The small village of Fossànghera
lies in the center of the Pozzobrutto ravine,
and was left apart from the tourist flows, also because its inhabitants
use to steal systematically the road signs in order to make sleds
to slide on the screes of the outskirts.
The small village has (February 2007) a population of 321 inhabitants, is continuously changing thanks to the annual suicides rate of 34%, a data unique in the world and therefore pride and boast for the authochtons.
Its inhabitants are named "fossangheresi", or more often "those ones", since nobody really wants to name them.
The economy of the country, once based on raiding the carriages passing on the nearby Roman road, recently evolved itself and today it's based on raiding the vehicles parked by the nearby motorway restaurant.
The products of the Fossangherese handicraft are offered, usually in vain, in the village shops and in the parking of the nearby motorway restaurant. Between them stands out the "gnògno", a traditional little basket bearing a cherry kernel, made of interlaced cherry stems, the ancient pledge of love of the Fossangherese young men for their fiancèes or their she-goats.
The craftsmen of Fossànghera make a poor handicraft, based on re-use of materials, obtaining products like the eyeglasses sheath made of sanding paper, the hand-decorated recycled hygienic paper, the paper-weights made with beer cans crushed on the freeway.
Fossànghera artists have several times decorated the walls of the nearby motorway restaurant's toilets by the traditional technique of "finger painting".
What to see
At the center of the only cross-roads of the village lies a valuable work of art, inspired to Duchamp's work, entitled "urinal 4", coming from from the "Gentlemen" toilets of the nearby motorway restaurant, while in the center of the village's main square rises the concrete base (1 x 1 meter of base and 20 cm of height) of the monument to the most illustrious Fossangherese citizen, that will be completed as soon as an illustrious citizen will be found in the village.
On the wall of the church can still be seen the rest of an electoral poster of 1953, the only one ever posted up in the village, and on which it can also be read: "vote n° 43".
The chief attraction of the Fossangherese summer is the traditional contest of ice sculpture which takes place on the main square on mid-August day from 2,00 PM to 2.05 PM. Then follows the exciting contest of blows-with-the-head-on-the-wall, called "capocciatata", which culminates with the winner's solemn funeral at the municipality's expense.
The typical winter festivity of Fossànghera is celebrated at the end of January and consists in a resistance contest between the village's old people, which are hitted by bucketfuls of chilly water as they run all naked in the night in the alleys of the village, between the amusement of the bystanders.
Easter is celebrated from time immemorial with the ceremony called "squàscio" for which all the inhabitants make preparations since Christmas, decorating eggs with finger-marks of soot, mud or other.
Then on Easter day the "squascianti" break one other in their head the eggs, which at this point are spoiled, uttering savage shouts and giving out body noises.
For the typical Fossangherese Christmas festivity the over sixty villagers are stoned to death, just before the midnight mass.
The Fossànghera cookery is defined "poor" by some people, "pitiful" by many others. The main course is the "padellacchio", made with crushed animals picked up on the motorway, insects picked up from the windshields and expired food coming from the nearby motorway restaurant.
Other specialty is the noodle-soup, that in just in Fossànghera is by tradition drained away as soon as cooked and served dry. Other peculiarity of the local cookery is the raw potato salad.
The traditional pastime of the village consists in reading the trailer trucks' plates in the parking of the nearby motorway restaurant. The most audacious, especially the young ones, try to stop the running trucks dropping stones from the flyover, so they can read more easily the plates, as the trucks crash against the the nearby motorway restaurant's sign.
The cannibalism cases, once very frequent, are today sporadic, limited to few cases a day. It's however advisable, in case you are invited for lunch by a villager, to check if your role in the meal is just that of a guest. The village's hospitality is rather rough, but after all warm; but in case a group of villagers would run towards you we shaking axes and sticks, shouting "letzkillim!" (untranslatable dialectal term), you could assume a not much friendly attitude towards you, and this would advise you to shorten your stay in the village. An accurate visit of the village of Fossànghera usually takes one or two minutes, and is advisable to leave your car in motion, already turned towards the village's way out and with open doors, for being ready to catch the opportunities that could to emerge.
How to get there
Fossànghera doesn't have a railway station, it's not reached by any bus company and, usually, taxis and cabs refuse to take you there. The village can anyway be reached by private cars, having at least four drive wheels and raised bottom, driven by an expert rallyman. Fossànghera can also be reached by feet, passing over the wire net of the nearby motorway restaurant in the environs of the rubbish dump behind the toilets, following then the human bones' trail that leads to the village.
The Fossànghera tourist office is on the back of the nearby motorway restaurant. Contact "Squint-eyed" or "Throat-cutter".