In our new four-part series, Chiara Mereghetti takes us on a fact-packed tour of Italy’s 20 regions.
Did you know…? This region is home to Lake Reschen, a former town that was completely flooded after completion of a dam. At the time of the flooding, the town was mostly in ruins; the church bell tower, however, was spared destruction, and today sticks out of the manmade lake like a giant thumb. The Netflix series Curon was filmed on location at the lake and in the surrounding town of Curon Venosta.
Speaking of… The local saying L’amor el fa far salti, la fam ancor pù alti translates as “Love makes people jump; hunger makes them jump even more.”
Did you know…? Legend has it that Satan landed in the city of Orvieto when he was cast out of heaven. The geographical spot where he is supposed to have touched down is called Culata del diavolo, or “the devil’s culata,” and apparently he left his mark: Culata referring to the impression his back made in the ground when he landed.
Speaking of… The local saying Dall'antru munnu in 'è tornatu mai niciunu translates as “No one has returned from the afterlife.” (Except, of course, the devil.)
Did you know…? This region is home to the small ghost town of Craco, which was abandoned by its former inhabitants in the 1960s after being struck by a landslide, a flood and an earthquake. Although no one has lived in the town since then, thousands of tourists visit every year, and part of the film The Passion of the Christ was shot there on location.
Speaking of… Try the local saying Và a spàlic'! (“Go gather asparagus!”) the next time you want to send someone packing.
Did you know…? Italians from the other 19 regions love teasing the residents of Molise. They joke that the region is so small and so easy to overlook that it basically doesn’t exist, the equivalent of what is known in the US as a “fly-over state.” As I’ve never been there myself, I too cannot confirm its existence.
Speaking of… The local saying Chi va pu' monne tutte vede, e chi sta n'a casa nenn'u crede means “He who travels the world sees everything; he who stays at home believes nothing about it.”
Did you know…? The peak of Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain the Alps, is supposedly located in this Italian region. France argues otherwise. The exact home of the peak of Mont Blanc is a continuing subject of debate between the two countries. Unlike the rumored region of Molise, I have been to the summit of Mont Blanc and noticed that the peak does lean a bit more toward Italy.
Speaking of… The local saying Qui prend garde de chaque nuage ne fait jamais voyage translates as “If you look after every cloud, you’ll never go on a journey.”