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Agnone is an ancient town in upper Molise  located on a  hill surrounded by woods.  Its main resources are its ancient craft traditions, metalworking (bell making in particular dates back to the middle ages) and tourism.  The artisans were adventurous entrepreneurs who ventured out to surrounding villages to successfully vend their artistic metal wares.  They were especially known for their copper bowls and artistic gold jewelry which were bought as investment as well as adornment.   The techniques for crafting these items were secretly passed from father to son.  

In the old centre there are numerous 14th and 15th century town houses with impressive front doors, double lancet windows and decorations based on floral or geometrical motifs.  The main religious building is the church of S. Emidio, which has a 14th century Romanesque ogival portal surmounted by a rose window and also a small Museum of Ancient Art.   Agnone, very well known for its  history of excellent educational institutions, was the hub for all significant functions  of  surrounding towns such as holding baptisms at San Marco Church.

The Longo Peasants
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When visiting the breathtaking mountainous terrain of Italy, one wonders what ever possessed the immigrant to emigrate from such a grand land; leaving behind their mothers, fathers, wives and children.  I have found that when the interest in ones peasant background grows strong, one will read the many books about Italian peasant life in the 18th and 19th century.  From these books many descendants have learned that the population of each village consisted primarily of peasants, who, being at the bottom of the pecking order, suffered emotional degradation and physical abuse, namely hunger.  The culmination of a very poor economy, being extremely over taxed and the availability of ships traveling to countries looking for laborers, the timing was perfect for the mass emigration.  

With their background of ably enduring degrading treatment in their towns, they were conditioned to handle the derogatory treatment ahead of them in the new land, but from what I have heard and the scars I have seen, it was their children who were not conditioned to handle the degradation of being Italian immigrant's children in the turn of the century.    

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