Saturday, June 24, 2006

Loyal readers--
It is with this post that we at the Cronaca de Cagli bid you a fond farewell. We hope you enjoyed our hard-hitting reporting and timely exposes. Please join us next summer for another round of news.

Friday, June 23, 2006


THE FINAL WEEK OF THE CAGLI PROJECT turned out to be a no-holds-barred all-out assault of dinner parties, student shindigs, table dances, bad karaoke, fashion design, innumerable pizzas, and the high-stakes intrigue of international diplomacy.

The week began with tired, stressed-out students tearing at the walls and cursing at their laptops as they struggled against all odds (and some late-night parties) to finish thier projects.

Web design professor Cindy Bonfini-Hotlosz was seen in the Atrium until the wee hours of the morning advising students on their projects, armed with only a small bag of "Big Frut" candy.

Thursday brought a group outing to the university town of Urbino, where students met with the city's mayor as well as the president of the region in a show of international understanding. The group sat in a darkened room and watched a video of the recent Urbino Press Awards ceremony featuring Arab-American journalist and self-help author Diane Rehm.

Following the event, students took a hired bus to the countryside dream factory of fashion fop Piero Guidi, where several female students spent prodigious sums on designer handbags.

The humid day was brought to a rowdy finish with a a few rounds of karaoke at Caffe' del Corso.

On Friday night the faculty retreated to a distant farm for eggplant parmesean while students shook and gyrated to various sounds during a dinner at La Lanterna. The students distributed chocolates and hand-made awards to their professors as a sign of their undying affection and as a tribute to that noble breed of educators who improve the lives of students everywhere.

More than one participant was rumoured to be near tears.

It was a bleary-eyed group of students that assembled the next morning at 9 o'clock for a verbal pat on the back and a through deleting of the computer lab hard drives as the groggy collegians planned their future endeavours.

"I'm going to Greece on Monday," student Allyson Carroll said with a smile. "Followed by Croatia, Cinque Terre, Milan, Barcelona, Holland, and London!"

"Just working," was Kristen Cesiro's response to her summer plans. "It's at a temp agency. But I'll be playing softball too-- second base, baby!"

Melissa Schantz, taking advantage of the computer lab internet connection before the network went down, could barely conceal her disgust at the job that awaited her back home.

"I make coffee at a gym. Lifetime Fitness. $9.25 an hour. And I have to sneak out to an industrial park to smoke," she sighed.

Jen McNamara planned a similarly low-key summer. "I'm going to take a shower when I get back," she said. "Then a nap, then see my friends, go to Ohio, and get a job. Pretty boring."

Kim Schurtz planned something more extravagant. "I'm buying a yacht," she explained. "I'm going to call it 'Schurtz 'n' Jerseys'. Get it? Like, New Jersey?"

Anna Youngquist, on the other hand, took the atruistic route: "I'm going to be taking care of my mom-- she's having surgery," she explained.

And Chris Nelson's summer is as busy as they come: "I'll be interning and getting an award, both on the same day," he told me. "There's the National Association of Black Journalists convention."

Nicole Luccarelli, whose mother Susan actually prints out and distributes copies of the Cronaca di Cagli each day for friends and family, will remain right here in Italy. "I'm going to Camerano," she said. "I'm looking forward to the beach and meeting all the new students."

Will Luccarelli's beau Matteo join her in that hilltop town , shears in hand, so that students in the Camerano Project might experience the haircutting experience so dear to females in the Cagli Project?

"He might make an appearance," Luccarelli said with a sly wink.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


AN ATTEMPT BY SEVERAL PARTY-MINDED STUDENTS to raise money for a trip to the romantic northern Italian town of Venice through a bake sale went horribly wrong when the marshmallows made a sticky, gooey mess.

"We wanted to make s'mores," student Melissa Schantz recounted, nothing that the idea came to them as they dined one night on salami sandwiches. "[Translator] Antonio Mansi had never had one, and we thought he needed to try them. We thought we'd sell them for a euro each."

The junk-food-deprived students made their way to the Conad grocery store on the edge of town, where they bought multicolored candies resembling marshmallows. They then created small signs which they pinned to themselves, reading 'Venice or bust'. Room-mate Kim Schurtz came to the rescue with bobby-pins.

The students, four in all, along with Mansi and a pair of local Cagliese, made their way to a desolate part of the Italian wilderness, where they attempted to start a fire.

"All the wood was wet and slimy, though," Greg Cavaluzzo told me. "But we brought something else."

The would-be s'morse-muchers recounted how Cavaluzzo purchased a number of "Diavolina" firestarting logs, which he lit, resulting in a toxic cloud of smoke which had the most unrepentant smokers fearing for the state of their lungs.

That's when the bake sale went bad.

"Within two minutes of setting the logs alight, the smoke was out of our fire," Schantz told me, shaking her head in disbelief.

"It was a bad incident," she continued. "Greg got a really bad blistering burn. He ran and stuck his hand in a pool of stagnant water. And Allie's hair caught on fire-- I noticed a glowing ember. Alyssa even got marshmallow on her pants."

As if to add insult to injury, the catastrophe came to its pinaccle when Antonio Mansi got marshmallow in his beard.

"The marshmallows weren't even any good," Schantz said. "They had a fruity flavour."

"They were similar to sugar-coated Peeps," chimed in Kim Schurtz.

"And they got all carmelized, with a fruity aftertaste," complained Jen McNamara.

Still, at the end of the night, all agreed that despite the chaos, it was a "bonding experience".

But the question remains: how will the students get to Venice this weekend?

"We're just gonna have to call our parents," one admitted.


NOTED FOOD CONNOISSEUR and Cagli Project head Professor Ciofalo amazed onlookers Wednesday night when he willingly tore open a mayonaise packet and squirted its contents onto the cheese pizza he was in the process of eating.

In the spirit of cross-cultural understanding, Ciofalo obtained the mayonaise from student Carolyn "CK" Kennington and squeezed the fatty sauce onto his freshly-baked pizza as the Italians do.

He prepared to bite into the pie as his table guests held their breath in anticipation.

Ciofalo's final opinion?

"It's disgusting!"


THE STUDENTS AND FACULTY OF THE CAGLI PROJECT recently spent a day in the charming medieval city of Gubbio, perched amid the Appennini mountains.

"It was beautiful," student Kristen Cesiro said with enthusiasm.

"Really nice," agreed Alyssa Porambo. "And Antonio was a very good tour guide."

The students decided to take a hanging gondola, or funivia, to the top of the hill just outside town in order to view the pickled and mummified remains of Saint Ubaldus. Ubaldus, the patron saint of migraine headaches and demonic possession, passed away in 1160, but the citizens of Gubbio keep his decrepit body on display in a hilltop basilica.

"I went up the funivia by myself," Cesiro told me with pride. "But the situation was amorphous."

Asked about Saint Ubaldus, she was less than impressed. "That dude looked really dead," she said.

Most students enjoyed a leisurely ride up the mountain on the goldolas, swaying gently and allowing the fresh hillside air to toss their Matteo-styled hair to and fro in the soft breeze. But for one student, the day turned into a horrifying ordeal of unspeakable terror.

"It was the gondolas," Porambo explained with a shudder. "And Greg Cavaluzzo. He was about to pee his pants. He was freakin' out."

We caught up with Cavaluzzo in a spacious hall just off the computer lab, where he was busy editing some of his essays.

He laughed the experience off at first, but it quickly became evident that Cavaluzzo had sustained a trauma that few could expect to walk away from unscathed.

"Oh God," Cavaluzzo told me. "Antonio told me about these gondolas. I pictured an enclosed booth, with maybe a seat or two."

Cavaluzzo's face turned ashen as he recounted his discovery of the terrifying truth.

"This was no booth. This was a rickety metal object," he said, thinking back that sickening afternoon when the very sky over his head seemed to go dark. "It was like a birdcage... so creepy. And then it began swinging in the wind-- not good."

Cavaluzzo described in vivid detail the shock his body went into as the gondola soared nearly twenty feet above the hillside.

"My hands were sweating. Alyssa lit a cigarette and began swinging back and forth, telling me to look at the beautiful view. But I couldn't-- I thought we'd crash to our doom. Oh, it was horrible. Even my feet were sweating. I took off my flip-flops and left wet footprints-- kinda gross."

In the end, though, Cavaluzzo came through the ordeal, defying death itself and surviving to stare at the wrinkled husk of Saint Ubaldus at the top.

"I feel like I conquered my fear," Cavaluzzo said, wiping his brow. "In the end, I'm happy I did it."

Tuesday, June 20, 2006



STUDENTS Jasmin Conner and Allison James stunned onlookers when they aired their dirty laundry in public during a heated computer lab argument over Italian juice drinks.

"It's definately the grapefruit juice," Conner told James. "It's my all-time favorite in Cagli."

"I like 'frutti rossi' with pomegranate," James returned.

The two glared at each other from across the table.

The fight has been simmering a number of days as each room-mate has tried to prove the superiority of their respective drinks. The room-mates, who have an amicable relationship outside of beverages, have seen their friendship take a strain from the incessant battles over juice.

"The best juice is pomegranate by Santa," Allison James explained matter-of-factly. Asked if she meant Santal's "frutti rossi", a sugary mixed-juice cocktail manufactured by scandal-ridden Italian drink giant Parmalat, James replied "Whatever it is, it's delicious."

Asked if her favorite drink was also a Santal product, Jasmin Conner was unequivocal.

"It's absolutely not the same brand," she said. "Her drink comes in some kind of nasty cardboard. Mine is made of 100% plastic."

"My juice has more flavor, though," James pleaded. "Grapefruit is boring. We have four flavors at once!"

"No thanks," countered Conner. "And my grapefruit juice comes in the tall B.J.'s institutional size," she continued, referring to the popular East Coast wholesale outlet.

"Well mine's only $1.50 or so," was James's come-back. "And you can buy it in the little market."

Conner was momentarily stunned, since she must go all they way to Sidis, nearly four blocks away, to buy her juice. And she was not forthcoming about the price.

"Look, it's cheap," she said. "That's all I got to say."

In the end, both room-mates remained unconvinced by the other's argument. "You gotta get the grapefruit, God darn it!" was Conner's final plea. "It might be the best thing in Cagli!"

Shortly thereafter she walked into a door.


VIDEOGRAPHY PROFESSOR Dan Garrity experienced one of life's biggest thrills this weekend when his tongue hit Nutella for the very first time.

The thick chocolate and hazelnut spread, produced in Italy by Alba-based Ferraro SpA, is a favorite of young and old alike around the world. Yet, to Garrity, Nutella remained an unknown, a foodstuff shrouded in mystery.

It was student Anna Youngquist who opened Garrity's tastebuds to the chocolate perfection known as Nutella after she noticed him "eyeing it" in the computer lab.

"He asked me 'Can I try some?'" Youngquist explained. "'Why certainly,' I told him. 'You are grading me, aren't you?'"

According to Youngquist, Garrity took a lick of Nutella and exclaimed "Tastes just like chocolate!"

But how is it that noted world-traveler Garrity, no spring chicken, could go this long without exposing himself to the creamy spread?

"Something of that consistancy just couldn't last in Phoenix," he laughed, referring to the sprawling Arizonan city where a younger Garrity spent his formative years.

"Would I try it again?" he pondered. "Ooooooooooooh yeah."

In fact, Garrity already has plans to try Nutella in combination with other foods that some might find questionable, to say the least.

"I'd like to try Nutella with a salty fish," Garrity told me, slicing a thin strip of veal as he dined Monday night. "It hasn't been done before. And say what you will about me-- but I'm a trailblazer. I give it six months before salty fish and Nutella is the appetizer of choice at Caffe' Commercio."

Thursday, June 15, 2006



Local spikey-haired coiffeur Matteo's clippers never seem to rest. The local hairdresser's blond highlights sparkle in the Cagli sun as he flits to and fro around his chic hair salon. This is Matteo: Cagli's most "in" hairdresser, as well as being graduate assistant Nicole Luccarelli's boy toy and a noted Donald Duck tissue aficionado.

Matteo (no last name needed) has become something of a phenomenon among young ladies in the Cagli program. All attempts to count the number of women who have availed themselves of his services have failed, for every hour the number seems to increase.

"Quite simply," student Melissa Schantz told me, "He's fabuloso. I mean, fantastico. He does exactly what you want him to do."

Matteo welcomes females in need of a hair makeover into his trendy lair, known as "the Loft". He provides these shaggy-haired ladies with magazines, and offers Coke, sugary espresso, and champagne.

"You definately don't feel like you're in Cagli anymore," Lizz Samolis swooned.

"They say he's cut hair in London, Paris, and Milan," Schantz noted.

Lizz Samolis gave her fellow students a surprise Thursday morning when, with the aid of Matteo's understanding hands, she traded in her trademark pink bouffant for a more subdued asymmetrical cut she refers to as "the Hot Betsy".

"I just got tired of my hair being pink, orange, blonde, and all shades in between," she said. "I stumbled on Matteo's place and it just looked cool. And what a head massage Matteo gave me."

Her classmate Katlyn Massimino nodded in agreement: "It was orgasmic!"

Massimino visited Matteo this very afternoon, returning with a red dye job.

"It took five hours, and he dyed my arm!" she exclaimed. "But the end result was very good. There are three different reds in it. I was in a red mood. Hey, even Madonna went red."

"Normally Matteo pushes the blonde," Melissa Schantz told me. "He says red is a fall color."

So what is the reaction to the new haircuts?

"They're super-chic, and superfine!" Schantz cried.

As if on cue, a chorus of ladies entered the room and began gushing over one of the haircuts. "You look so good!" they exclaimed.

"My brother saw it," Schantz continued. "He said I looked European. And he hopes I don't get a Euro-attitude." She laughed off the notion, however. "I'll never let my hair go to my head," she told me.

But the question remains: how will these students adjust to the lazy sloppy-chop techniques of no-name American hairdressers once they're back in the U.S.A.?

"Matteo can't be topped," Lizz Samolis said with a grin. "I'm just going to have to shave my head."

Chas Davis shocked and astounded his fans yesterday when he appeared in public without his trademark ringlets.

"A few persuasive females suggested a free-of-charge hairstyling," Davis explained. Students Carolyn "CK" Kennington and Annie Carey "tag teamed", according to Davis, while Jasmin Conner did "baby cornrows" to keep Davis's unruly bangs in check.

"It was curiosity," Davis told me, relaxing in his Via Lapis apartment late Thursday afternoon. "I wanted to know how long it has gotten without curls."

However, those who witnessed Chas Davis in a curl-free state were unconvinced of its aesthetic value.

"I heard shrieks of disgust," Davis said, shaking his head. "There were expressions of disapproval. Let's be honest- it wasn't a flattering look for me."

By Thursday morning, Davis's bountiful curls had sprung back to life. "All it took was a quick shower," Davis explained, holding a bottle of Palmolive shampoo.

Did no-one appreciate the labor of love of Annie Carey and her electric hair straightener?

"There were compliments," Davis stressed. "But I believe they were not sincere."

Even Annie Carey was not impressed with the results. "I thought it looked kinda creepy," she said.

Student Kevin Zazzali, meanwhile, took a different approach.

"I went to the barber," he said. "A man doesn't need a stylist-- he needs a barber!"

Dear readers--
Your editor apoligizes for the lack of updates to la Cronaca di Cagli for the last two days; family obligations in Rome prevented our attention to timely news-gathering. Rumours have spread through the halls of the Atrium that the Cronaca was involved in a media buy-out and would be switching to a weekly format. Rest assured that this is not the case and those rumors can be put to rest. La Cronaca di Cagli remains locally-run and committed to bringing you all the breaking news of this sleepy burg around the clock. Thankyou, dear readers, for your understanding.

in Cagli was shattered yesterday when a thunderous explosion shook the main piazza.

Caffe patrons jumped from their chairs with a start as a thick cloud of dust filled the square. Locals who were in the vicinity of the blast slowly emerged from the cloud coughing and covering their faces.

"Ma che e' successo?" was the question on everybody's lips.

Students trickled out of their apartments and drifted into the piazza in confusion. "Was it bomb?" asked one, nervously. "Was it a sonic boom?" asked another, scanning the clear blue skies.

Initial reports put the blast, which blew out areas of a storefront and a second-floor apartment, down to a gas pipe explosion. But no official word came as the debris-strewn street became crowded with locals looking for an explanation of the singular event. The thick dust prevented anyone from entering the building to search for any injured people.

The mood, initially one of curiosity, turned darker later that evening when it was learned that a man remained trapped inside.

Medics spent an hour attempting to extract the man, Bruno Nocci, a jewelery dealer in whose metal laboratory the explosion was revealed to take place. Miraculously, Nocci was removed from the rubble, sustaining only slight injuries but in a state of shock. Police credited Nocci's survival to having dived under a table after the blast, which was apparently caused by a gas canister he was using in his goldworking.

A collective sigh of relief filled the piazza late Wednesday evening as it was learned there were no serious injuries. Locals celebrated their close brush with tragedy by licking gelato and treating themselves to glasses of beer. A reporter from Pesaro daily the Corriere Adriatico tapped away at his laptop in front of Caffe' d'Italia, putting his finishing touches on the story as fame-seeking locals approached his table, seeking to recount their tales of the event.

Despite the positive outcome, however, some students remained wary.

"It's still kinda creepy," student Eleni Polites opined with a shudder.

Melissa Schantz echoed the worried sentiment. "Now I'm worried about the gas in our apartment," she said.

Monday, June 12, 2006

AN UNSEASONABLY COLD JUNE NIGHT was made perceptibly hotter when nearly a dozen scantily-clad young area women strutted and sashayed across Cagli's main piazza on Sunday night.

The young women were part of the Miss Mondo competition, a Cagliese tradition since 2005, and were vying for a shot at becoming Miss Italy. The area women braved the bone-chilling temperatures to dance about on a specially-constructed stage while wearing a variety of revealing outfits.

"E' bello!" a local man shouted out, raising his alcoholic drink in the air.

Student Anna Youngquist sat at a table in the piazza. "I'm left speechless," she gasped, spooning gobs of thick hot chocolate into her mouth.

Video professor Dan Garrity, however, had plenty to say after he was shooed away by event staff while trying to film the festivities.

"I felt disrespected," he said, shaking his head. "I'm not sure they understand what GUTV (Gonzaga University TV --ed.) is all about. Since its inception in 2001, viewership has increased fourfold. We now reach literally dozens of viewers-- and they kicked me out?"

Asked if a possible 'communication mismatch' might have occured, Garrity conceded the possiblity.

"My Italian's not too great," he admitted, as "It's Raining Men" played in the background. "But I'm still pretty sure he said I'll never work in this town again."

The end of the night was somewhat anticlimactic, with many spectators being confused over who actually won the competition.

"It was number three," student Jesse Herwitz stated with authority.

"Numero otto was the winner!" shouted a local man.

As late as Monday afternoon, Web Design professor Cindy Bonfini-Hotlosz was claiming that number eleven was the actual winner.

In the end, though, we can all agree that the real winners were those who turned out in the piazza on a cold Sunday night to watch the spectacle.

To those students who wasted their weekend on the tired and tedious treasures of Florence, we can only offer our pity and condolances. While the crumbling Duomo has been around for 570 years and isn't going anywhere, and whereas the dusty old masterpieces of art grow only ever more dusty, the real natural beauty of Italy was on display right here in Cagli. For whereas the Galleria degli Uffizi is open Tuesday to Sunday from 8:15 to 6:50 and closed New Year’s Day, May 1st, and Christmas Day, Miss Mondo comes but once a year.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


GRADUATE ASSISTANT NICOLE LUCCARELLI NEVER PICTURED HERSELF behind the wheel of a turbocharged 300km/h Formula One racecar. The white-knuckle thrills and hairpin turns of the Bucci bus to Fano were enough to satistfy her insatiable need for speed. But all that was to change last week when she came down with a slight cold.

That's when she first tried Grand Prix brand decorated facial tissues.

"They're not only efficient, but extremely decorative," explained Luccarelli, with nary a sniffle.

The tissues, which are sold in a packet of nine, are decorated with crudely drawn and poorly printed open-wheel racecars zooming around an imaginary track.

Lucarelli swears by the colorful mouchoirs. It's gotten her into some trouble with her boyfriend, local hairdresser Matteo. "I prefer Donald Duck," he confided.

Lucarelli's loyalty to the German-made tissues got her into some trouble last Friday night, when she found no more Grands Prix in her bag. She rushed to the local Sidis supermarket in pole position. However, she was crestfallen to discover that the store was all out of Grand Prix brand, and all that remained was store brand.

"I was disappointed," Luccarelli told me. "There were no words to describe it."

Since then, reports have Luccarelli blowing her nose in private with Donald Duck tissues, shamed and disgraced.

However, while crossing the piazza Saturday morning, this reporter found a lonesome, abandoned packet of Grand Prix tissues. Did it fall from Luccarelli's bag? Did Luccarelli toss it into the fountain in a fit of anger, a traitor to Grand Prix tissues, now warm in the feathers of a Mr. D Duck?

There is only one way to tell.

Gentlemen, start your engines!

Dear readers-- today we here at la Cronaca di Cagli are pleased to present a special guest piece by correspondant Chris Harper.


Rome was fun! Firenze was beautiful! But remember those lines if you tried to see the Vatican Museum, the Uffizi or the David?
Well, Cecylia and Chris Harper found a beautiful city with few tourists and no lines a little closer to Cagli: Urbino.
Even though Urbino may not have all of the attractions of Rome or the museums of Firenze, the city represents a classic Renaissance city with one of the most extensive art collections in the country.

Federico da Montefeltro, whose portrait you may have seen in the Uffizi if you made it through the lines, became the Duke of Urbino in 1444. He was known as a great soldier, a patron of the arts and an exceptional ruler. The Palazzo Ducale contains a wonderful variety of paintings, frescos, tapestries, and inlaid cabinets and doors.
The museum contains two important Italian paintings: “The Flagellation” by Piero della Francesco and “The Ideal City,” which has been attributed to Luciano Laurana. He created the classic design of the Renaissance buildings in Urbino.
An important note: Cecylia and Chris arrived at 9:45 a.m. and walked immediately into the museum. Only 40 people had passed through the gates on a Saturday morning. Almost no one stood in the way as the Harpers looked at the wonderful exhibit.

“I brought a book to read because I thought we’d be standing in line all day,” Cecylia said. “I didn’t read a page.”
Urbino also is the birthplace of Raphael, although only one of his paintings can be found there. Again, if you made it through the lines at the Uffizi or the Vatican Museum, you saw his work. But his home is worth a visit. It contains copies and tributes to him from numerous artists.
The Oratory of San Giovanni contains some of the best-preserved frescos in Italy unless, of course, you made it through those lines to the Sistine Chapel. Cecylia and Chris shared the space with five other people looking at the inspiring scenes from the 1400s.
All you have to do is take the one-hour bus ride, which costs $4, from Cagli to see one of the most magnificent Renaissance cities in all of Italy. You can stay until 5 p.m. when the last bus comes back. That bus had six people on it!
Take your hiking shoes. Urbino is a steep climb, but it’s certainly worth it!

Friday, June 09, 2006


INCREDIBLE SCENES OF BREATHLESS STUDENTS racing around the Atrium were witnessed this morning. The students, some of whom had rolling suitcases in tow, were bound for Florence, and let nothing stand in their way.

Although the Atrium features a variety of convienient garbage receptacles placed in various corners throughout the premises, the Renaisaance treasures of Florence occupied such a prime place in the heads of some students that even basic sanitation took a backseat.

Interpreter Antonio Mansi motioned to a slimy piece of pizza, sprinkled with parmasean cheese and wrapped in tin foil, which lay atop a fine wooden desk in the corner of the Atrium foyer.

"Anybody know whose pizza this is?" he asked amid the flurry of suitcase wheels.

No-one claimed the soggy slice, which had been sitting in the same location since at least last night.

In the computer lab, the scene was similar. A half-drunken bottle of juice stood aloof on the table next to the computer, its presence a mocking insult to the painstakingly hand-lettered sign just above it reading "NO Liquids on table (near computers)" (sic).

Atop a shelf of videotapes stood three similarly abandoned bottles of water.

But who has time for the ancient arts of throwing trash away and recycling plastic bottles in this day and age? Who among us has not left a slice of tomato and cheese pizza overnight in the foyer (just next to the coat rack) of an academic institution once or twice? Can we blame the frenzied excitement of youth, which leads hurried students to abandon all notions of cleaning up after themselves when the prospect of Michalangelo's "David" towers before them?

You, the reader, may decide.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

OBSERVANT EYES IN THE MAIN PIAZZA will have noticed a large wooden structure that has been erected along one end.

"There's going to be a big sfila on Sunday here," Jake at Caffe' d'Italia told me, leaning over the gelato counter tonight as I treated myself to a small cup of stracciatella. "Ladies in different outfits. Voglio vedere."

"Ah," I replied. "Miss Mondo."

All the town awaits.

In anticipation of this upcoming event, we present a series of exclusive photographs of last year's Miss Mondo competition, taken by Dr. John Caputo, which demonstrate the history, the pagentry, the majesty, and the magic of Miss Mondo.

ANOTHER WEDNESDAY NIGHT brings with it the tempting smell of a freshly-made flame-licked pizza baking away in the oven of local restaurant La Lantera. Every Wednesday, students and teachers alike flock to the spacious interior of La Lantera to gorge themselves on any number of the restaurant's fifty famous pizzas.

While waiting for their pizzas, the students made themselves comfortable and took the time to enjoy and admire some of the curiosities on display on the walls of the Cagli institution. One student, for example, studied intently an oragami exhibit, featuring an elephant and a tank made out of a dollar bill and a crumpled old lira note, framed behind glass. Another student examined a framed green t-shirt reading "Twenty-eight reasons why beer is better than women" in Italian.

"Hmpf!" snorted the student contemptuously. "You can't make love to a beer."

When the pizzas finally made their much-anticipated appearance, many of the usual toppings were spotted: student Elise Berry munched on mushrooms and prosciutto, while student Annie Carey opted for a plain margherita to go with her liter of wine.

Others were seen chomping away with much gusto on pizzas topped with olives, sausage, and even anchovies.

But one student took pizza toppings to a new level: Greg Cavaluzzo was seen in the remarkable act of eating a pizza covered in french fries. "I wanted to see the cultures of America and Italy mista- intermingled, you might say," Cavaluzzo explained, holding a piece of the starchy conconcotion aloft in a gesture of international friendship and understanding. "The end result is... delicious."

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

FASHION FANS take note! Dr. John Caputo, professor of intercultural communication, has found his vest!

The sleeveless garment, known locally as a gile', has of late been an object of obsession for both Dr. Caputo and Cagli Project director A. Ciofalo. The professorial pair recently undertook a long and strenuous drive to a number of area shopping malls, inluding the Auchan center in Belocchio Industrial Park and the Ipercoop center near Senegallia. At the Auchan, they were unrewarded; in line at a pizza restaurant in the Ipercoop food court, the duo had their facilitator Giovanni Caputo question a construction worker wearing a version of said vest. The man revealed that the vest was available downstairs at that very mall- but when Caputo & Ciofalo finally found the vests, they discovered, much to their displeasure, that neither the size nor the colors available were to their liking.

All that was to change, when, after a hot tip this morning from Mimi at Caffe Commercio, Caputo discovered a lovely six-pocketed vest to call his own in the middle of Cagli's Wednesday market. He whipped out a single twenty euro note and immediately donned the article of clothing. He then sat contentedly in the piazza, sipping a white wine and munching on potato chips, periodically counting the multitude of pockets available on his vest, while local Cagliese wearing similar vests nodded approvingly at him. While others in the market bought items on whims, or simply strolled around to people-watch, Dr. Caputo made his dreams come true.

His new vest contains seperate pockets for a cell phone, an I-Pod, harmonica, bait, tackle, and a change of socks.

GRADUATE STUDENT and Rhode Island resident Mark Flynn was seen wiping sleep from his eyes early this morning in front of Caffe Commercio, complaining bitterly about his slumber-free night.

"It's my room-mate, Giovanni Caputo," he sighed, explaining that the diminuitive journaling teacher had let out a series of loud, thunderous snores out of all proportion to his small frame. The room-shaking snores got so bad, in fact, that Flynn was obliged to sleep on the floor in the other room. "And I still heard him snoring through the shut door," he said.

Student Katie Haak chimed in. "He should see an E.N.T. doctor-- that's ear, nose, and throat."

But Flynn's mind was already off to other matters as he squinted out into the piazza, looking puzzled.

"I swear I just saw Johnny Cash walk into the market," he said.

Over at the Atrium, people were still abuzz over Atrium administrator Donna Galletta's Tuesday night cooking class, in which gnocchi were made from scratch. "Donna pre-boiled the potatoes," graduate assistant Nicole Luccarelli told me. "And then we did the rest. They didn't look like gnocchi you buy in a restaurant-- but that's what made them special!"

Writer, journalist, musician, and "divette" Afi Scruggs let out a sigh of pleasure when asked about last night's cooking. "It was great!" she said with enthusiasm. "We rolled the gnocchi with a fork to make the little ridges. And you should have seen Amanda Kulakowski rolling and chopping!"

Chris Nelson was so happy with the cooking class that he was already looking forward to next week's lesson. "I signed up for all four," he said. "When I go back to the U.S., I'm bringing back some cooking skills."

THE PIAZZA WAS EMPTY. So was the wine bar. The narrow streets of old Cagli were filled with a ghostly stillness, and where once the cries of American students echoed up through the alleyways and bounced off the craggy walls of ancient palazzos, now there was only the occasional chirp of a noctural bird or the lonesome howl of a farmer's hound dog.

The moon hung low in the dark sky. And this reporter asked himself: where was everybody?

Imagine your narrator's surprise when he discovered, at 11 o'clock at night, no less than one dozen dilligent, erstwhile students tapping away at computers up in the computer lab at the Atrium.

How is it that these students had forgone the sultry, sensual pleasure of a Tuesday night in Cagli for the dull hum of a computer lab and the deadening glow of a laptop screen?

"There's nothing else to do," was student Katie Haak's response. "And I wanted to read the news blog!"

Graduate student Mark Flynn made use of the time to look for lodging in the Renaissance city of Florence. "I had to book a hostel for this weekend," he explained with a grin. "And I found a quaint little guesthouse just a stone's throw from the Duomo."

Kevin Zazzali was concerned with more mundane matters. "I came up here to get some work done," he said, sighing. "But I stepped in dog poo and had to scrape my shoe on the pavement and then step in a puddle to clean it."

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

IT SEEMED NEARLY CERTAIN that summer was here to stay when workers from local restaurant SQUA QUA were seen constructing a platform in the piazza: the beginnings of a patio for those who enjoy their pizzas al fresco.

But things took a turn for the worse when the residents of Cagli awoke Monday morning to wet streets and a steady drizzle, eventually turning into a full-fledged thunder-and-lightning storm.

"I'm kind of upset," student Kimberly Schurtz said with a sigh. "I wish it were nicer."

In the faculty lab, Intercultural Communcation professor John Caputo (Gonzaga) sat mystified, staring out the window at the stormclouds. "A collegue says it's snowing outside Siena," he said, shaking his head. Indeed, news reports put this as the coldest June on record in Italy in 27 years.

The poor weather, however, was the perfect excuse to work on projects in the computer lab, where videography professor Dan "the Man" Garrity (Gonzaga) worked with a group of students known as "Group F" on a video involving vending machines. "Group F," Garrity explained, "is excelling above all the rest." He would not rule out some sort of divine intervention, he confided, a burst of thunder puncuating his claim. "But I'm pleased with the progress of all the groups," he continued. "At this point, we're just doing exercises in sequencing."

Photography professor George Miller was also happy with the students. "The images look good," he said. "I assigned a photography scavanger hunt, and at this point I have the results from 31 out of 33 students. That puts only two on my 'bad student list'."

Student Jasmin Conner was working on an interview. "It's with the owners of Joe Rivetto, a clothing line- two of them are from Cagli. I'm excited and nervous," she said, smiling.

Across the table sat Jennifer MacNamara, who spent much of Monday suffering from stomach pains. "My friends helped me out and supported me," she said. "Both morally and physically." By Monday night, she felt much better. She did not mince words as to the cause of her miraculous recovery: "I attribute it to the wonderful support of the faculty," she said.

Meanwhile, spurred by the possibility of future illness among the students, graduate assistant Chas Davis gave a talk about phone numbers and emergency preparedness. Fellow graduate assistant Nicole Luccarelli took student photos for her mysterious "files".

And outside in the hallway, a number of students smiled contentedly at the thought of tonight's activity: cooking class with Atrium administrator Donna Galleta, featuring gnocchi in tomato and cream sauce with pecorino and walnuts- a class so popular it was split into two nights by popular demand.

ANOTHER WEEK HERE IN CAGLI began with the traditional Monday night dinner at Ristorante Commercio. The restaurant was packed as usual, with students and professors taking up nearly all of the fifty seats in the small restaurant. Vegetarians regaled themselves with quiche and pasta; the meat-eaters ate rabbit, quail, and what was rumored to be pigeon. The night culminated in an impromptu piano performance by professor Afi Scruggs, whose ivory-tickling sent the students dancing into the piazza for gelato and coffee.

Those who have noticed a number of distinctly beet-red students will note that the group bus trip to Roman coastal city Fano, on the Adriatic, resulted in a number of painful sunburns. Student Melissa Shantz advised her fellow classmates to "use sunscren, even if you don't burn in the U.S.A.". Asked about her activities on the beach in Fano, Shantz replied "We rented a paddleboat, which I highly reccommend. It was five euros for four people for a half hour, and there's even a slide." Shantz spent the half hour sliding down the slide and into the water, which she described as "mildly chilly". "The only downside," she continued, "was that it was hard to get back into the boat."

Student Kimberly Schurtz, seen wandering the halls of the Atrium with a plastic bag containing salami, prosciutto, and cheese, the makings of her lunch, said of the Fano beach trip: "I loved it. I didn't get a sunburn, but I got a tan."

Others spent the weekend in a more sedate fashion. "I slept all weekend," said Chris Nelson. "And I'm still tired."