Saturday, April 7, 2012

Altopascio market large and colorful, but city has little about Spadoni family

Thursday, April 5
We continue to make pleasant discoveries about the community. Last week Ivo told us about a market in Altopascio that occurs every Thursday morning, and today we make a 20-minute bike ride to try it out.

It is much bigger than we expected, extending for nearly a kilometer in the centro, which is blocked to traffic for the occasion. More than half of the vendors sell colorful clothing and housewares, and we buy a tablecloth and some gifts. We also find a food section, where we buy hot fried potatoes and pastries to eat now and green beans for later. I could say I wish we’d found this market earlier, but it’s also nice that we keep being surprised by discovering new places to go.

We end up at the city office of family records. I came here alone earlier this week to see if they had any records about Francesco and Angelo Spadoni and their families. A nice lady told me she would do some looking for me, and so I drop by to see what she has found. Nothing about either, but they do have some evidence that five of their children lived here, at least briefly. She found some index cards indicating their old addresses and dates of death, but no certificates of marriage or death. Maybe, she says, some of the records were lost during the second war, when Altopascio was heavily bombed.

In any event, this probably indicates that Francesco and Angelo did move to Altopascio when they left Pescia. I could try the church archives, the lady says. I suppose I could also contact some of the Spadonis listed in the Altopascio phone book to see if they are descendants of any of these five children, but my time here is beginning to draw short, and I’m not sure how well received I would be making cold calls on strangers. I still have many other paths to pursue and projects to complete, so I will leave this trail for an another year.

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