was enlarged and modified over time according to men’s needs, as evidenced by the presence of excavation tracks still visible on its walls. The entire Tuscia territory is littered with similar caves, some of which are still being used. The name by which this cave is universally known suggests it was a place used to brand livestock that was raised in the wild (a practice called “merca”) or, more generally, for shepherds and pockmarks to take shelter. The possibility that Tiburzi and his crew might have taken shelter in this cave cannot be ruled out, seeing as it is located right in the middle of what the journalist Adolfo Rossi called “Tiburzi’s Kingdom”. The cave’s typical double entrance creates, with the change in sun exposure, evocative plays of light when it hits the walls, drawing attention to the many marks left by the use of excavation tools.