- Jen McNamara

It's 9 a.m. Monday, and 3-year-old Iris Curci is on her way to la Scuola Materna, the kindergarten in Cagli, Italy. In one hand she carries a green button-down smock and in the other she holds a doll. The smock is to distinguish which of the five classes she belongs in. The doll is to share with the other students, a customary practice in her school. Iris' mother, Sonia Vandini, helps her daughter into the car and begins to drive toward Old Cagli, where the school is located.

By 9:15 Iris walks through the large wooden doors of her school and makes her way to her class, or section, as it is called in Italy

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Cagli Rapper Makes Waves

- Greg Cavaluzzo

It seems out of place to find a recording studio next to a chicken coop and across from an herb garden, but that's exactly where Samuel Bucarini produces his hypnotic beats.

Bucarini, a 20-year-old who lives in Cagli, has always been interested in music. But when it came down to producing one specific type of music, he chose hip hop and rap because of their simplicity. "I would eventually like to get into other [types of] music, but I like hip hop and rap because it's easy to produce."

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Getting Schooled

- Nicole Lettieri

Some high school students in Cagli consider higher education, but many others choose to stay in this small village to take over family businesses, open small shops or start working in factories.

"I want to let my creative aspect come out," Tommaso Mondali says about his choice to start university in the fall. He works a technical job with a company that makes parts for assembly lines. He decided to take an exam in the fall to establish his eligibility for a design school in San Marino.

"When I first finished high school, I was confused," says Mondali. "I did not know where or what to do."

He wanted to buy an automobile and to maintain personal financial stability at a young age, but he soon realized that Cagli has limitations. "It is nice but not enough," he says.

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Growing Up Cagli

- Jenna VanDeventer

Hidden among the mountains in central Italy rests the small town of Cagli, where the laughter from families taking their nightly walk around the piazza can be heard floating up with the slight breeze.

As one sits outside a caffé and watches these families pass by laughing, and enjoying each others company, it is hard not to wonder what their secret is.   In an age filled with video games, television, day care, and custody battles, what is the secret this town holds that every night its families come together and simply take a walk?

The family of Matella Ragmi Pieretti is not typical of this unique Cagli family tradition.   As she walks through an exhibition of her 4-year-old daughter's nursery school class artwork, the closeness between them is evident.

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