Wednesday, June 20, 2007


A DEADLY SEA CREATURE sighted by townspeople in a popular local swimming hole has locals and students fearing for their lives.

The fabulous beast, previously confined to only to legend, was seen by a number of credible eyewitnesses this week. The savage water serpent's domain, known to students as "the Waterfall", is a picturesque collection of craggy rocks and frigid water where students and locals love to sun themselves and splash about.

The slimy, slithery serpent, though, has them thinking otherwise.

"I wouldn't swim there," student Catherine Leung said with a shiver. "That's scary."

But just what is this fearsome monster that swims with impunity through the once calm waters of small town Italy?

"It's a sea creature of unknown origins," student Ian Roeber explained. "Possibly prehistoric, and certainly reptilian. It has shimmering scales that reflect its dangerous nature, and fangs that would make a saber-tooth blush."

Roeber shuddered as he recollected the awesome size of the creature, strectching out his arms to their full length in an attempt to describe the scale of this powerful beast. "The townspeople have warned us not to swim there anymore," he added.

"I heard it was a viper," student Mary Shell told me. "And I'm not frightened," she stated with confidence. "But I'm not gonna swim there. I went to a different part of the river instead- but there was a dog carcass there, mostly eaten. It smelled really bad. I took a photo."

Are the whithered remains of man's best friend a sign that the powerful jaws of this scaly serpent have moved upstream, or is there more than one sea-snake lurking in the murky waters of Cagli? "If that's your interpretation," Schell shrugged.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Students and teachers at work and play in the third week

Thursday, June 14, 2007


SOME RECENT FIGURES indicate that out of an estimated population of 59 million, Italy has over 72 million cell phones in use. Loyola student Laura Stagliano will surely have need of one of these extra phones after a seemingly routine trip to the bathroom went terribly wrong.

"I dropped my phone in the toilet," Stagliano said sheepishly in a dusky corner of Cagli's Palazzo Mochi early Thursday afternoon. "It was in my back pocket. I pulled my pants down and the phone just fell in!"

Eyewitness reports had the demure Stagliano fishing about in the toilet bowl with nothing more than her bare hands to retrieve the soggy cell phone.

"When I got it out, it wouldn't work," Stagliano said, shaking her head. "It began flashing and then the screen turned white."

Never one to give up, however, Stagliano rose to the challenge and attempted to dry off the cell phone with a rather novel method: a hair dryer. "I gave it a blow dry," she explained matter-of-factly. "And now it's drying out. But it's still not working."

In this day and age, when communication is instantaneous and the world's gone wireless, Stagliano finds herself in something of a modern dilemma. "I don't know what I'm going to do," she confided, a very real worry in her eye. "This is not good. I need my phone!"

Perhaps she could borrow one of those 13 million extras?

A POOLSIDE SAUSAGE PARTY ended up all wet after students and teachers alike pulled one another into the frothy abyss.

Local landlord and man about town Mario Carnale hosted the event at his luxurious holiday villa nestled in the foothills of Cagli. Co-host Father Bruno Segatta cooked "suasages", as he calls them, on a smoky barbecue as students laughed and dipped their feet in the icy pool water.

But no-one dared to enter the freezing swimming hole, until, in a burst of his trademark peppy enthusiasm, Fr Bruno threw his barbecue tools to the ground, tore his shirt from his chest, and plunged with reckless abandon into the pool. Students looked on in shock while a group of Germans, guests of Carnale, looked on in horror and surprise.

The pool area horseplay had just begun, however. Mere minutes later, playful padrone Mario Carnale dragged fully-clothed intercultural communication professor Dr John Caputo into the water. Caputo grimaced as he pulled himself from the chilly liquid, a soggy mess. He was later seen holding his wet belongings in a tatty plastic bag.

Moved by the sight of their elders splashing about gleefully, a few students found themselves thirsting for their own turn in the chlorinated spray.

"I jumped in," Gonzaga student Reid Johnson told me. "I don't know why. I'm not quite sure. I was just feeling frisky. But the water was delectable." And the sausages? "Ah," Johnson sighed wistfully, licking his lips and recalling the grilled, salty meats. "Plump and moist."

Dapper dresser and fellow Gonzagan Michael Paine made an appearance at the event, dressed to the nines in his new pants and snazzy euro-shoes. His moment in the fashion limelight was short-lived, however, as when Paine neared the pool he received a saucy splash from classmate Johnson.

"At first, I felt cool, and chill," Paine told me. "But when water was splashed on my new euro-shoes? I got angry." Paine smiled, though, as he recalled how his anger turned to bliss when he adopted a laid-back euro-attitude. "I just thought 'c'est la vie', or whatever it is in Italian. I just thought of Bruno-- 'no worries, bro'! And that's euro, man."

Sunday, June 10, 2007


THE SCENE WAS ONE OF LAST-MINUTE DESPERATION as students raced through the narrow streets of Old Cagli on Saturday night, purses dangling after them as they headed into the humid, sultry night. Their destination? “Masai Le Club”, the region’s premier discotheque, for a dinner party and all-night dancing extravaganza. Their evening plans hung in the balance as they reached the bus station to with only minutes to spare.

Luck was on their side that night: everyone was accounted for on the bus, and they breathed a sigh of relief as they pulled into the Masai driveway a few kilometers down the road.

Once within the confines of the palatial dance compound, the students relaxed poolside, where they were served “alcoholic beverages and munchy food,” according to student Kathryn Gregory, who detailed an expansive list of appetizers including miniature pizzas, mozerella and olives, and melon and prosciutto.

With the hors d’ouvres safely out of the way, the students were led to an enormous table, whereupon they were regaled with a substantial three-course meal befitting a king. “Everyone was pretty happy,” Gregory smiled.

Alas, all the excitement of the day proved to be too much for student Catherine Leung, who found herself growing noticeably fatigued at dinner. “I passed out!” she exclaimed, turning away in shame at the memory of snoozing through the meal. “A lady asked if I was okay! She said ‘Your hair’s in the food’.”

But once the powerful, thumping sounds of booming bass in your face began pumping from the state-of-the-art sound system at Masai, Leung found her second wind. “I was ready to go dance!” she grinned. As Italian house music blasted from underneath a large tent, the students began shaking their tailfeathers and shimmying amid the local crowd. However, the students did not think much of the dancing of the Italian boys, some of whom were going shirtless.

“We tore up that dance floor,” graduate assistant Kristen Cesiro told me. “But it was all us! Those Italian boys were really bad dancers.”

Leung was similarly unimpressed by the indigenous dance style. “All they did was step to the left and step to the right! The problem was that they were so skinny! No hips! Nothing to work with,” she sighed.

Student Lea Faminiano, however, was so impressed by the spins, dips, and sways of the locals that she and broadcasting major Reid Johnson spent the night copying the Italians’ moves. “But we were better,” she confided with a sly smile.

The students spent all evening sashaying across the dance floor and shaking all around until the wee hours of the morning. “We didn’t leave until 4am,” student Laura Treadway told me. “But it was a lotta fun.”

For some students, it was also an occasion to get all decked out and sport their finest togs. Student Michael Paine spent all of Saturday afternoon on a personal fashion quest, dipping in and out of small local clothing shops in search of a suitable ‘Euro-outfit’. He was accompanied by a number of female students who acted as unpaid wardrobe consultants to Mr Paine, legendary for his scant regard to the dictates of fashion.

“I looked good,” Paine told me in the computer lab, recounting his head-to-toe refitting, complete with a new pair of Euro-shoes. But by Sunday morning, he had put away his finery and was relaxing in a sunbeam sporting a more laid-back ensemble consisting of shorts and a baggy sports t-shirt. He explained to me how he couldn’t remain at such fashionable heights past the one night. “All my nice clothes are back in the U.S.!” he told me with a deep groan. “I’m just going to have to stick to my grungy style.”

Thursday, June 07, 2007


HAPPY STUDENTS MADE IT BACK TO CAGLI from their weekend trip to Florence and Rome full of enthusiasm and shopping bags, ready to plunge headfirst into their interviews, videos and photography for their various projects.

"Well- I don't have a project yet," student Melissa Traynor confided to me while munching on a piece of bread Wednesday night. "But it's okay." And as for the weekend? "Rome... hmmm. It rained. Lots of running around. I got bruises! But Florence was great, especially Bruno's tour."

Student Katrina Hickman had a complaint: "In Florence, drunk Americans kept me up at 2am singing 'Build Me Up Buttercup'! But I slept nevertheless." How were the cities themselves? "Great! I loved the doors-- some of them were even bigger than this building! And I loved the shopping!"

Asked how her project, on a local WWII veteran, was coming along, she beamed. "As of today, wonderful! Fabulous!"

Not everyone was tempted by the glories of art and culture in Florence and Rome. Student Alex Cirillo spent the weekend in the area, photographing a cycling tournament for her story. "We took a bus and got a little confused," she told me in an intimate corner of Ristorante La Lanterna. "No-one spoke English. But we met a guy whose brother drove us around, and we got these amazing shots-- crazy s-curves."

Cirillo explained that the highlight of her day of photojournalism was when she found herself under a tent on Republic Day with a group of Italian cyclists, sharing pasta and wine. It was, in her words, "like a once in a lifetime kinda thing".

But another once in a lifetime event was yet to happen. When the tournament was completed, Cirillo was shocked and astounded to see the prizes. Third place, two bottles of wine. Second place? A sausage! And first place? A big ham.

"You could even see the ball-joint in the ham bone," Cirillo, a vegetarian, sighed. "I would have gone for third place."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


EVERY YEAR in the Cagli Project, students keep journals about their observations and interactions in Cagli. The most interesting of these observations are periodically posted to one of Cronaca di Cagli's sister blogs, Cagli Adesso.

Take a few minutes to head over there and read a few of this year's first impressions, interspersed with a few photos taken around town by various students. Check back weekly for new posts!

That's Cagli Adesso! Hop to it! (

Sunday, June 03, 2007


WITH MOST OF THE STUDENTS OFF IN FLORENCE and Rome this weekend, it's a slow news day here in the Cronaca di Cagli offices. But fear not- we present to you here a selection of photos taken over the first week in Cagli to whet your insatiable appetite.


JESUIT PRIEST AND ITALIAN NATIVE Fr. Bruno Segatta brought his famous tomato sauce to the streets of Cagli on Thursday in an unprecented roadside pasta party.

Bruno invited students to cook up bowls full of noodles at their individual residences, and rendez-vous at a plastic table on quaint, cobblestoned via Lapis for a dollop of his famed sauce. Bruno stood watch behind the multitude of pots, pans, and collanders, ladling out and stirring his giant tub of sauce. "Come eat," he shouted. "Have some more!"

The gourmet chef, clad in shorts and a t-shirt, with a pair of sunglasses dangling round his neck, spent the better part of the afternoon slaving over a hot stovetop, chopping garlic and dicing various vegetables. Graduate assistant Darcy Caputo added to the bohemian atmosphere by reclining on a couch near Bruno, strumming a cheap acoustic guitar and weaving delicate melodies of love and loss while Bruno sliced and diced.

Students were enthusiastic about Bruno's sauce as they muched happily in the street off plastic plates.

"It's great!" exclaimed Mary Schell. "He's mixed everyone's different noodles together. And this sauce is great!"

Katie Koepfinger agreed. "We should definitely make this at home," she said. "I mean, I'm not an expert chef, but I'll try!"

The sauce, which featured tomatoes, basil, zucchini, and eggplant, was not originally set to be a hit for student Sarah Sullivan of St Louis, Missouri. She had stated earlier that eggplant was not to her liking.

"But it's good!" she cried. "Really good! I can't even find the eggplant."

The pasta polished off, neighborly landlord Mario Carnale emerged from a darkened doorway holding boxes of miniature ice cream cones. Students ate with gusto, downing two or three at once, before Mario re-emerged with a bottle of champagne.

Students, faculty, and landlord alike ended the noodly soiree by toasting one another, giving thanks for pasta, street parties, and food-fueled fellowship.