Day 6 - Saturday, June 16 - Cosenza - Full Day Excursion to San Giovanni in Fiore.
Today's excursion takes us to San Giovanni in Fiore, the ancestral birthplace of many West Virginians. A special festival has been arranged by the West Virginia Italian Heritage Association in our honor. After this wonderful day, we return to Cosenza for overnight. Dinner at the hotel.
Today we began our adventure to San Giovanni in Fiore. The road leading to the town was very curvy. It made us wonder how they used to travel to and from there before the tunnels and roads were constructed. Our bus driver was amazing. I certainly would never want to try to drive a large bus on those roads. Our arrival in the city was interesting. Tour busses are not regular traffic through there. Some citizens were amused and other were irritated that our bus took up almost the entire road. After leaving the bus, our guides took us down many winding roads. We walked to the location of the Monongah, WV mine disaster memorial. There was a dedication ceremony that was rather moving. After the ceremony we began a walking journey through the streets of old San Giovanni. It was wonderful seeing the homes from where many WV Italian families immigrated. Dr. Byers met a cousin that she was not aware of. It was a great surprise. He showed us the home of her ancestors. After a tour up and down the many quaint streets, we were met by a bus that took us to a special dinner prepared for us by the culinary art students at the school in San Giovanni. We were entertained by many singers and also viewed a movie about the origins of San Giovanni. It was a great day in a beautiful town. The people of San Giovanni were friendly and gracious. It was a memorable day.