Welcome to our website! Frank-Menchise.com (Page 20) 

    You are invited to read about amazing real life stories. 

 The stories in this page might not be as amazing as we would like them to be, but they are real life stories. 

     This page will be about the town I came from our personal Genzano stories (3)

Where do you come from people ask? 

Genzano di lucania is the town I came from

When people ask where do you come from? The first answer that comes to our mind is the last town we have been living in; therefore for me the answer is; Genzano di Lucania is the town I came from. But at the same time, we all wonder sometimes where we come from and most of us would like to know why and what is the reason for being here on earth; some of us have their own beliefs or just go along with other people beliefs; but when you are not living in your native town anymore, because you have left town and gone to live somewhere else to earn a living, then the most likely question that people would always ask would be; where you come from? Is the last town you have been living in. 

While we try to answer their question the best way we can we start thinking about our own fife journey and indeed about the town that we have came from; in my case I would answer I have come from Genzano di Lucania; so, Genzano is the town I came from. Then we may start thinking that we might be born with our own destiny, since we see that there were certain reasons why we left our native town, at least some of us might believe we do have a destiny, just because we would like to believe that it is so. You see for this reason I believe that somehow my own destiny has played a part and has taken me away from my native town. Some people may say that since you left your town for your own personal reasons, you would forget about your native town altogether, and you would not say a word about it since this town could not give you what you wanted when you were young, so you left your native town.

Some people might think that you don’t like your native town, but it is not like that at all, because wherever you are born and grow up it is going to be your native town for the rest of your life. You see every one of us is proud of its native town or country, if we were not proud of our heritage we would be unworthy of ourselves, so, I hope that you my dear readers understand why sometimes I would like to talk about Genzano my native home town. After all Genzano di Lucania is really a good town that one could be proud of to come from, so let us talk about Genzano di Lucania. 

      Welcome to our website 

My name is Frank Menchise

and we are going to write in next few pages about the town I have come form, Genzano di Lucania.


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Some views of the town I came from, 

One of the main street called Corso and then a building in near Piazza Roma, behind this building is where I lived when I was in town at Genzano di Lucania.   

 Genzano is the town I came from

Dear readers, allow me to describe to you the town where I was born, lived when I was young and later on I had to leave, so that I could come to Australia: I would like to talk about this town so that you could understand the ways that we used to live in this town, at the time when I was young; after all we want also to compare the ways of living of those time with today’s ways of living: we would like to do that in the hope that you may perceive and feel my life story in the same way and depth as I have perceived and felt it, while I was living my young life at that place and at that particular time. As I was saying the town that I am talking about here is the town where I was born and lived my youth before I came to Australia, its name is Genzano di Lucania.

Therefore let me go back to the time when I was young, so that I could describe to you the town and their costumes, so that, you may be able to understand the ways that these people have lived their lives for centuries; And therefore the reason why they were living the way they were living at the time when I was young. Now because I was born there I was caught in their own ways of living, which left a lot to be desired for, if one compares it to the ways that we live our lives in Australia nowadays, and also the rest of the western world.

The town where I came from happens to be situated in Southern Italy; its name is ‘Genzano’ but its full name is ‘Genzano Di Lucania’, only to distinguish it from ‘Genzano di Roma’. But when we talk about this town, we just talk about Genzano, and this causes a curious fact of life here in Australia, because to most people living in Australia the name of ‘Genzano’ sounds very much like ‘Cinzano’ which is a famous wine brand. So they start asking questions whether this town is the town where such a good wine originated. But unfortunately ‘Genzano’ the town which I have come from has got nothing to do with that famous wine brand. Although we had and still have some good vineyards in the town territory, and they make good wines, and here I have to add that also my family owned some vineyards at the time when I was young, from which we used to make good wines too. The wine that our family made from our vineyards was mainly for our own family use, but usually it was more than our family could use, so we would sell the extra wine locally. I will tell you more about this wine making in another hub, here is the link to check it out: Wine making the old ways

But talking about wines and wine making, it makes me think of something very unusual and scenic in this town, which people from outside town and not familiar with this sort of set up would be amazed to see.

Now, if I were to say that the people of Genzano make their wines inside cellars, which are large caves, dug in the walls of a chasm, it would certainly leave too much to your imagination, and you may be forgiven to imagine that there are cavemen too living in these caves. And indeed there were some sort of cavemen in earlier times, and some of them used to live in these caves, but they were not real cavemen, as they were just people who later on became the first inhabitants of Genzano town, but I am sure that some of them used to live in these caves in ancient times.

So now let me go back one more step in time; to those ancient times when people used to live in the caves, before they built the town of Genzano: And here my dear readers I would like to describe in general terms, if you don’t mind me telling you the ancient nature of these caves, the terrain where they stand, and perhaps take an educated guess why these caves were made there in the first place, who made them and why they have been made there.


 The old part of Genzano town

In the old continent of Europe as well as in Southern Italy, lots of medieval towns were built on a rugged hill, or something similar for reason of safety, as we all know that in ancient times and in the Middle Ages towns had to be built in such positions, in order to make it hard for the enemy to get into town, and easy for the inhabitants to defend the town from aggression.

Here we need to say that the history of the existence of Genzano is very ancient, as there is some evidence that the town of Genzano already existed when Christianity began in the Roman times. But in this story we are talking about that very old and part of Genzano of the thirteenth century or there about that is built on a strip of land which is situated between two chasms, and these chasms are situated at the edge of a high plateau 588 meters above sea level; and the modern Genzano is a continuation of the ancient part of this town, which has kept steadily growing onto the high plateau itself up to the present days.

In the beginning, because of the nature of the terrain of the high plateau which was sandy at one end, allowed the rainwater to erode the soil easily away, forming two chasms of considerable depth; which by memory I would consider them to be 30 meter plus in depth. So Genzano that part of the ancient town was built on the remains of the edge of an old high plateau, which the rainwater’s had slowly dug and taken away the soil downstream, leaving a high strip of land which was narrowing till the chasms met. And upon this triangular and narrow piece of high land, the inhabitant of Genzano began to build their own town.

But before they built their own town, they must have been living somewhere else, and they must have overgrown the place where they were living in, and for this reason they started building their own town. Now, the only place that they could have been living in was in the caves in the chasm, which they themselves as the first and permanent inhabitants of this region had dug in the walls of the chasms.

The walls of the chasms being Tuffaceous and very compact, and sandy in nature with a few layers of sandstone at different levels, it had been possible for the first inhabitant to dig in the walls of the chasms and make a cave. And the caves although they are large they are reasonably safe from cave-ins; an average cave could be 6 or 7 meters wide, and 6 or 7 meters high at the entrance, and some twenty meters long becoming a bit smaller at the far end.

Now if you stop and think just for a moment, how hard it must have been to dig in the walls of the chasms in order to make caves, and then also to carry all the soil outside and away from the caves, even if they used to dump the soil at the bottom of the chasms, and then wait for a good torrential rain to take away the soil downstream, it would really be a mammoth of a job to dig those caves.

So here I can easily say and demonstrate that life is and always will be a struggle, as it was a struggle even then to dig those caves. And I believe that perhaps life then was much harder than nowadays. Because to hand excavate those caves must have been hard work indeed, and it must have taken them ages and millions of men’s hours, as there are lots of caves in the chasms, in fact it could be that there are one hundred caves in Genzano territory. Now because all this happened a very long time ago, nobody these days seems to know who they were the first inhabitant of the chasms, or where they came from, and how many of these caves they made in the beginning. 

 Who could these people be?

The first inhabitant of this region might have been just a group of shepherds grazing their herds, and having found a sort of shelter in the chasm, from the cold winds or rain in winter times, they stopped there and tried to improve this natural shelter; so they started to dig these caves for themselves and for their flocks. Or they could have been people that were fleeing away from their enemies, and having found a sort of shelter in the shape of the chasms, they stopped there and made it their home. Really they could be both, and perhaps even more different groups of people.

Today one of the chasms is still called the Greek chasm from the elders of Genzano, and this means that at least sometime in the past people from Greece have lived there, or owned one of the chasms since they were living there. About the Greek people there is still another story, which is somehow different in nature from what I am trying to say at this moment, so I will have to come back to it later on, when I am ready to tell you the story of the Greek chasm and the Madonna story.

But now I would like to tell you, about when the inhabitant of the caves started to build their own houses on this strip of land at the top of the chasms; which later on would become the town of Genzano, and which was named very likely after one of their leaders, or perhaps it is indeed an ancient name, as I am going to tell you in my next hub. Therefore the time that Genzano came into existence as a town for the first time nobody knows but in my next hub that I am going to call, Genzano history, I am going to describe what I believe happened. So, see you there.

Anyhow whatever we can say about our own native town, whether we like it or not when somebody asks me, Where you come from? I will say, Genzano is the town I came from.