By Stephanie Malench
This year’s Italian Fest exhibit, “ITALY: Up Close & Personal” is on display now through October 15 at the Collinsville Memorial Library on the main level by the circulation desk.
The exhibit introduces viewers to the world of trekking, and was designed to go along with this year’s film, the documentary “Va’Sentiero, Discovering the Grand Italian Trail” which will be shown the evening before Italian Fest, Thursday, September 16 at 6 p.m. in the basement of the library, located at 408 Main St.
The exhibit, curated by Annette Graebe and Barbara Klein with assistance by Sharon McAley, is divided into two parts. The first part, to the left of the circulation desk, talks about the trekkers, the equipment they use, a question and answer session with film director Andrea Buonopane, and photos of places along Sentiero Italia- the Grand Italian Trail.
The seven trekkers began their journey in 2019 and are still on the 7,000 kilometer (4,350 mile trail, the longest mountain trail in the world. The trail starts in the far northeast corner of the country near Trieste in the Fruli-Venezia Giulia region and ending in the northern tip of Sardinia (an island).
The second part of the exhibit in the room to the right of the circulation desk focuses on the village of Roana, part of the seven communities in the Asiago region of Italy, not far off of the Grand Italian Trail. Roana has its own language, Cimbro, with is a version of Italian with German accents.
Because Roana lies near the trail, the Alpine flower is prominent. Another staple along the path and surrounding communities is prayer stations for the trekkers to visit.
The Roana part of the exhibit also introduces visitors to several people who live and work in the village.