My trip to Casperia – Sabina Shire!
I was recently talking to an Italian friend of mine who has a house in the Sabina region, located just outside of Rome. He was telling me of Casperia, a town that has been taken over by Anglo Saxon vacationers and homeowners.
I went on line to see what it was all about because I knew I had passed by some years before, but didn’t particularly remember it. I found photos of the town and a B & B owned by a British couple that was beautiful. They did a super architectural renovation with oriental rugs, antiques and a to-die-for mosaic tile bathroom you would only dream about experiencing….the price tag was a whopping 900-some euros a week. As I read further, I was a little thrown off by the owners complaint that the comune wouldn’t allow the permit for a balcony to be added to their ancient home. After understanding Italian culture and preservation, you would not even ask for such an eye sore. But, I thought wow, this town must be something special if it has taken over and restored like this.
So this week I paid a visit to Casperia. I took a walk through town, came upon a presepe that was fantastic (Il Presepe di Casperia built by Giannicola Mariani). The town is built in circular layers with panoramic countryside views.
After my tour, I ended up at the only bar located inside the walls, Friend’s Cafe, for a glass of wine and to let the kids play in the square. I shared the outside umbrellas with several English speaking foreigners reading books, seeming not to notice the few loud beer guzzling men nearby and not to mention the ‘Er mutanda’ look-alike sitting behind me.
Suddenly I felt an odd sensation, one not particularly comforting. The bar seemed more of a fish n’ chip pub, with mirrored beer signs – boasting about their British beer selection on tap. I love all of that stuff too, but in England and not in an ancient Sabina town.
Call me a travel snob, but when I go outside of my country I want to leave my past and my culture behind even for a brief moment. I want full immersion, to eat like the locals and do as they would do. I don’t expect a Budweiser with a hamburger on the side. The Sabina region has a lot to offer, but not this town unless your in Anglo Saxon withdrawal!