Frequently, when one thinks of visiting Italy the main cities of Firenze, Pisa, Venezia, and of course Roma are on the itinerary. If one is feeling more adventurous then side-trips to small towns in Tuscany might be added to the list. I wonder if it is possible to visit (and I mean more than simply drive through) every small town in Italy in an entire lifetime.

Sulmona is not a large city by almost any standard (25,000 inhabitants) but when compared to the many much smaller communities around it, Sulmona feels large simply by comparison. Bugnara, Pacentro, and Rivisondoli are some of these much smaller towns that are found all over Italy. We spent a couple of days in this region in an area and geography that made us feel right at home, many times per day we would look up at the mountains and have to convince ourselves that we weren’t going to see Rock Canyon, Squaw Peak, Mount Timpanogos or a block Y in the mountains around us.

We drove through numerous tiny towns, with the focus being Bugnara which is one of the towns in Italy from whence Kerry’s ancestors originated. Some of these small towns at least expect some small trickle of tourists even though they are certainly not equipped to handle, nor do they receive, even the 100th part of the number of tourists visiting Firenze or Venezia (probably not the 1000th part or more). Bugnara strikes me as a town as accustomed to wandering tourists as Phoenix, Arizona is to snow removal. It isn’t that tourists aren’t welcomed, but what are the chances any tourist would purposely visit this incredibly sleepy (snoring, even) little commune? So I’m sure that seeing us in the town on two consecutive days, wandering the streets and even taking pictures must’ve left any who saw us scratching their heads. We also were able to spend some time perusing church records of baptisms, marriages, and deaths (not necessarily in that order) dating back to the 1600′s and some even to the 1500′s thanks to a very accommodating Priest.

Roma will be the point of departure shortly. Even if it is possible to visit all of Italy’s tiny towns in a lifetime I am certain that it is not possible to acknowledge, visit, appreciate, and study all that the Eternal City has to offer in many lifetimes. There have simply been too many years of civilization heaped upon this geographical zone.