Not everyone knows that Agnone is home to the Pontifical Foundry “Marinelli”, a magical place where bells for all bell towers around the world are made.
The factory includes the Marinelli Bell Museum, where 1,000-year-old bells as well as more recent ones are on display. You will be welcomed by a harmonious bell concert and see the artisans at work making bells still using the same technique employed 1,000 years ago. The entire process is handcrafted.
Among the museum’s most illustrious visitors was Pope John Paul II in 1995; many of the foundry’s bells can in fact be found at the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church accounts for a large portion of the orders placed for the company.
You can also witness the biggest fire festival in the world. On the evenings of December 8 and 24 the “Ndocciata” of Agnone lightens up the city. A parade of a great number of “‘ndocce”, large torches made of silver fir pine and white bundles of dried broom held together by twine.
The torches are three to four metres high and sometimes are joined by horizontal poles to form groups that can reach up to twenty torches arranged in the shape of a fan. The carriers wear black traditional costumes complemented with a hood or hat, which is derived from the ancient garments of the Samnite tribes. In the meantime, you can take a break at the literary café, watch a show at the Italian-Argentine theatre or sample sweets and chocolate in the shops of the local artisans.
Don’t forget to try out the famous “Ostie”. Delicious soft wafer filled with walnuts, almonds, honey and dark chocolate. Getting there Getting to Agnone is not difficult at all, just follow along the SP86 road.
Agnone is less than 30 kilometres away and about half an hour from our Home.