I just love this box of pasta.
Although I realize the special military division of the Italian army called the Alpini are quite noteworthy in the country for their services and in the city of Bassano del Grappa because they are part of its identity, I didn't think I would find these components all on a box of pasta.
I found it in my local supermarket.
The pasta is the bigoli variety, which is basically spaghetti with a hole through the core so they look like little tubes when you eat them.
The bridge illustrated on the box depicts the most famous landmark of Bassano del Grappa, Ponte degli Alpini. "Bassan," as they say in dialect here, is a city north of Padua which was most significant during WWII. See my post for more about the town, which is always worth a visit.
The hat signifies the Alpini uniform. Alpini veterans are a proud bunch and they often have huge reunions around northern Italy, and often in Bassano itself. They form the oldest army troops specialized in mountain fighting in the world, founded in 1876. They are considered an elite group and Italy readily sends them to fight when only small groups depart on missions from the bel paese. They are currently involved in Afghanistan. Read here for more about them.
So now you see how this box of pasta is a cultural, historical and culinary lesson in yellow, black, red and white on cardboard.