Thursday, August 7, 2008


The aqueduct and mountains
Another view of the aqueduct

One of the older students, Mauro, rented a car and after classes, we went to Sulmona, a large (20,000)city on a plain surrounded by mountains. It is an old Roman town, the poet Ovid came from there and it is very beautiful. I wish I could have stayed there longer but I did take plenty of pictures. A medieval aqueduct runs in the middle of the town square. Its principal industries seem to be speciality liquors and confetti, which are sugared almonds. Wait until you see my pictures. The confetti stands from a distance look like flower shops. They have multicolored Jordan almonds that they arrange into flowers and other designs and they come in lots of different flavors. I did buy a few, both the confetti and the liquors along with some fancy fruit gelees. They also had very good gelato. But the buildings were all restored, no crumbling apart as they are here and the town looked very prosperous. We got lost trying to get back-we were heading to Raiano but no signs for it despite it being a good size town. We were late to dinner but they held it for us. Very good. We always have soup at night , this time lenticcini (very tiny lentils, with pasta, and for a main course, stuffed zucchinis with sides of red peppers and greens along with a slice of proscuitto and cheese. Melon for dessert-never anything other than fruit. We saw a movie about this guy single handedly taking on the mafia in his little town of Silicy. Guess how that ended. We are getting a lecture about the mafia today in film class.

Our presentation went well. Jack, of course is a natural. I was James Lipton from the Actor's Studio interviewing him as The Man with No Name. James Lipton is very easy to imitate with his pompous over-enunciations but most of the kids never heard of him. Fortunately Elena, our teacher had. I got good reviews from the audience.
At midnight I need to go to bed, but of course life continues on for several hours after that. Dana almost had us all killed. She's very attractive and outgoing and interacts with all the locals but this time it got her in big trouble. There is this handsome man, Marco, who continually is trying to get her to come home with him and have sex. She tells him about her boyfriend to no avail. Last night he got very angry for her saying no for the umpteenth time and said he was going home to get his gun and kill all the Americans. At least that's how one of the Americans translated his ravings. He seemed very serious though he was also very drunk. I guess the Italians calmed him down but he was ranting loudly about killing us all for leading him on.

I ran down to Castelvecchio this morning. I could see the boar pack off in the distance running in a field knowing that they had to cross the road to get to higher ground where they spend the day. I was paranoid at their usual crossing point, heavily wooded, that suddenly they would emerge out of the woods into me and tried to keep my ears open for heavy breathing other than my own. I saw the fox twice, once he tried to cross the road as I was running down it and he backed off and later he (or she) was running across the field that I saw it before. It is much hotter today so we took our cappuccino break inside. The locals are being nicer to me despite my lack of being Italian. They can tell not only that you are Italian but from what region your parents came from. They are guessing that I am German or Scandinavian. I am such a mixture, it is hard to tell though I am not in the least Scandinavian. The Danes here really keep to themselves-very easy to spot them.

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