Day 29: The Really Cold Day

By Emily Huang and Dominic Machado

The morning began with a mandatory walk along the beach at the seaside Hotel Sabrina in Vasto, which overlooked the Adriatic Sea.  Of course, this was before it got really, really cold.  Some chose to skinny dip at dawn, but the rest of us enjoyed a leisurely stroll fully-clothed.  Then we headed off to the museum at the Vasto, which included the assemblages from the ancient town of Histonium.  Here, we saw evidence for a town with an Orientalizing Period, reminiscent of what we saw in Etruria, that would become Roman.  Of particular interest was an inscription from a hometown poet, who had garnered accolades by winning an imperial poetry contest in Rome.  The museum also featured an inscription that confirmed our pronunciation of the Latin language.

After foraging for food in a town that apparently doesn’t function on Sundays, our bus driver, Giovanni, wasted no time getting us to our next site, speeding through the winding roads of the mountains of Central Italy, leaving a large portion of the FSP nauseated.  Managing not to veer off the sheer side of the mountain, we arrived at Schavi D’Abruzzo to find a beautiful temple site and reconstruction.  Here we learned about triglyphs and metopes, while we searched amongst the rubble that included an unfinished column and monolith.  Finding no evidence for our triglyphs, we sought answers from the reconstructed image of the temple, which oddly displayed a temple with Ionic columns and Doric friezes.



Next, we rushed off to Pietrabondante, which according to Giampi means “a lot of stone”, and saw one of the many theaters on this Samnium trip.  Additionally, it was freezing as you can see in the observed picture.  Desperate measures were taken to shield our shivering bodies from the cold of the mountain, where these people had chosen so conveniently placed their temples.  We learned about an early Samnite shrine that was later supplanted by a Roman theater complex in the 1st century BCE.  Underneath the original temple, buried weaponry was found, suggesting a military connection to the site.  Discussing the complex relationship between the Samnites and other Italic peoples during the Social and Civil wars of the 80s BCE, we began to greater understand these people.  And we were reminded of Dartmouth by the harsh climate these people lived in.

The day concluded early, because Giampi had to catch his train in Isernia.  In Isernia at the Hotel Sayonara, we met a nice hotel manager from the Bronx and were treated to a hearty dinner after a long, cold day on the mountains.