Castel di Sangro
My team spent most of the day in Castel di Sangro. On our way there we got stopped by the police, which was slightly scary, but we all made it. Perhaps traveling in a van full of foreigners between small towns looks a bit sketchy to the Italian police...
We started off at the weekly Thursday market which featured a chaotic array of clothing, food, household supplies, and town souvenirs.
The guy at the cheese/meat truck thought it was super cool that we were from Boston and kept on giving us massive cheese samples. He then took a photo with us and said if we WhatsApped it to him he would frame it and put it in his house. Guess we're famous now. Also please enjoy John trying to take a photo while still trying to eat the cheese continously being given to him.
We then headed to the train station. The town has lots of ideas and funding to improve the station, such as removing a second rail line that blocks the main line from the town center and adding a bus terminal. The mayor (chomping on the last bits of a cigar, naturally) and vice mayor paid us a surprise visit while we were there.
We then walked around and then headed to a building housing three museums: World War II, fishing, and archeology/town history.
I still love these public water bottle fillers, plus a cool bridge we saw on the way.
Signs outside the museum.
Courtyard of the museum, which is another former monastery.
Paintings on the courtyard walls. They were damaged by the monks, who didn't realize that the smoke from the cooking would be bad for the paint.
The town basilica made out of matchsticks.
Some historical pottery.
World War II museum.
New room that will expand the museum.
Old crypt (with the obligatory skull and crossbones) inside the expansion room.
We then went on a hike up to the old castle, which was a site for battles between Germans and Canadians along the Gustav Line. The hike involved stuffing our faces with the delicious bread and cheese from the market, and then eating more once we got to the top. One of the cheeses was an interesting local version of ricotta, which was much sweeter than the version we usually get in the US. There were lots of wildflowers, which Amanda picked and combined into a nice bouquet. The views from the top were incredible.
Afterwards we went to the basilica and then ran back to the cars once it started to rain. More appreciation of the public water spouts.
Of course, the next logical step was to take shelter from the rain in a cafe in the town center to day drink and eat more food in the form of aperitivo. We had some leftovers...
We then went back to the Roccaraso station to work on our projects. The Wi-Fi is still down but we were still able to meet and discuss our work together.
We tried to pick cherries from the trees by where we parked the cars and then had dinner back in the main town plaza to say goodbye to Gabriele and welcome the other Sarah L. There was a beautiful sunset.
Afte dinner John and Ipshita hung out in the library with me to enjoy the Wi-Fi. Please enjoy this awkward selfie and blurry proof that I did not lock up the library today (thanks, John)