The small town of Cafognano has been famous for ages for the characteristic behavior of its inhabitants, which it would be difficult to describe as polite. The impact with this rough familiarity can create not always pleasant situations, which is anyway advisable to stand without complaining, in order to avoid a reaction from the natives, which take awfully offense if the hypothesis of their scanty manners is even only suggested. The proof is that one of the insults most commonly used by the Cafognaneses towards the foreigners is just "cafone" that is "boor".
What to see
The most important monument in Cafognano is Saint Truzzo cathedral, entirely frescoed by Piero della Francesca, even if its frescoes are not visible anymore since they have been totally covered by the signatures carved over the centuries by the townies; anyway the church, although having lost its artistic value, supplies information that can be interesting for the fans of this genre, like the fact that "Manuel loves Samantha", "Gionathan is a cuckold", or even "Morgan got it small". The precious crucifix of the Giotto school in the Buzzurri chapel has been practically pulverized by the chains with padlock placed around it by couples as a token of their love.
Not far from the cathedral the Saint Coatto basilica can be found, the only church with leopardskin confessionals and in which the Mass celebration can be suspended if the parish priest gets a call on his mobile. At the moment of the Elevation the altar boys instead of a ringing the handbell honk a gas fog horn. A peculiar custom of the Cafognanese priests is to interrupt the confession of the faithfuls to tell in a loud voice to the bystanders the sins just confessed, adding even sarcastic comments.
Walking in the streets of the town can turn into a hard venture, since the pavements are completely occupied by the parked cars of the inhabitants of the town, which are almost all SUVs, and it must remark it's pointless to report the fact to the traffic policemen, since many of the SUVs blocking the way belong just to the same policemen.
The most important festivity in Cafognano is that of St Tamarro, the patron saint: on the main street of the town, Flavio Briatore Avenue, a procession takes place, accompanied by the music of the municipal band, wearing gaudy scarlet uniforms, with pea-green shirts, lemon yellow tie and electric blue spats on fuchsia flipflop. The band has its own peculiar repertoire, consisting of obscene and tavern songs, widely appreciated by the townies, which are used to strike them up together with the band, accompanying themselves with obscene gestures.
A peculiar habit of the Cafognaneses is clapping their hands during the funerals, but recently there was an evolution: now the faithfuls, beyond applauding, also perform the Mexican wave, and try to insert banknotes into the celebrants' pants.
In Cafognano kitschy gifts and fancy goods are traditionally produced, as the Christs moving their eyes, the ashtrays bearing facetious sentences, the full-size pewter pigs, the racy corkscrews, the full-size ceramic Great Danes and the fun piggy banks.
A meal in a Cafognano restaurant can be an odd experience: the Cafognaneses tables use to show off collective conversations during which every guest tries to drown the others out screaming, and the things are made worse by the custom of talking aloud on their mobile as they are at table; it must also say that even a group of natives eating their soup made a noise that can cover every conversation. Moreover it must know that according to the local custom it must eat not using cutlery, even if the pieces are anyway laid on the table, for other purposes, for instance the fork is used as a toothpick, the knife to scratch one's back and the spoon, after meals, is used as a shoehorn, since no true Cafognanese keeps his shoes on while eating.
As for the typical dishes, all based on bresaola ham, garden rocket, speck ham and salmon, it's better to know they are rigorously served covered with ketchup and mayonnaise, besides being accompanied with Coca-Cola or orangeade.
The foreigners entering into the town for the first time can be surprised by the peculiar welcome given them by the townies that usually, after calling the guests in order to make them turn around, address them loud choral raspberries. On Cristiano Malgioglio square lies the tourist bureau, whose staff is commonly engaged in personal calls on their mobile: it's advisable not to interrupt such conversations in order to ask questions, to avoid frenzied reactions.
It's better to know that the typical Cafognanese greeting is the so-called "santanché" consisting in raising the middle finger, and it's advisable not to take notice that when a Cafognanese holds his hand out, as a rule he has barely drawn it from his underpants or he has just drawn a finger from a nostril.
Moreover the inhabitants of Cafognano use to wear clothes that bear imprinted in big block capitals the brand's logo and, following a recent fashion, also the purchase price of the cloth; whoever doesn't dress in conformity with this fashion, inclusing the foreigners, is openly mocked, shoved and nicknamed as "tramp".
Cafognano is world-wide considered the native land of the belches and farts contests, and in its roads it's frequent to meet sportsmen of these competitions training for the contests. The competitive belchers, but also those who try to emulate them, practise trying to hold conversations entirely composed by belches: Semplezio Intraversati, the world champion, who is native exactly of Cafognano, recited the whole first canto of the Divine Comedy's Inferno with a single belch, before being sent to the hospital in the intensive care unit as a result of a pneumothorax.
As for the fart contests, the sportsmen are inclined to practice mainly on public transport vehicles, in order to verify directly the effect of their emissions on the other passengers: managing to empty a whole bus out, including the driver, is a source of pride for every Cafognanese fart athlete.
Another very popular sport in Cafognano is football represented by the local team, Virtus Bone-breakers Cafognano, characterized by its unfair and violent play, with frequent dives, and with rough supporters, used to invariably insulting the rivals, and to booing any coloured player, including those of their own team. The cleaning operations at the end of the match last for three days and the toilets of the stadium are completely devastated at the end of each match, regardless of the final result.
The greatest cultural authority of the town is master Opunzio Cannavota, which owes his charisma to the fact of having got the primary school certificate, and this allowed him at various times to create sentences including the subjunctive mood, and at times even in a correct way. Otherwise Cafognano is not the best town for those who look for cultural activities.
The position of mayor has been offered to Vittorio Sgarbi, which refused it, as the civilization level of the town was too low even for him; therefore it was appointed mayor E.A. Strizzapernici (E.A. stands for "Emporio Armani"), an ex TV seller of sexy goods, kicked out of the tv because he was too much coarse.
How to get there
Whoever plans to reach Cafognano by his own vehicle must keep in mind that in the town the rules of the road are considered a reminiscence of the past, then is frequent to run into cars speeding on the wrong side of the road and with the lights off, or crossing a junction when the lights are red, then a special care while driving is required. Whoever would instead choose the train or the coach should keep in mind that the Cafognaneses make use of the vehicles' seats in a very free and easy way, leaning their shoes on, occupying them with bags or suitcases, dirtying them with food or beverages, and moreover, like in every other place of Cafognano, the conversations on the mobile are always carried on at a very high volume.
All this advises to estimate carefully if is there a real need to visit Cafognano, or if it's preferable to choose another destination for a Sunday outing.