Wednesday, March 31, 2010

La Cascina, The Little Bronx of Calitri

I live in la Cascina, the little Bronx of Calitri's Centro Storico. 

So called for the location in the old village - small stone houses 'al piano terra' built well below the Palazzo's of the 1600's, well below the gentry and the Langobard Castello of an earlier time. And for the little ladies of the lane who keep a watchful eye on all that goes on from their balconies or front doors and who still speak the ancient dialect-language of their neighborhood ...'cian 'cian ...

Yet la Cascina is still coveted for its warm lanes full of sun and life. Most days are quiet, though I've witnessed somber religious processions, a old man pulling a pack donkey or a young one selling multi-colored brooms, neighbors putting up jars and jars of fresh tomatoes the salsa cooked over wood stoves in the heat of a summer afternoon (faccio buccac') or men preparing for the vendemmia, all in the piazzetta just out my front door.

Antique ceramic vase in a cantina