Centro Risorse Territoriale di Pesaro e Urbino

Pinocchio in the ancient Republic of Cospaia

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Pinocchio’s quick visit to the Republic
Of Cospaia an ancient No Man’s Land
Home to the brave and home to liberty
Once famous for tobacco and contraband
In Umbria, in the heart of Italy

(work in progress)

Lamberto Bozzi


Pinocchio, the puppet from Tuscany
The carpenter’s son, is made of wood
He’s a popular guy so nice and good
And also interesting company


We are glad he’s meeting our class
Tomorrow morning at twenty to ten
He’s going to arrive in the school garden
And we’re all going to sit down on the grass


And we’re going to introduce the puppet
To our Dutch friends from Asten a hamlet
In Holland in the North Brabant province
Where they can elect a Carnival prince


Thanks to Skype, a software application,
We can have instant communication
With the Dutch class and their English teacher Bart
As a welcome technological part
Of our e-twinning interrelation


In Holland there are many apples but
Umbria is the region of the chestnut
Dear Dutch friends and dear English teacher Bart:
Our Torta di Castagne is so good
But unluckily a good chestnut tart
Like any other good and tasty food
Cannot go at all by Skype, as a rule,
To the computer screens of your school


Pinocchio can be a competent guide
To walk around the hilly countryside
He knows it well and sometimes wants to stop
At some farmhouse below a ridge top


And of course he can name all the trees too
As he is made of wood from head to shoe
The water is for him a source of bliss
The same water once dear to Saint Francis
Who also loved the painted birds that fly
Up and down the crystal clear Umbrian sky


The plants one very frequently sees
In the pastoral Umbrian scene
Are the Mediterranean olive trees
Ancient, very ancient, and evergreen


Lovely are the cypresses nice and mild,
The mulberry trees often growing wild
And the vineyards adorning the landscape
Where grows the lush domesticated grape


The month of the year Pinocchio loves best
Is the vendemmia time or grape-harvest
And the puppet is sure that Umbrian wine
Taken with moderation is just fine


We have a school newspaper called The Bridge
Pinocchio is soon going to write a story in it
A story about his pleasant visit
And of course all in the English language


The fine motto of our newspaper is
On this side and on the other side too
Of the same River Tiber that flows through
Rome the old and new world metropolis


San Giustino is an old comune
-In English a municipality-
Citerna is also a comune
And its “State of Cospaia” frazione
Is one of the best spots in Italy


“Perpetua et firma libertas”
As Pinocchio has pointed out to us
Are the words inscribed on the stone lintel
Of Cospaia’s tiny present-day chapel


Was that ancient inscription in Latin
Written by a patriotic chaplain?
“Liberty firm and perpetual” are strong
Words, words inscribed to last very long


“Careful with the tobacco crop!”
Says the puppet who is afraid of fire
“I am” he adds “no cigarette buyer
Because smoke addiction may develop”


“And plain tap water is” I really think
“On hot and cold days my favourite drink”
“Water goes well with the pasta, the queen
Of the plain and famous Umbrian cuisine”


A cuisine based on the fruits of the soil
-Like the clear light green tasty olive oil-
On hard-to-get truffles and wild mushrooms
With their strong enticing perfumes


And it is a fact that the puppet
Puts truffles on an abundant “omelette”
Likes pork-roasted duck and lentil soup but
Only eats bread baked with the local nut


The flag of Cospaia is black and white
So White and so black just like day and night
And Pinocchio honours in silence
The sign of Cospaian independence


Under the hot Sun under the cool Moon
Every Summer in the middle of June
During the Feast of the old Republic
A needle is hidden in a hayrick


A needle is something so hard to see
It is a small thing, very very small
It is much smaller than the smallest pea
But a hayrick is very big and tall


The “Friends of Cospaia” a local club
Prepare all the big events that take place
At the feast like “The Smuggler’s relay-race”
The “Palio della bigoncia/tub” or
The “Tiro alla fune/Tug of War”


Today the Cospaians have the mission
To preserve the important tradition
Of liberty and patriotic pride
In their beautiful hilly countryside

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