The village of Arpagonia has a bad reputation, certainly undeserved, for the alleged excessive thrift of its inhabitants. During the visit to the village, however, one should not expect a particular generosity of the residents.
The main monument of Arpagonia is the church of Saints Pitocco and Spilorcio, which at the time of its construction was not equipped with a bell tower to save costs. The holy masses are announced knocking on an empty gas cylinder and are celebrated on alternate Sundays, always to limit costs. The believers usually remain standing throughout the rite, so that their trousers and skirts don't get worn out by the friction against the benches or chairs, which consequently are not placed there. When the alms are collected, nobody, within living memory offer coins, but only (broken) buttons, washers or pebbles, while the candles are usually plundered by the residents who use them for lighting, in order to save on the electric energy bill.
The cemetery enclosed in the church is peculiar since traditionally the deceased are buried with their heads out of the ground to save on the photo to be affixed to the tombstone.
Another important building is that of Scrooge Bank, the village's main institution, very popular amongst the local citizens, who get there with a suspicious air, looking around and trying to hide strange bundles or bags, and come out without burdens and with a satisfied and relieved air.
In the square in front of the bank the monument to Scrooge McDuck stands, erected at no cost for the town as it was stolen years ago at Disneyland, which celebrates the favorite character of the residents.
The traditional feast of Arpagonia is dedicated to Saints Pitocco and Spilorcio in whose honors a market is held, where mainly piggy banks, wallets, safes, cash boxes are sold, but also double-bottomed suitcases in order to export funds towards tax havens, Treasury Bonds, futures and other financial products.
The souvenirs of Arpagonia are all made in China and industrial-made, but passed off as local handicrafts. Its absolutely not opportune to ask for discounts or roundings, and in the case you bought several articles it is better to check the accuracy of the sum of the prices, because traders usually tend to make a mistake by excess. Usually, however, prices are not displayed, and traders are very reluctant to communicate them to customers, and even unceasing requests for information usually have the effect of a mumbled and incomprehensible response.
At a first step it should be remembered that the portions served in the businesses of Arpagonia are very small, unlike the prices. The cutlery is numbered, but during the meal the owner of the restaurant stands between the tables, to verify that no customer tries to steal them. Traditional pasta dishes include pasta Arpagonese style, a variant of pasta carbonara, but without bacon, without pecorino cheese and without eggs, and pasta with Arpagonese pesto, made by emptying the lawnmowers. Stuffed pasta formats are very popular, such as empty ravioli, empty tortellini and empty agnolotti. Among the main courses we mention the surprise meatballs, available on the organic waste collection days, the rabbit hunters' style (available only when the restaurateur's cat passes away), the granny's stew (available only when the restaurateur's granny passes away).
The only hotel in Arpagonia, the "San Spilorcio Hotel", (which adopts the name of only one of the patron saints, to save money on the sign), provides minimal services with very huge prices. Breakfast consists of a cup of lukewarm milk, watered down, with a few pieces of stale bread. The sheets and towels must be provided by the customer, or are provided upon (exorbitant) payment by the hotelier, who however, fearing thefts, requires a huge deposit to transfer them, which returns only after verification of the integrity of the linen. Not infrequently, even after the recovery of the clothes, the hotelier is very reluctant to reimburse the deposit, citing damage to the linen as a pretext.
The main activity in Arpagonia is lending money. However, since the residents, for emotional reasons, do not like to separate from their money, even temporarily, the interest rates required are very, very high.
habits and custom
In the event that a foreigner's wallet, a credit card, a banknote, but also simply a coin falls to the ground, the object is likely to disappear before it even touches the ground, thanks to the particular skill or sixth sense of the residents in the recovery of values. The seized good is not returned in any case, and whoever has grabbed it will deny that he has even seen it. Usually, for the same object, a brawl of two or more people is unleashed, in which it is useless for the original owner to try and interfere, because he has no hope of getting back what he has lost.
A first visit to Arpagonia can give the idea of a country that hosts a large number of beggars. In reality, the battered and under-dressed people you meet are the same residents of the village, including administrators, landowners and professionals, who choose to dress in a modest way, both to avoid spending on buying new clothes, and not to attract the attention of the tax office, dressing clothes of value. Even the display of luxury cars or jewels is completely unknown to the Arpagonese.
The main pastime of the Arpagonese is to accumulate money, count it and fondle it. It is not advisable to disturb the inhabitants during this activity. because even violent reactions could be triggered. Any other activity only aimed at relaxation is seen with very little interest, if not with contempt. In Arpagonia no sport are practised, because it is considered a waste of time, but there is a thriving and profitable sport betting activity, aimed exclusively at safe results.
Only one newspaper copy is sold in Arpagonia, purchased by the bartender Generoso Donato, native of Prodigalia, a town in the surrounding area. Usually the bartender is unable to read the newspaper, as the copy is seized for hours by the patrons of the bar, who eagerly consult one after the other, taking advantage of the fact that it is free. At the end of the day, the newspaper is now reduced to shreds, and a villager appropriates it to use it as a duster (also free).
The municipal library has hundreds of titles in the catalog, none of which are available, however, because the users who borrowed them do not consider it appropriate to return them
The mayor of Arpagonia has been for decades Massimo Taccagno, who is tacitly extended in office to save the expenses for the election..
to get there
Arpagonia can be reached only by own means, or by taxi, whose prices are however similar to those of an intercontinental flight in business class.