Italians are so loyal to their hometowns that the word for “country,” “paese,” applies to both towns and nations. Italy is their paese, but also that small rural village where grandpa was born is their paese. (Paesi would be the plural)
I am planning to visit my ancestral paesi, in the provinces of Campobasso in South Central Italy, and Messina in Sicily. Now that I have my itinerary mostly done for May, as mentioned in Planning my Itinerary, I’m working on planning for these visits. It’s easy to go to Rome, Venice, Florence, etc. Dozens of trains come through every hour and there are hostels and hotels everywhere. They are used to hosting tourists.
It’s a bit more challenging to plan a trip to a small rural village. I don’t really know what awaits because there isn’t tons of touristed oriented information available. Public transit is far more sporadic. There does seem to be very nice little affordable B&Bs in each of the towns so I should be covered for accommodations. Transportation is more challenging.
The setups in both Sicily and in Campobasso are similar. Both areas have a larger town with a main train station and regular service. Not too hard to get to. But the actual villages of my ancestors are all situated 5-10 miles outside the main town. In the absolute worse case scenario you could try to get a taxi or even a lovely country walk for a few hours, but the first is expensive and the second isn’t a good option with luggage. Many people would recommend renting a car, but it’s expensive and also I’ve never driven stick, which is the norm in Italy. Also, what’s the point of renting a car, driving 5 miles, and parking it for a a few days?
So I’m searching for bus routes. I’m finding some things but they seem to be only a few runs per day, during rush hour. In Sicily the situation seems to be a bit tougher so I decided to contact a travel agency nearby.
Buon giorno,Io sono un americano e quest’estate io viaggerò in Italia e Europa. Il mio bisnonno nato in Alcara Li Fusi in 1884 e mia bisnonna nato in Longi in 1886. Anche, penso che ho parenti di Sant’Agata di Millitello.Noi non conosciamo parenti in Sicilia adesso, ma voglio cercare per loro, per alcuni giorni. Anche io visiterò ufficio stato civile, ecc. E mangierò!In Giugno io viaggerò in Sicilia. (Arriverò in treno da Napoli.) Ci sono alcuni b&b in Longi e Alcara ma è dificile trovare trasporti. è possible andare in Pullman a questi comuni? Potete mi aiutare con trasporti in Pullman? Non voglio noleggio auto se possible.Parlate inglese? Il mio Italiano e cosi e cosi.Grazie mille
Hello,I am an American and this summer I will travel through Italy and Europe. My great-grandfather was born in Alcara Li Fusi in 1884 and my great-grandmother was born in Longi in 1886. Also, I think I have relatives in Sant’Agata di Militello.We don’t know any relatives in Sicily now, but I want to look for them for a few days. Also I will visit the municipal records office, etc. And I will eat!In June I will come to Sicily by train from Naples. There are some B&Bs in Longi and Alcara but it’s difficult to find transportation. Is it possible to go by bus to these towns? Can you help me with bus transportation? I don’t want to rent a car if possible.Do you speak english? My Italian is so-and-so.Thanks a lot.