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AGNONE

agn.htm agnchrn.htm agnpho.htm agnpho2.htm agndic.htm agndicII.htm agnmar.htm agndicpho.htm agnfolk.htm agnman.htm agnman2.htm agnman3.htm agnman4.htm agnman5.htm agnmap.htm

Agnone is an ancient town in upper Molise located on a hill surrounded by woods.  Its main resources are its ancient craft traditions, metalworking (bell making in particular dates back to the Middle Ages) and tourism.  The artisans were adventurous entrepreneurs who ventured out to surrounding villages to vend their artistic metal wares.  They were especially known for their copper bowls and artistic gold jewelry that were bought as investment as well as adornment.   The techniques for creating these items were secretly passed from father to son.  In the old centre there are numerous 14th and 15th century town houses with impressive front doors, double lancet windows and decorations based on floral or geometrical motifs.  The main religious building is the church of S. Emidio, which has a 14th century Romanesque ogival portal surmounted by a rose window and a small Museum of Ancient Art.   Agnone, very well known for its history of excellent educational institutions, was the hub for all significant functions of surrounding towns such as holding baptisms at San Marco Church.  

When visiting the breathtaking mountainous terrain of Italy, one wonders what ever possessed our ancestors to emigrate from this grand land, leaving behind their mothers, fathers, wives and children.  When an interest in ones peasant heritage stirs, there are many books about Italian peasant life in the 18th and 19th century that satisfy this quest for knowledge.  Being at the bottom of the pecking order, peasants suffered emotional degradation and physical abuse, primarily hunger.  The culmination of a very poor economy, over taxation and the availability of ships traveling to Italy from countries in need of laborers, created the perfect climate for mass emigration.  

With their background of enduring degrading treatment in their towns, our peasant grandparents silently handled the derogatory treatment ahead of them in the new land.  However, their children on the other hand found it difficult handling the degrading ridicule as children of Italian immigrants in the turn of the twentieth century.    

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