Tomorrow's stage departs from Ponte and makes its way to Roccaraso in the province of L'Aquila (the Eagle) in the Abruzzo region.
The arms of L'Aquila
Not surprising to find an eagle, not least because the area is home to many Golden Eagles. This one is perched on a tremount which represents the three highest peaks of the Appennines: Gran Sasso, Maiella and Velino-Sirente.
The capital of L'Aquila is the city of .... L'Aquila, whose arms, in addition to the obligatory bird of prey, include the motto: Immota Manet
(Remain Unmoved) and the letters PHS
. The motto is apparently attributed to the 16th century humanist Salvatore Massonio, who came from L'Aquila, but he was quoting Vergil: "Mens immota manet, lachrimae vulvuntur inanes." (Aeneid IV 449).
As for PHS
, I am (currently) stumped.
The arms of Abruzzo region are simple and traditional, though I suspect not of any great vintage:
as one-third of Abruzzo is a national park "the greenest region in Europe", a mountainous area in the west and a coastal area in the east bordering on the Adriatic. One's imagination is not challenged by the idea that the argent represents the mountains, the vert the national park and the azure the Adriatic.