Saturday, January 15, 2011


Sulmona as seen in the movie only this square was full of market stalls. The aqueduct goes from the mountains to the town's fountain

Sulmona's major industry..confetti making. These are fancy Jordan almonds wired to look like flowers
The town of Castel Ieri (Castle of yesterday) as seen from Castelvecchio. It covers the entire hill

Downtown Celano where we spent a day taking classes at the University of L'Aquila satellite site

Feast of the frog legs and gnocchi that we attended in nearby Molina

Castle in Gagliano

Narrow alley ways as featured in The American. This is in Gagliano

Also in Gagliano
So I finally watched The American which was filmed in various parts of Abruzzo, an area often overlooked by tourists. I had stayed there almost 6 weeks in the summer of 2008 taking classes. The area is very mountainous and rugged. I stayed in Gagliano Aterno, a town of 300 that was mostly built in 1200.  The nearest town was Castelvecchio that I would run down to many mornings. There was a Castelvecchio in the movie but there are at least 2 towns with that name in Abruzzo. The one I am familiar with is Castelvecchio Subequo. I thought I recognized the nearby town of Castel Ieri. Most of the movie was shot in the very pretty town of Castel del Monte which was maybe 30 miles away. We didn't go there. But the village streets looked very similar so it was fun looking at the scenery. Some scenes were shot in Sulmona which I went to twice. It probably is the biggest city in the province of L'Aquila aside from L'Aquila itself which was destroyed in the earthquake in 2009. The movie itself? I like George Clooney but the plot did not make any sense to me. He is a hitman hired by who knows who and he is getting tired of it. He tries to hide in Abruzzo as it is so far off everyone's radar but his employer tracks him down and seems to want him dead. So A+ for scenery: C for plot. The music is good though.
Celano Castle

I had entitled one of my previous posts Castelvecchio. It is now my number one hit (surpassing Donkey Stew). I hope I am referring to the correct Castelvecchio.

One part of the movie I thought was funny. George needed to keep his work quiet. He would wait for the bells to ring and do his loud work in synch with the tolls. With the bells ringing so often, he wouldn't have to wait long. The bells in Gagliano were inconveniently right outside of my window and would ring every 15 minutes. A different bell would signal how many quarters past the hour so at 12:45, the bells would ring 15 times. During a funeral procession or a Saint's procession, the bells would ring for an hour. For a small town, there seemed to be alot of funerals while we were there. Bells..bells..bells...

More slippery snow so back to the Y for me. Too many unsupervised children running around and too many newbies on the machines with no sense of gym etiquette. Hopefully they will fade away.

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