Memories of Monte Capanno 1970, Page Two: The trip to Perugia

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The trip to Perugia: What do we recall about the flight over to Europe on Icelandic Airlines, our arrival in Luxembourg, the journey to Perugia, etc.?
Iceland: "Prop jet.  Metal floors.  Everything rattled in the plane.  Someone brought a plastic bag filled with magic brownies.  Passed them around during the flight.  By the time I got the bag, it was about 1/3 full of crumbs.  Big crumbs.  What I remember next is the sound of my own voice - squealing about icebergs in the water.  You could see entire masses beneath the surface with only bright white tips above the blue.  I don't remember the landing. Someone must have helped me climb down the steps of the plane.  Iceland's bleakness surprised me. I recall a display of woolen sweaters in the airport.  Almost bought one, but I couldn't figure out the exchange rate." (by Cathee; photo by Mark F.)

"I do however remember those delicious and wonderful brownies that started all of this off miles above the earth!!!  WOW!!!! Talk about being blonde when still a brunette!!!" (by Sandee, November 2000)

"The apparently famous brownies consumed on the flight over were a bon voyage gift to us from Susan Rutz." (by Wes Shaffer, February 2001)


"Craig had arranged to have some friends of his from the U.S. Army base in Frankfurt Germany come pick us up on our arrival at Luxembourg airport.  They arrived in a Mercedes, and the four of us (Craig and Kathy, Gordon and I) abandoned the SJS group to head out for town in it.  I am sure we must have looked very prepared, but on the way to our hotel, the Mercedes quit and we had to push-start it." (by Linda)

"... We hiked in the country a while, visited with a few of ...friends, picked up a hitchhiker who lived in a castle in the highlands, so we went up there and stayed in the castle for the afternoon.  The place was huge - with a series of dungeons, towers, secret passageways, a drawbridge -- the works.  Most of it was in ruins, mainly from W.W.II.  The Nazis used it as their headquarters for a time.  We explored every cranny - incredible.  ...the castle there was haunted, they told us.... Thursday I was so sick I had to stay in the entire day.  But's different.  I merely have a low, sexy voice -- no fever -- no drippy nose -- only a small cough... At 7:00 dinner is served for those rich enough to afford it.  For the less fortunate, an orange or some bread and cheese does the trick.  After dinner is a general conversing time.  Those who choose to brave the cold, snowy night air venture on their evening prowls.  Since the hostel closes at 10:00 PM, midnight rampages are unfortunately out of the question.... Mike and Mary and I are the only ones left from Tutorials here.  Everyone else has scattered all the way from Paris to Rome, as far as I know." (from Cathee's diary, go here to read more)

Travel to Italy:

Frankfurt, Germany and Basel, Switzerland:   "I am sitting in a tiny 26 Franc ($6.50) hotel room looking at Linda and a skyscape of Basel, Switzerland, just south of the German border.  We just arrived after a pleasant, wine and harmonica-filled train ride from Frankfurt.  Now she is asleep and I am smoking a cigarette, pondering the uncertain future in Perugia.  Frankfurt was expensive and no cheap VW bus was to be had, but the hospitality of the much criticized Germans made everything pleasant.  We went to Goethe University and saw the graffiti that remains from their SDS-led strikes and demonstrations: shades of Berkeley.

"We have decided trains and hitching are good enough for us, and have forgotten about buying a car.  Tomorrow we will go south to somewhere in the high Alps, then to Milan and by Friday we will be in Perugia.  What awaits us there remains in doubt.  The prof. had no significant news when we flew to Luxembourg, where I last saw him.  No place to stay, no villa or castle has yet been confirmed.  I am not worried and hope you will not, either.  Even if the whole Perugia thing fizzles, which I doubt, I still will get my crucial units.  Confidently, I imagine myself coping with any and all situations that may arise.  My Spanish is remarkably helpful with Italians, though some things need a dictionary to be expressed properly.  I don't have a proper address yet so I hope that nothing crucial has been sent, or will need to be sent for 2-3 weeks." from Gordon's letters, go here to read more)

Finding Monte Capanno: Monte Capanno lies several kilometers outside Perugia, and appears on no maps.  Thus, locating our home from a simple written address was somewhat of a challenge.

The Remembered version:  "I stayed at the Perugia Hostel with Rich Saunders and Wes Shaffer and Linda Faulkner before attending that first dinner with La Contesa.  Each day we ventured out to look for Colombella Bassa and Monte Capanno.  We hitchhiked up and down, asking everyone directions.  No one had heard of the place.  We finally narrowed it down to somewhere close to the chocolate factory.  We walked that road all day it seemed.  Then (drum roll) out of the horizon roared the "Blue Flying Whale."  A group (my sister included) piled out of the van to greet us.  Apparently, David had set up a dinner with the Countessa THAT NIGHT.  We couldn't believe it.  We climbed into the van - up the chocolate factory road, a turn, then up the poplar-lined lane to the castle.  The rest is history." (by Cathee, October 2000)

"We found Columbella Bassa on our own, in small groups or individually, and trudged up that muddy road with our packs and suitcases in hand, an achievement in itself." (by Mark F., November 2000)

Finding Monte Capanno: The Diaries' versions:
My last account (above) of how we finally found Colombella Bassa must have been wrong.  From an entry on Saturday, February 7th ([1970]:  "Perugia is a pretty big place, contrary to what I expected.  The city is surrounded by a big city wall, which somehow survived the barbaric invasions after Rome dominated it (10th or 11 century?)  I've been told the city itself became pretty powerful in the 13th & 14th centuries & was well known then.  Now I think the many thing that puts Perugia on the Italian map is the chocolate factory (and the university).  We came here about 4 days ago.  The day after we arrived, Wes & I went scouting to find the rest of the group and visit the villa.  Some Chilean med students picked us up and took us to San Marco, where Mary told us the villa was.  We didn't realize it was the wrong place until the guys dropped us off.  There we were, in the middle of the tiny village of San Marco - the opposite direction from the villa - stuck.  It took quite a bit of my freshman Italian to find out which road to take to Colombella, but we managed to make it back to Perugia.  We were dropped off at the very bus station where the rest of the group just happened to be." (from Cathee's diary, go here to read more)

"...We arrived in Perugia on Wednesday night.  On Thursday morning, we saw a couple of people from our group who said that we all had a luncheon date with the contessa at the castle.   The castle is situated out in the middle of the country and is on top of a large hill surrounded by trees.  The castle was built in the 1300's (I think).  There's a wine cellar (they grow their own grapes and make their own wine), dungeons and secret tunnels.  The contessa lives there so there are all kinds of fascinating trinkets lying around." (from Linda G's 1970 letters, go here to read more)

Our host, Andrea: 

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Navigation Guide: There are twelve pages of Memories of Montecapanno, you are on page 2.

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OR to go to a specific topic, pick it below:
The Genesis of the Trip
The Trip to Perugia
Daily Life: Eating, cooking, sleeping, keeping warm, etc.
Governance: did Anarchy work?
Entertaining Ourselves at Monte Capanno
Our Guests
Remembering our Leaders: The Zacks
Our Memories of Each Other at Monte Capanno
Our Italian Neighbors
Trips taken elsewhere around Italy and Europe
Remembering Perugia
Assessing the Meaning of it all
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