BLOCKED TOILET LEADS TO NEW HISTORY MUSEUM
Luciano Faggiano kept battling a toilet that clogged up regularly at his restaurant in Lecce, Italy. In 2000, he’d finally had enough and enlisted his sons to dig up his plumbing system and fix it once and for all. A job that was estimated to take a week is still going on, as Faggiano and his family discovered a lot more than he bargained for.
Mr. Faggiano planned to run the trattoria on the ground floor and live upstairs with his wife and youngest son. Before they started digging, Mr. Faggiano’s oldest son, Marco, was studying film in Rome. His second son, Andrea, had left home to attend college. The building was seemingly modernized, with clean white walls and a new heating system.
“I said, ‘Come, I need your help, and it will only be a week,’ ” Mr. Faggiano recalled.
But one week quickly passed, as father and sons discovered a false floor that led down to another floor of medieval stone, which led to a tomb of the Messapians, who lived in the region centuries before the birth of Jesus. Soon, the family discovered a chamber used to store grain by the ancient Romans, and the basement of a Franciscan convent where nuns had once prepared the bodies of the dead.
One thing led to another, and the Faggiano family now runs a museum instead of a trattoria on the spot. The story at the New York Times tells of how Mr. Faggiano hid the project from his wife, dealt with run-ins with the local government, and finally found the broken sewage pipe he was looking for.